Energy Optimization And Boiler Maintenance


Maintenance options in energy management. Five key strategies for boiler maintenance.

How a steam boiler works

The condensation process is characterized by a change from a gaseous state (steam) to a liquid state. This phase transition produces a certain amount of energy, known as latent heat.

The water vapour contained in the flue gases is then recovered, rather than being expelled through the flue pipes. A drop in flue gas temperature from around 200°C to 50°C is also observed.

The steam is then used to heat the cooler water returned from the radiator entering the boiler. In this way, the gaseous exhalation (steam) relieves the boiler of “reheating” work.

After releasing its heat, the steam cools and condenses. It then flows into the wastewater drainage system.


Heating systems require frequent maintenance to ensure high performance and energy efficiency.

In this article, we’ll focus on 5 maintenance strategies:

  1. Maintain proper burner settings

Combustion air dampers and burners should be examined and adjusted by specialists. Once the adjustment has been made, they should observe the flame, to define basic criteria for any future comparisons.

  1. Maintain air and flue gas tightness

Combustion gas leaks must be detected quickly to eliminate the risk of explosion.

  1. Replacing defective steam traps

A steam trap is a self-contained thermostatic valve that discharges condensate (condensed steam) and other non-condensable gases, without releasing any steam. It is used to minimize parasitic steam losses in heating processes.

In open mode, the steam trap releases large quantities of steam, resulting in increased energy losses. On the other hand, when in closed mode, no desiccation (condensed water vapour) is released.

In the case of an industrial system, when the steam trap is connected to a heat exchanger, the latter fills up with condensate, which could freeze on contact with outside air in winter, damaging equipment tubes. To reduce energy losses, it is therefore imperative to carry out regular maintenance on steam traps.

  1. Tuning the combustion control system

Poor steam boiler performance is usually the result of too much excess air. When the combustion control system is not operating properly, it is advisable to amplify the air flow, so that the air/fuel ratio is not too high, depending on variations in demand. When the air/fuel ratio is high, this means that there is less air for combustion, which could lead to small explosions in the firebox. However, lowering the excess air ratio by 10% helps improve fuel efficiency by 1.5%. This data suggests that continuous monitoring would yield better results.

  1. Repair recuperative air heater seals during planned shutdowns

Seals in poor condition could create an inordinate amount of air flowing from the air side to the gas side of the air heater. As a result, we would see an increase in consumption.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our team. We will be happy to advise you on the layout and recommend the best choices for your building’s needs.