Heating System Pre-Season Maintenance and Inspection 2022

In order to have a safe and reliable heating system, pre-season maintenance and inspection should be completed every year by trained and licensed professionals. (If using a contractor, verify that the business is properly insured.) The lack or improper maintenance of heating systems can lead to frozen pipes, fire, boiler explosions, carbon monoxide poisoning and, in extreme cases, death.

Heating systems come in many designs. Maintenance and testing requirements vary. Following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance scope and schedule is mandatory in many jurisdictions. While preparing your boiler for the heating season, check the carbon monoxide detector, smoke detector, fire detection systems and extinguishers for proper operation and fitness for service.

Remember to keep a clear zone around all boilers and hot water heaters, and to maintain emergency lighting. Avoid using the boiler room as a storage space, and don’t keep combustible or flammable materials there. In addition, your technician should:

  • Test and log the operation of all controls and safety devices, including all relief valves.
  • Clean applicable heat exchange surfaces.
  • Change system filters, including air or fuel system filters.
  • Lubricate where required.
  • Verify proper combustion. Flue gas analysis requires a trained technician with specialized equipment.
  • Inspect all flue gas-containing components, including
  • the chimney.
  • Inspect the electrical service for the equipment, including equipment grounding. Amperage draw should be noted for motors and/or heaters where applicable.
  • Inspect fuel storage and delivery systems. If you store fuel oil, it should be tested for water contamination.
  • Inspect boiler feed system piping, tanks and pumps where applicable.
  • Inspect humidification systems.
  • Check fresh air intakes or louvers for general condition, especially blockage.

Air louvers, designed to introduce fresh air into the building, are often overlooked when preparing for the heating season. With this design, fresh air passes over heating coils just inboard of the louvers. In order to protect the coils from freeze damage, the correct operation of the louvers must be verified, including full closure. In extreme cold conditions, louvers that do not fully shut can result in frozen and burst heating coils. Lack of building heat can disrupt the workforce, leading to additional costs.

Finally, have your heating system checked weekly. Logs are required in many jurisdictions. Any testing or inspection work should be documented and a history maintained. A sample log is provided for reference: CNA Boiler Log.

Source: CNA

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