Ever notice how the heating and cooling industry is flooded with information about forced air furnaces? From maintenance to repair, it seems like all of the tips and advice you find are geared only to those who own gas or electric furnaces. But, what about the hundreds of homes in Chicago that use hot water or steam boilers to provide their families with heat? Boilers are a popular alternative to forced air heat, and they need just as much care as furnaces do if their owners will have any hope of making it through this upcoming winter with functional heating equipment. Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning is also a boiler specialist, and it is one of our many goals to make sure that each of our customers, including the boiler owners, have a safe, efficient, and comfortable winter.
When you use a boiler, radiators deliver heat to each of the rooms in the home. Radiators come in all shapes and sizes: vertical, horizontal, baseboards, wall hung, ect… But, no matter which type of radiator you have, you need to take special measures to make sure that you are getting the most out of each and every radiator in the home.
The biggest problem with using radiators is heat loss. Water is heated in the boiler and then transferred through pipes to heat of the radiators. The heat is transferred into the air in the room, and in a short amount of time the room is warmed. The heat loss problem comes in when you look at how the radiator is distributing the heat. Both the front and the back of the radiator are emitting heat, but unless you have your radiator smack dab in the middle of the room, half of the heat that is being generated is being wasted on a wall. Unless you have impeccable insulation in the exterior walls of your home, you are probably loosing large amounts of heat through that wall.
The solution to this problem is the installation of home-made reflective panels. Reflective panels can be made out of anything from tin-foil to foil faced bubble wrap, but the better then insulating material the more heat the material will be able to reflect. You could find rigid foam insulation that has a reflective surface at nearly any hardware store. All you do is simply cut the board down to size and attach it to the wall behind the radiator. Depending on the type of radiator you have, the panel may be able to be hidden completely or at the very least look like it is a part of the radiator. By installing these panels behind your radiators you can save 10% or more on your energy bills and increase the overall comfort in each of the rooms of your home.
Bleeding the radiators is key to proper radiator care. Every year, air can build up in the pipes of the boiler system. When there is air in the pipes you will probably notice at least one of these symptoms:
- Uneven heat coming from a boiler
- Rooms that receive no heat at all
- Knocking in the pipes
If you have one of these problems, or even if you don’t, you should be bleeding the radiators at least once or twice during the winter season. When you fail to do so, air can get trapped in the system and cut of heat to an entire room or floor of the home. Air in a boiler system also decreases the amount of heat that is spread into the home. The boiler will have to run for longer periods of time in order to compensate for the lack of heat. That wastes energy and it wastes money. If you don’t know how to bleed your system, you need the help of a professional. At Four Seasons Heating and Air Conditioning, we have specially trained boiler specialists who are experts in all types of boilers. They are available around the clock to help you get the most out of your boiler system this upcoming winter season.
Four Seasons has also customized a 20+ point tune-up specifically for boiler units. This tune- up is a maintenance cleaning that should be performed yearly on the entire boiler system and its operations. Our expert serviceman will dissect your boiler and hand clean the vital components that are crucial to reliable operation. The main objective of the tune-up is to get that old boiler working as close to factory specifications as possible. That means a boost in the systems efficiency and dependability. We are so confident in the usefulness of this service that we back it up with our 100% satisfaction guarantee and no breakdown guarantee! If after having this service performed you have a failure at any point during the season, Four Seasons will return for free to repair the issue. Proper maintenance is fundamental to reliable operation of your boiler. Call Four Seasons today and schedule your yearly maintenance and begin giving your boiler system the care it deserves.
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