Numerous articles have discussed the many benefits of boiler preventative maintenance programs. Many articles have explained why preventative maintenance programs are so beneficial for building managers. These programs improve safety, minimize downtime, decrease replacement costs, and reduce energy and water consumption.
Before implementing a plan, an owner or manager of a building should still consider whether the program is worthwhile, taking into account the cost.
Preventative maintenance programs for boilers are most beneficial if the failure rate of the system, as well as the cost of the program, are less than the cost of repairs or other corrective action, according to the Facilities.net article.
However, corrective costs for corrective actions can be hard to quantify because they may also include lawsuits resulting from safety concerns or customer dissatisfaction. While a preventative program generally costs less over time, corrective expenses may rise.
The cost of repair increases when there is a greater need to replace the system. Older boiler systems operate at between 55% to 80% efficiency rates, reports CNT Energy. However, newer systems offer efficiency levels of up 97%.
Because dirty boiler tubes kill efficiency no matter whether the system is old or new, building managers should include boiler tube cleaners as part of their preventative maintenance plans.
CNT Energy has the following advice for you to decide if it’s time to change your boiler.
- Consider sizing. Boilers should always be sized according to the building. Oversized boilers might only operate at a partial capacity, which can lower combustion. However, smaller boilers won’t heat the building as efficiently.
- The expected efficiency increase for a boiler replacement is known. An old boiler operating at a low-efficiency level can be converted to 80% efficiency for significant energy savings.
- It is worth researching the costs of replacing the old boiler with a brand new one. It will vary according to the type of boiler and the materials involved.
- You don’t need a boiler replaced if it is less than 20-years old unless there are major problems. However, it’s worth measuring the combustion effectiveness. This may vary between old and new models. Older models can run for 20 years without any efficiency problems while newer boilers may have lower efficiency. You can read more about calculating combustion efficiency here.
Boilers can also be retrofitted, which is another option that could save money. Modernizing boilers can increase their efficiency. It is worth considering the cost of retrofits.
A retrofit is not advisable if the replacement will be within a few years. You can also install new heating equipment to ensure the best possible heating technology.