Navigating the Maintenance Maze – Plan Now to Avoid Catastrophic Winter Boiler Failures

A boiler sitting outside in the middle of winter.

In November 2023, AdventHealth Porter Hospital in Denver, Colorado faced a crisis when its boiler failed. This led to halted operations, disrupted surgeries, and closure of the emergency department, turning away new patients.

This incident highlights the importance of adopting proactive maintenance and technology to better deal with unexpected breakdowns and supply chain challenges. The good news? The boiler industry is shifting its focus to reliable and sustainable systems.

HelixIntel provides insights on managing issues faced by AdventHealth and others.

Boiler Supply Chain Disruptions

Boilers are crucial for building heating, but their efficient operations face challenges. These challenges include a depleted skilled workforce, budget constraints, and global events like the COVID-19 pandemic, energy crises, and inflation. Shortages of critical components like semiconductors and extended supplier lead times, of up to a year, affect new boiler availability and options for replacements.

The solution? The emergence of CMMS platforms, vendor management tools, and IoT devices enables users to detect and prevent irregularities, minimizing damage from catastrophic failures.

Strategies for Efficient Boiler Maintenance

Effective boiler maintenance relies on advanced technology such as Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) or 3rd party remote monitoring services. These tools identify maintenance needs, track completed work, predict future issues and plan equipment replacement timing. They also automate work orders, and vendor support, and monitor equipment and spare part inventory.

An image of an annual boiler maintenance checklist on HelixIntel's CMMS platform.
HelixIntel’s CMMS platform enables companies to create preventative maintenance checklists, such as an annual boiler maintenance checklist.

Internet of Things (IoT) technology enhances system uptime through continuous monitoring, proactive alerting, and tracking of temperature, pressure readings, and operational setpoints. A proactive approach to predicting and preventing equipment failure is essential to overcome long lead times. Tech-driven insights aid in cutting failure-related expenses, planning capital expenditure replacements, and reducing life-cycle maintenance costs by up to 40%. Adopting these proactive, technology-driven strategies is crucial for efficient boiler management and longevity.

Navigating Today’s Boiler Landscape 

Boiler systems pose diverse challenges from variable options to supply chain disruptions. Navigating these complexities efficiently requires a multifaceted approach. Using CMMS and IoT solutions enhances maintenance, improves efficiency, and protects infrastructure investments. Embracing technological advancements and proactive strategies like preventive maintenance, spare part stocking, and emergency planning supports facilities dealing with skilled labor shortages and budget constraints.

HelixIntel addresses these challenges, aiming to set a new standard for efficient, sustainable, and resilient building system management in a constantly evolving maintenance environment.