Boiler heating systems can be a big investment, and owning one makes boiler repair services a necessity. Since boilers require regular maintenance, monitoring, and inspection to ensure that they are functioning efficiently, replacements and repairs are crucial. If your boiler has been installed for a number of years and needs constant replacement parts, you may be starting to wonder whether or not it’s better to replace your current equipment with a new model.
There are many factors that go into evaluating boiler budgeting decisions, including your company’s budget for repairs, the state of your current equipment, your boiler’s age and general performance, and the cost-benefit analysis of buying a new boiler versus repairing your older equipment. As a leading industrial boiler service expert in California, Manley’s Boiler, Inc. is here to provide some guidelines that will help you evaluate your boiler and decide whether repair or replacement is best for you.
Safety: Your Primary Boiler Concern
The primary concern when it comes to replacing a boiler or restoring your equipment is safety. You want to ensure that its performance is optimal for your facility and your employees. When operating correctly, boilers have minimal risks; but if a boiler is improperly run, maintenance has been neglected, or operating conditions are less than ideal, you may have a considerable safety issue on your hands.
One of the more common problems that can occur with older boilers is a heat exchanger issue. If you are already aware of a complication with your heat exchanger, contact a professional immediately for boiler repair services.
Heat exchangers allow the transfer of energy throughout your boiler system. They also facilitate the removal of unwanted heat. Over the course of their operation, heat exchangers are exposed to tremendous amounts of heat and pressure, which can lead to them becoming faulty, or even cracking. While heat exchanger replacements are a straightforward repair for a boiler service professional, it is not a repair you would want to attempt on your own. Although a new heat exchanger can be costly, if you delay replacing the exchanger for too long, you may be forced to replace your heating system entirely.
Continuing to operate your boiler with a cracked heat exchanger can have serious consequences, including carbon monoxide leakage. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning involve lightheadedness, confusion, headache, vertigo, and flu-like affectations. If you’ve been exposed to larger amounts of carbon monoxide, you are in danger of suffering from significant toxicity of the central nervous system and heart. In dire situations, carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal. If your heat exchanger is cracked, it’s best to contact professional boiler repair services professionals immediately.When to Replace Your Boiler
A study performed by the National Association of Builders recently determined that the average lifespan of a forced air heating system is 15 to 20 years. Boilers for hot water radiators and baseboards have an average lifespan of up to 30 years. However, having a heating system that is older than 20 years does not necessarily mean that you automatically need to replace it. This study simply provides a general guideline that can be helpful if you have concerns about the performance and age of your system.
If you want to determine your system’s age, the easiest way to do so is to take note of your boiler’s make, model, and serial number. From there, simply reach out to your boiler’s customer service department. With these numbers and details, they should be able to tell you the year that your boiler was made. If you are unsure as to the manufacturer of your boiler, you can call Manley’s Boiler, Inc. for additional help.Cost-Benefit Analysis: Replacement Or Repairs
Once you’ve assessed the safety of your system and determined whether or not it is imperative for you to call for immediate boiler repair services or replacements, it can be useful to perform a cost-benefit analysis of various replacements and repairs. This way, you can decide whether a replacement of your system is the right next step for you. Here are some typical statistics regarding boiler new boilers and replacement service costs that should assist you in your decision making process:Average Replacement Price:
Average Replacement Price:
- To Rent: $5,000-$30,000 per month
- New Boiler: $20,000-300,000
While repair prices vary into extremes that range between $2,000 and $150,000, there is a general formula that can be helpful to guide you in your repair or replacement decision. If your equipment is beyond three-quarters of its life expectancy, and repairs will cost more than one-third of replacement, it doesn’t makes sense to sink more money into additional repairs. At that point, you should just opt for purchasing a new system. Consider this—for smaller systems, is it worth spending $7,000 to repair a 15-year-old boiler when you could replace it with an entirely new boiler for $20,000?
At Manley’s Boiler, Inc., your boiler repair services expert, we make it a point to work with our customers to find boiler replacement solutions that fit their needs and budgets. We offer a wide variety of boiler brands, control systems, burners, and more, so that you can find the right equipment for your facility. We offer boiler leases as well, which can be a great alternative to buying a new boiler if you aren’t ready to invest in purchasing one just yet, but still need to maintain your heat output.
Contact us online or over the phone to get a quote—our team of experts is ready to tackle any job, and we’ll be happy to help you figure out which solution works best for you.Efficiency Matters
Another important factor when assessing your boiler is efficiency. You should always factor in your system’s efficiency when trying to decide whether you should call for boiler repair services or purchase a brand new boiler. One metric that is frequently used to determine boiler efficiency is AFUE.
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE, describes the percentage of fuel that your heating system is able to convert to useable energy during the heating process. Different types of fuel have different AFUE percentages, but the ratings can be similarly interpreted no matter what kind of fuel you’re using.
For example, an AFUE rating of 75 means that your system is converting 75% of its fuel into useable heat, while 25% is being lost-typically in the form of exhaust. The older your boiler is, the less efficient it becomes.
The make and model of your system also have an impact on your boiler’s AFUE. Systems that were manufactured 20 or more years ago have an average AFUE of 70. Newer systems are held to a higher standard, and the minimum federal government requirement for boiler AFUE today is 80.What AFUE Means for Your Budget
As you might imagine, your system’s AFUE has a big impact on your heating costs. On average, you’ll burn 10% less fuel and spend 10% less on heating bills if you choose to upgrade from a system with 70 AFUE to a system with 80 AFUE. In addition to factoring in the cost of repairs versus the cost of replacement, you also want to consider any potential changes to your system’s AFUE. Over the course of a year, the fuel savings alone could be significant enough to tip the scales. Some newer equipment even offer an AFUE as high as 95, which, if you are switching from a 20 year-old system, would offer a savings of 25% annually.
While replacement isn’t always the appropriate choice if your system is operating optimally and does not need any major repairs, you may want to think about how fuel costs and usage affect your company’s budget, as well as how they factor into any environmental initiatives that you may have. If your company is looking to go green and lessen its impact on the environment, you will definitely want to take a look at a newer boiler with a better AFUE rating.
Signs You Need Professional Boiler Repair Services
If you have an older boiler that you suspect needs repairs, there are a few signs and symptoms that signal problems which should be addressed immediately. Strange odors, noises, and leakages are obvious indications of issues that need immediate, professional repair.
If you smell a strong metallic odor coming from your boiler, this could be a sign of a potential gas or oil leak – an issue which you should have addressed by a business with extensive experience in boiler repair services. There is also the danger of a potential carbon monoxide leak, particularly when your boiler’s heat exchanger has been damaged. As carbon monoxide is tasteless and odorless, detecting a leak is difficult without proper equipment. The best way to prevent a leak is to schedule regular boiler service inspections, so that your boiler service professional can help you stay on top of any potential concerns.
Other signs and issues that warn of immediate boiler repair services include various malfunction problems, such as overheating and under heating. If you notice sludge deposits building up around the bottom of your boiler, this can be a sign of either under or overheating of your system. However, before you call for boiler repair services, be sure that the thermostat is on the ‘heat’ setting and that a fuse has not blown-these are two solutions for larger malfunction issues that can be easily implemented.
Similarly, water leakage at the base of your boiler may also be a sign that you need the help of a boiler professional. Water leakage in your system can collect at the stand of your boiler unit, which will cause your boiler to use much more fuel than it normally requires, driving costs up and efficiency down.
Visual symptoms like sludge buildup and water leakage aren’t the only signs that your system requires professional boiler repair services. If your boiler has started to make strange noises while operating, this too can be a symptom of a larger issue. Clunking noises are one of the most common boiler complaints, and generally, these noises are the result of iron buildup within your boiler system. Iron buildup can cause unequal distribution of water, and, much like sludge buildup, this can lead to overheating and other major malfunctions. Get in touch with an experienced boiler repair services professional and have them take a look at the issue.Working With Experts
Manley’s Boiler, Inc. offers both routine, annual maintenance visits, as well as 24/7 emergency service, seven days a week, so that all of your boiler needs are taken care of promptly, and by highly trained experts. Whether you need to address an immediate issue or want to schedule an annual service visit to address any potential boiler problems, our boiler repair services team can help.
Manley’s Boiler, Inc. also offers R-1 reports, which are required for any welding or repairs done to commercial equipment. Our team members are able to provide any paperwork and services that you may need, at any time. Whatever your issue is, we can help. We pride ourselves on boiler repair services you can trust. Whether you are in the market for a new boiler that will operate more efficiently than your old model, or you’re looking to invest in repairs to your current system, we are always available to provide any and all services that our clients need.