We usually do not pay much attention to the way our water boilers operate, until our water doesn’t seem to come out warm enough, has a weird colour or smell, or until we have found water pooling under the tank. When we purchase our water heating systems, we should look for a kind that will adapt to our conditions, help us avoid these common problems and save us money in repairs, but also, we will want to find a kind that is efficient, which will save us lots of money in energy and will help reduce damage to the environment.
You will sure want to check out these simple guidelines that will truly make a difference in your boiler’s performance, especially if you have an older water boiler, which are known to be the least efficient. Here are the 5 most important tips you should follow to optimize your water boiler’s operation and make it work efficiently:
- Insulate your water boiler tank and pipes
Insulating your water boiler and its pipes will make a huge difference in your bills and longevity of the unit. If your water boiler is not insulated properly, it will lose heat through its walls, and therefore make it work overtime to keep the water hot. The same goes for the pipes; insulating them will prevent heat from leaching through and will let the water get to you as warm as it left the tank. Older boilers will especially benefit from insulation to keep the heat inside, since they do not always come with a proper one.
You can test if your boiler is insulated properly by touching the tank; it should not feel warm. If it does, you can purchase an insulating blanket that you will need to install around your tank and secure with tape. Make sure you cut out holes for the controls, burner, and valve areas.
Continue with your pipes, and purchase insulation tubes in your local hardware store specially made for their diameter. It should also include zip ties or use acrylic tape to secure around the pipes. This, in addition to insulating your water boiler, will greatly reduce the amount of energy used to heat water and you could even reduce the thermostat temperature in the boiler to reduce it even more, since water is keeping its temperature all the way through the pipes.
- Lowering your water boiler temperature
As we mentioned before, if we take actions in order to insulate the water boiler and pipes, or if we simply already have a high-efficiency system that we are not using properly, we can lower the thermostat temperature of the water boiler to increase efficiency and save even more energy.
It is best to keep the boiler between 130°F (55°C) and 140°F (60°) for maximum efficiency and to reduce build-up and corrosion that form inside the tank. Do remember not to reduce the temperature lower than 130°F because it can encourage the growth of harmful bacteria. However, if you plan on going away for long periods of time, consider turning the thermostat all the way down, and later draining the tank and filling it again, or turning it off completely and draining it then as well.
- Purchase a new water boiler
Sometimes that old boiler grumbling in your basement has no way of being repaired any further, and the only solution is to replace it with a new one. Even if your old boiler is not broken (yet), you should consider replacing it for the long-term benefits and savings a new boiler could bring. There are several options out there according to your needs and budget.
You can get an increased efficiency water boiler for maximum results, like for example a condensing hot water boiler, which recaptures the heat that is usually vented out through the flue, and reuses it on the water. You may also purchase an on-demand boiler, which basically heats up water only when you use it, and therefore reduces the costs of constantly having water heated and then sitting in standby mode, saving you up to 30% in energy. You may also want to consider buying a tankless water boiler, which will also heat water up only as you use it and consumes much less energy. They are not always as powerful as regular tank water boilers, which is why you may need to purchase 2 or more to supply an entire home, but they will make it up in savings on a long-term basis.
Your water boiler can be the source of massive energy consumption in your home without you even noticing, and ultimately add up to bring costly bills. Even if you believe your tank is efficient, follow these simple guidelines to protect and optimize your boiler, you will notice a difference immediately, and will be thankful for it later.