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Is My Radiator Too Old?

Is My Radiator Too Old?

Know the signs that your boiler heating system is showing its age.

boiler Montclair, NJ If your home in Montclair or elsewhere in northern New Jersey has a boiler heating system, you may have radiators in most of your rooms.

These steel, aluminum or cast-iron items receive either steam or hot water from your boiler. This steam or water causes the radiator and its exterior fins to heat up, radiating warmth out into your room and heating your home. Once the water cools or the steam condenses, it returns to the boiler for reheating. The cycle continues until your home is at the desired temperature.

The JW Pierson Co. is here to help you troubleshoot radiator problems, repair your boiler and replace your equipment when it gets too old.

The Benefits of Boilers and Radiators

There are considerable advantages to having a boiler and radiator system. Many homeowners prefer boiler heat because it is slightly humid, which feels more comfortable. Because there’s no circulated air, boiler systems run quieter than furnaces, and they don’t spread dust, debris, mold or other airborne pollutants.
There are drawbacks to boiler/radiator systems. They can take longer to heat a room than a furnace. Also, a boiler system does not have ductwork, which means a central air conditioning system is often not an option for these homes. (You can still get efficient, long-term cooling in the summer with a ductless mini-split.)

Different Types of Radiators

The kind of radiator you have largely depends on whether you have a steam boiler or a hot water boiler.

Hot water boilers have radiators with two pipes, one to feed hot water into the radiator and a second to return cooling water to the boiler.
Steam boilers can have radiators with one pipe or two. Condensing steam can return to the boiler through either the same pipe or a second pipe.

Lifespan of Radiators

Generally speaking, radiators have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. With that said, your radiators may last longer, depending on several factors, including:

Standard signs that you should consider replacing a radiator include uneven heat, excessive rust and frequent repairs.

Troubleshooting Common Radiator Problems

Here are some quick DIY fixes that could fix frequent issues with home radiators:

  1. Banging or gurgling noises. Check your supply valve. There are only two settings of a radiator valve: open or closed. Ensuring the valve is turned all the way counterclockwise can prevent strange noises. If you have a one-pipe radiator, also confirm the air vent is positioned vertically.
  2. No heat. Confirm that the supply valve is all the way open. Also, check that your thermostat is set to “on” or “heat” and that the temperature is set at least five degrees above the current room temperature.
  3. Leaking steam or water. Clean the air vent with a mixture of water and vinegar. This will clear any obstructions and hopefully prevent leaks.

Pierson technicians solve your boiler system issues.

When it comes to boiler maintenance and repairs, the JW Pierson team can ensure your system is running efficiently and safely. We’ve been serving North Jersey households for over a century and are ready to help you.

If you’re having problems with poorly functioning radiators and the troubleshooting steps above don’t help, contact us for assistance.