Having an oil fired boiler
serviced regularly can keep it operating at its most efficient. This reduces fuel bills and saves money on costly call out fees for unexpected breakdowns, it is recommended that oil fired appliances and equipment are serviced at least once a year or as recommended by the manufacturer. There are many reasons why the efficiency of an oil fired boiler could be reduced. Here are a few:
• Excessive smoke and partially burnt fuel deposits soot on the heat exchanger which restricts the amount of heat which the heat exchanger can transfer into the water. A heat exchanger carries water around the boiler, absorbs the heat from the hot flue gasses and transfers it into the water. The cleaner the heat exchanger the more efficient the boiler will be.
• Oil Nozzles will wear. They regulate how much oil is used and if it is not regularly replaced it could cause “sootingup” of the heat exchanger, and so reduce heat transfer.
• Photocells can glaze over with soot. Photocells are animportant safety feature which detects whether the flame is lit. If a photocell is dirty it may not be able to monitor the flame correctly and could cause the boiler to shut down randomly causing inconvenience. Boilers switching on and off frequently will be less efficient than when running for longer periods.
• Electrodes can wear and carbon up. Electrodes make a spark to light the fuel, if they are worn or covered with carbon it will cause poor ignition so the boiler may not light. Again, causing inefficiency and increasing fuel cost.
Oil storage tanks and supply
pipes should also be checked
during the service as condensation
can form within the oil
tankwhen the oil level
is low. The presence of
water in an oil tank can
cause equipment failure
as reduce well as boiler
efficiency. Filter elements will need to be cleaned and/or replaced.
. Cleaning the boiler gives the service technician a chance to look for other tell tale signs that parts of the boiler may need replacing, inspect the boiler combustion chamber which provides an opportunity to inspect the condition of the material and welds. Old steel heat exchangers will often leave a rust mark which can give a warning that the boiler will soon need to be replaced. This provides an opportunity to plan the work rather than have the inconvenience of trying to arrange a repair at shortnotice when a heat exchanger unexpectedly fails.
.Long term damage can also occur if the boiler is not serviced regularly. During the combustion process, when the air mixes with oil and is burnt, deposits such as sulphur build up on the internal surfaces of the heat exchanger and the baffles which redirect the flow of flue gases inside aboiler to make it less efficient. If left for a number of years these deposits harden and with some designs of heat exchanger render it impossible to remove the baffles without destroying them. A replacement baffle will come at a significant cost on to the routine service charge.
.As with any fossil fuel burning appliance, poor or inadequate servicing can cause the generation of Carbon
Monoxide. Soot deposits,
flue blockages and blocked air vents can restrict the flow of exhaust gases and cause them to spill out into the surrounding room. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that your oil boiler is checked annually for these possible problems.Carbon monoxide is a highly toxic poisonous gas. It is odourless, colourless and tasteless and therefore difficult todetect. To reduce your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning it is advisable to fit an audible carbon monoxide detector.