A boiler is a great option for staying warm and cozy through even the coldest Alexandria, VA winters. Without a strong and efficient burner, however, your boiler system can quickly leave you out in the cold. With that in mind, it’s essential to understand the key signs that your boiler burner may be on the fritz.

Loss of Heat or Hot Water

Performance issues are common when it comes to faulty burners, but some are more obvious than others. While a heating system suddenly losing its capacity to heat is clearly a bad sign, many problems only occur intermittently. This can lead to sluggish or inconsistent heating performance, unexplained increases in heating costs, and other nagging issues. A malfunctioning burner is one of several potential causes, so it’s important to have your system checked by knowledgeable HVAC professionals.

Odd or Unpleasant Odors

During the heating season, any unusual or off-putting odor in your home should be taken seriously. A strange smell can be a warning sign that indicates any number of potentially dangerous issues. The most common culprit is a gas leak, but a weird odor can also suggest other problems with your burner. In particular, incomplete combustion caused by a dirty or malfunctioning burner can produce fumes containing high levels of hazardous byproducts.

Pilot Light Problems

Modern heating systems typically use electronic ignitions, but many homes still rely on older boilers that feature pilot lights. If your boiler has a pilot light, observing its behavior can tell you a lot of information. Specifically, it should appear as a steady, cone-shaped flame with a blue hue. A pilot light that flickers, goes out, or burns with a yellow or orange hue is a sure sign of trouble. The problem can likely be repaired, but it may also be worth considering a system replacement. If your equipment is outdated, upgrading your boiler can substantially boost your efficiency and reduce your environmental footprint.

Don’t let a faulty boiler burner leave your Northern Virginia home at the mercy of the elements. Call Commonwealth Cooling & Heating today for lasting heating repairs and expertise you can trust.

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