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What You Need to Know About Your Residential Boiler System

images of boilers

Technician checking on a boiler unit

A boiler is a closed vessel in which fluid, typically water, is heated. The steam or heated fluid exits the boiler typically for heating older homes. The reason we are telling you this is simple: boiler season is coming up fast!  If you have a boiler, here are some things to consider at the beginning of the season to keep your boiler running the entire heating season.


You should have regular tune-ups done by a professional to determine what condition your boiler is in. How often should these tune-ups be completed? That depends on what type of boiler you have. If your boiler is cast iron and over 10 years old, you should have a tune-up done on it every 3 to 5 years. If you own a high-efficiency boiler, you should have a tune-up done every year after installation.


Like most things, boilers don’t last forever and their performance can start to suffer from age. Carbon scale will build up on the outside of the heat exchanger, which reduces its efficiency. So, it’s important to know how old your boiler is, especially if you’ve just moved into a new home, so you can better anticipate when it will need to be replaced. The average lifespan for a cast iron boiler is 30 years, while a high-efficiency boiler will last about 20 years.

If you aren’t sure how old your boiler is, fortunately, it will show signs of aging, such as:

  • Soot under burners
  • Burn marks on metal on the front of the boiler
  • Calcium/green deposits by the pumps or joints in the piping
  • Rust on the metal where venting exists
  • Having to add water more than once per season in order to maintain boiler pressure
  • Noisy radiators or piping when the boiler is running
  • Radiators are not heating at all or not very well on the upper floors
  • High carbon monoxide readings

If you’d like to learn more about boilers, please check out a past blog written by a Minneapolis boiler expert and Standard Heating and Air Conditioning Service Technician David Howland.

To ensure your boiler is working at its optimal performance this season please contact us today!

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