My home inspector advised me to have my gas boiler cleaned before putting it to use. That was in early 2009. Last week, I followed through. (Mike Holmes would be totally miffed that I put it off.)
I hadn’t been having any problems with her, luckily. The unit IS about 60-years old, but I’ve been told that if they last this long, they’re bound to outlive humans*, so we’ll keep her for now. Even though it wasn’t showing signs of distress, I called in some backup last week to make sure that it would stand a chance at getting me through one (or hopefully a few) more winters. I’d probably be better off getting a new gas furnace (at least I could save some money when tax filing for the year). Anyhow, here I am, being a blurry Vanna White of the basement. (*totally unreliable, but optimistic source.)
Side note: More so than focusing on the boiler, check out my new slippers. They’re fantastic. Marshall’s. $35. Minnetonka faux-fur happiness. Highly recommended. Also, that’s the wool scarf I bought in Mexico (I wrote about it here); happy that it’s finally cool enough to bring it out. I’m a scarf fiend.
My boiler’s healthcare plan aside, I did get a few referrals for local companies that would do a good job tuning it up. I hired a company with excellent credentials and an affordable rate (my bill was $116), so late last week (same day that I was doing cartwheels about my big DIY Network launch) we had a local company, Isaac Heating setting up shop in the basement. Warning: Blurry iPhone photos in poor lighting.
The best part of our first boiler cleaning is that we learned a lot about how the radiant heat system worked, what exposed pipes in the basement were directly part of the system, and why/how it was considerably more efficient than other heating options. The water that flows through the radiators in our house, for example, pipes in at upwards of 160-degrees, unlike forced air, which tends to cool down to 90-degrees before entering the room. Translate: It takes a little longer to heat a room, but once it’s warm, it takes a good while time to cool down.
Check out them burners, post-clean-out. Looks a lot like your everyday griddle burners, and thinking about that makes me yearn for some pancakes.
Despite the fact that it looks its age and I had nothing to do with its installation or maintenance to date, it was nice to hear our technician compliment the simplicity of the system and its condition. He found some leaks that he patched with high-temperature sealant, so we like knowing that it’ll be running a little more efficiently too. Thank you, thank you very much.
Fun fact: HVAC is a foreign concept to me. I’ve only ever lived with radiant heating, and have never met a bigger fan of radiators than myself.
Here’s to hoping that it hangs in there for awhile longer.
Anyone else snuggled against their radiator keeping warm today?