A Brief Guide to Boiler Replacement In Homes

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The science of it all

There are a few pieces of equipment in the home that once they have exceeded their lifespan, not only do you know it almost immediately, but it becomes a major problem that needs your attention as soon as possible.  Generally, these types of appliance/infrastructure failures are due to one major factor:  water.

Water is simultaneously one of the most beneficial and destructive elements on earth.  It is necessary to the existence of life on our planet, comprises 90% of our bodies, and provides heat, electricity, and sanitation for much of the known world.  Water has the power to carve plains into canyons, mountains into gorges, and is possibly the most destructive force on Earth besides sunlight.

When it comes to the materials your modern furnace boiler is made of, it never stood a chance when it came to the destructive power of water.  Water will eventually corrode nearly any metal it comes into contact with.  Minerals in residential water along with heat and ambient electrical current can create a condition of hydrolysis, which converts metallic alloys at an atomic level into other metals.  Oxidation is the most common form of this process, which is more commonly known as rust.

What kind of problems can a bad boiler cause?

A worn out boiler can present itself in a few ways.  Malfunction of venting systems for one, could introduce carbon monoxide, an odorless gas which is detected only by specialized equipment, could flood the home and cause injury..

The boiler itself could develop a leak which could cause flooding in your home, bringing with it any number of problems from mold to structural damage.

Replacement

Repair is possible, but it should only be attempted by a professional.  It’s important to weigh replacement options with repair options, to see the cost difference.

Improvements in technology mean that a new boiler today is probably significantly more efficient and cost effective than cobbling together patches for an old boiler, which will eventually fail again.

What happens next?

To install a new boiler, first the old one must be removed.  This can be tricky in some homes, depending on age, since boilers in many older houses might be gigantic pieces of equipment made from iron and asbestos.  Professional asbestos abatement will be required to eliminate contamination of your home by this cancer-causing substance.  The work may also require the use of cutting torches, heavy equipment to break down and remove the old boiler, and transportation.

Newer boilers, though less durable than their last-century counterparts, will be simpler and more efficient to install. Installers will solder new pipes from the plumbing system into the new boiler and check for leaks.  Power/gas will be reconnected to the new system as well as any electronic interfaces from the thermostat/heating control systems in the house.  The boiler is filled up again and water is heated, providing heat to your home!

At Metro Heating & Cooling, new boilers installations run anywhere between $4,500 and $10,000.  If you are in the market for replacing an old boiler in your home, contact us to get started today.