In the world of high efficiency boilers and hot water heaters, most of them share a common fact – the cleaner the environment they operate in, the better the long term reliability will be. Most, if not all, boilers and hot water heaters rely on an inducer blower to provide combustion air to the burner. These blowers draw all their air from the outside or inside, depending upon the nature of the intake air lines. Many of these units allow the intake air to momentarily circulate inside the burner/blower enclosure. When the air around the unit is laden with lint, dust, dirt, insulation particles, bugs and the like, some of these things may find their way into the blower and hence the burner assembly.
The effect of this contamination is usually a code indicating loss of flame or no flame detected. Many attempts to relight the unit fail. The net result of an unclean utility room can be more headaches down the line. I recommend that every so often the area around the units be vacuumed and washed up to keep the area neat and clean. You will be happy and so will your boiler or water heater.