If your home contains a hot water boiler, you should have it inspected every season by a trained technician to prevent any potential malfunctions. Most local heating and cooling repair companies will be able to send a specialist to check the system and ensure that it is working properly.
You may have one of several different types of boilers depending on your home’s system. For example, some systems circulate hot water throughout the home, releasing heat into the rooms. A second type of system, called a combi boiler, heats water for home heating while at the same time heating water for washing and bathing. A third type of boiler only heats water for dishwashing, bathing and similar chores; it is usually smaller than either of the other two types of systems.
A well-trained technician should be able to service a boiler in about 45 minutes. The price for this service will generally range from about $90 to $245, assuming the system is working properly and routine system checks are performed. Before you pay a boiler service cost, however, you should understand what exactly you are paying for.
A good service technician will check all of the following areas:
- The flame and burner controls. Too much flame wastes heat, while too little is inefficient. In addition, does the flame ignite without wasting fuel?
- The flue and vent. Does the exhaust work properly to remove the flue gases? This is very important as a bad vent release dangerous gasses into the home.
- The water. A good boiler technician should test the water to see what chemicals it contains. Whole house systems recirculate the water, while combi systems release some of the water for cleaning. In the systems that recirculate the water, the boiler technician should test it to make sure it is not corrosive and that the pipes are being protected.
- Thermostat and controls. Finally, the technician should check that the boiler starts at the right temperature and that it shuts off again properly. Most boilers operate under regulatory codes that are local to your area, so the technician should be familiar with those that apply to you.
Should the technician locate any problems, such as water or gas leaks or wiring problems, then he should give you a fair estimate of the price and time required for the repairs. He will likely have the necessary equipment and materials to complete minor repairs with him, but more substantial repairs may require a return visit. The cost will be dependent on the amount of time required for the repair, but will usually run from $75 to $125 per hour, plus the costs of any parts. A fan can cost as much as $225; a condenser, $600 depending on its size. More minor parts, of course, will usually cost substantially less.
With a quality seasonal check, your boiler should be ready for a full heating season, providing you with satisfactory service for the entire year.