April 25, 2009

Chickens come home to roost

If you plan on taking a house from the age of leakyness-as-virtue to the new age of super-insulated energy efficiency, one imagines that you will occassionally run afoul of the laws of unintended consequences. And so we have......at least a little.
With the addition of super-insulation, and the conversion of hot water to a gas on-demand unit, our 25 year old boiler was firing up less often and for shorter burn duration. By the end of March, we weren't firing at all, so we shut it down. But when a cold snap hit in April, we couldn't get it back on.

The Fawcett Oil servicer informed us that these units were never designed to be cold, never designed to have the hot water portion removed, that by removing the hot water we had essentially signed its death sentence. (evidently Fawcett servicers are very protective of their boilers). I was to learn that to maintain boiler health, the boiler needs to reach full operating temperatures to clean out its pipes and eliminate condensation.......or something like that. Long story short, we were warned to have our boiler cleaned twice a year, September and January, instead of only once. I guess that's not so bad.

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