One afternoon, my grandmother called complaining about her oil bill, which just kept getting bigger. So, being the good grandson that I am, I drove to Yonkers to have a look at her American Standard Arcoliner, oil-fired, hot-water boiler, which is nearly as old as she is.
I arrived with a flashlight, a wire brush, some furnace cement, a Wet Pack, and an open mind - standard tools for any spring cleaning. I borrowed my grandmother’s old vacuum and added my own elbow grease.
First, I wire-brushed and vacuumed the flue passages between the sections. Soot can build quickly and it makes for a great insulator because it keeps the heat away from the water. Did you know that one-eighth of an inch of soot has the equivalent R value of one inch of fiberglass?
Shining the flashlight into the chamber from the fire door, I could see layers of liners lying on the base. Apparently, Grandma’s regular service contract didn’t include removing the old chamber liner. They just kept adding new ones, which is sort of like adding a thick ice buildup to the inside of a freezer. It’s a great way to murder efficiency.
I pulled out the old liners, vacuumed the soot as best as I could, and placed a new Wet Pack on the base. I then patched up some cracks with the furnace cement.
Now that the flue passages and the chamber were cleaned, I turned off the lights and aimed my flashlight into the chamber. I could see cracks around the burner mounting plate so I patched them as well.
A couple of months went by and Grandma’s oil bill is now 20% lower than it was when she called me. As I said, I am a good grandson.
And you know what? Gaining efficiency doesn’t always mean you have to change your boiler and system. Sometimes a simple cleaning will with the right parts will get the job done and save you money.
Let Oswlad Supply help YOU be someone’s hero.