Oil fired boilers are the core of your oil heating system. Installing an oil fired boiler is not a DYI task and installation is much better left to a licensed professional. Oil fired boilers are often taken for granted because they are so reliable, but having problems with your boiler can lead to costly water damage in your basement or boiler room or worse if left unresolved.
Please don’t confuse your boiler with your oil burner. They work together to heat your house, but have very different functions. It will also help when describing any issues to use the correct terminology.
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The boiler is where the heat transfers from the fire created by the oil burner into the water in your heating system. The oil burner creates a fire by burning the oil in the boilers firebox, and the heat is transferred to the water via the metal of the boiler, and is then pumped through the piping to the zones and baseboard/radiator when the thermostat calls for heat.
It’s important to monitor your boiler regularly to check if there is any water on the floor near it. Most commonly, the water issue can be resolved by changing a feed valve, relief valve, extrol tank, emptying an expansion tank, or by replacing some leaking copper pipe if that develops a hole. If the leak is cause by a hole in the boiler wall, then that is big trouble and will almost certainly require a replacement boiler.
Reasons to replace a boiler are many. Perhaps it’s from a leak, or perhaps you need more output for an addition to the house. No matter the reason, an oil fired boiler is expected to last 16 – 20 years with proper maintenance so you should keep your heating system system maintained to help reach the maximum lifespan of your boiler. Have you had your yearly system maintenance?