Boiler Installation: Has your boiler been acting lukewarm? Better think about a new one.

Your boiler is a central part of your home’s climate control system and is critical in keeping your interior living spaces—and in some cases your hot water itself—evenly and comfortably heated during those long, cold winter months.

Boilers are also called hydronic heaters because they are designed and built specifically to distribute heat to your home via hot water.  The hot water is heated in the boiler’s tank, then pumped from through devices that radiate heat such as baseboard heaters, radiators, in-floor tubing, and in some cases to your faucets.

The water is then pumped back to the boiler’s heat exchanger where it is reheated, then the process happens again, all in a continuous cycle.  Boilers most often utilize natural gas or heating oil to heat the water in their system and are energy efficient with a low environmental footprint. Here are some considerations for installing a new boiler or repairing and maintaining an existing one.

Boiler Warning Signs

While well-built boilers can survive up to 20 years when properly maintained, as with any heating system, all boilers will eventually wear out. Below are some signs that you may need to repair your boiler or replace it with a new one.  Note that, because boilers hold and pump high volumes of water at high temperature and pressure and utilize heating oil or natural gas as their heat source, if you experience any of these with your boiler, you should contact Northern Clean Energy’s repair service right away, because some of these signs could lead to potentially serious safety issues in your home.

  • Leaking – While minor leaks from valves, pumps, pipe fittings or other areas of your boiler system may be relatively minor and can be repaired, leaks from the boiler tank or other parts of the main boiler unit nearly always require boiler replacement.
  • Noises – A telltale sign of a failing boiler is that it will begin to produce loud, violent noises.
  • Gas or other odours – Because boilers often utilize heating oil or natural gas as their heat source, your boiler may begin to produce strange odours as it begins to fail.
  • Pilot light – Older boilers may have a pilot light that stays on day and night and while replacing a pilot light is often a minor repair, it could be a sign that the boiler unit itself needs replacement.
  • Uneven, reduced, or slow heating – If you notice uneven heating of areas in your home or lack of hot water from faucets, these could be signs that your boiler is not distributing hot water evenly.
  • Heating bill increases – As boilers degrade, their efficiency decreases and they must use more energy to heat the home, with homeowners most often detecting this in increased heating bills.

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What To Consider When Getting a New Boiler

If you’ve detected one or more of the warning signs above and think you may need a new boiler, here are a few factors to consider.


  • Affordability vs efficiency – Mid-efficiency boilers have a rating of 80-85% AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) and high-efficiency boilers having a 90-95% AFUE. While high-efficiency boilers are more expensive upfront, their efficiency means they will provide lower long-term heating costs.
  • Combination system – One option is a combination water heater boiler system that provides both room heating as well as water heating all in one system. Some models can even prioritize water for one or two bathrooms.
  • Fuel type – As mentioned above, most boilers utilize either natural gas or heating oil to heat the water in their system. However, there may be limitations as to which type of heating system can be used in your particular area, with some locations having several options and others being much more limited.  So while a gas-fueled boiler is likely the most affordable and efficient option, you should investigate if this option is available to you.
  • Venting – While some boilers are designed for side or direct venting through the wall using stainless steel venting, some models allow venting through your home’s chimney, so you should investigate which is appropriate for your home.
  • Cooling system – Keep in mind that a boiler will only heat your home, not cool it. For this reason, you may want to also assess if it is a good time to replace your air conditioning system alongside your boiler.
  • Professional installation – A good HVAC company will be able to help you understand your options and help you select your new boiler system and professionally install it in your home.

Boiler Maintenance

Even if your boiler is performing well and not exhibiting any of the above warning signs, due to the potentially serious nature of boiler safety, it is imperative that your boiler system be inspected and maintained by a qualified, professional HVAC service technical who has specific training in boiler maintenance, repair, and installation so that your boiler system will run safely and efficiently for years to come.  Note that some HVAC companies may no longer work on boilers, so investigate and find the best HVAC company for your needs. 

Annual maintenance by a trained, professional boiler technician will include inspection of your entire boiler system, from the main unit’s heat exchanger and tank, to the pumps, valves, pipes, fittings, and other components, as well as any radiators, in-floor or baseboard heating, or water heating components of your boiler system. The technician can also clean and drain your system and make any necessary minor repairs.

Call the boiler experts at Northern Clean Energy

At Northern Clean Energy, we have both the experience and expertise to help you through every step of this process.  Our trained, professional technicians will visit your home and thoroughly investigate the condition of your boiler system.  We can then help you make the most informed decision on how best to proceed.

If repair is in order, our certified boiler technicians can repair your system, and if replacement is needed, we can help you select the best boiler system for your needs and provide trained, expert installation of your new boiler system, keeping your home a sanctuary against the cold during those long winter months.

Contact us today for all your boiler installation and repair needs.