Doing Your Part to Keep Your HVAC System Running

A few months ago, my air conditioner completely died. I woke up in the middle of the night covered in sweat, and I didn't know what to do. The next day, I called an HVAC expert, and they came out to inspect my system. It turned out that it had failed because of filthy filters and a clogged return duct, which made me sick to my stomach. I had caused the problem, and I needed to learn how to fix things. My HVAC professional taught me a few easy maintenance techniques that I didn't know before, so that I could maintain my new system. Check out this blog to learn more about HVAC yourself.

Things To Check Before Using The Steam Boiler Heating In A Rental Home


Steam boiler heating may not be as common as forced air heating, but it can be an efficient and effective means of heating a home. If you're renting a home with this style of heating system, however, there are a few things you should check on before heating season arrives.

Are the radiators all turned on?

If you've never lived in a place with a boiler system before, the radiators probably look like a bit of a mystery to you. Basically, there are two adjustable parts that you need to worry about: the on/off valve and the vent. The on/off valve is located near the floor. It should be turned to the right in order to allow steam into the radiator, or in other words, to turn the radiator on. If the valve is turned to the left, check with your landlord to see why. Perhaps the last tenants simply wanted to turn the heat off in that one room, or maybe there is an issue with that radiator (perhaps it has a leak) and the landlord prefers it to stay off. If your landlord gives you the okay, turn the knob to the right to open the valve and allow steam into the radiator.

Is the vent unclogged?

The vent looks like a little metal canister. It is usually found partway up the radiator on the side. Take a look at each of the vents, and make sure that the little hole on the top is not clogged with grime or paint. You can use a paperclip or pin to scrape any debris out. If the vents are clogged and you cannot get the grime out, call your landlord before turning on the heat. A clogged valve can cause a radiator to heat improperly, leading to poor heat distribution throughout the rest of the home. An HVAC specialist may need to come and replace the vent if it is clogged.

Is the water supply to the boiler turned on?

Some landlords turn the water supply to the boiler off during the non-heating season. This will need to be turned on again before you start using the system. You can call your landlord and simply ask if everything is ready to go with the boiler before turning the heat on, or if you feel comfortable doing so and have access to the basement, you can go check this yourself. Look for the major pipe that leads into the boiler. It should have a valve on it, and the valve should be turned to the on position. If it is not, contact your landlord before turning the valve on, since you could be at fault if you accidentally cause damage to the heating system when adjusting it.

By taking the time to check these things before you turn your steam heating on for the first time, you can reduce your chances of running into issues like uneven heating or a leaky radiator. If you have any other questions about how the system works or whether something it is doing is normal, call the landlord rather than attempting to fix something yourself. Steam boiler systems can be rather finicky, and making an adjustment the wrong way may lead to bigger issues. To find out more, speak with a company like White Knoll Heating & Cooling Inc.


7 October 2015