How Often Should a Boiler Be Replaced?
In this article we'll discuss the telltale signs of an ailing boiler and why you should think about replacing your boiler every 10 to 15 years.
You go to turn on the heating and uh-oh… nothing happens. Or, worse still, you hop in to take your morning shower and the water continues to run stone cold.
A broken heating system is never ideal but beyond the obvious signs that your boiler is on the blink, how do you know when it’s time to buy a new one?
1. Your Property is Your Boiler Engineer’s Second Home
If your boiler keeps failing and the engineer is visiting your home more often than you’d like, it’s probably time to cut your losses and invest in a new system. The thought of paying for a new boiler can understandably make your eyes water and it’s tempting to want to keep plugging holes. But if your boiler is more than 10 years old not only is it likely to be inefficient, replacement parts will begin to become obsolete and you’ll be left with no choice.
The positive news is a new A-rated boiler can save you up to £325 a year on your energy bills – so the upfront cost may seem a lot but you could recoup your money over time. See our boiler costs page if you’d like to find prices for the most common systems or learn about the best boilers on the market in 2018.
2. Your Heating Bills Are Through the Roof
If your gas bill keeps creeping up every month and it’s nothing to do with your supplier, there’s a good chance your boiler is on its last legs.
An inefficient system will use more energy to heat your home and water, and this will only increase over time. In fact, your old boiler could have an efficiency as low as 50% and be stealing up to 50p for every £1 you spend on fuel. So the sooner you bite the bullet, the better off you’ll be in the long run.
3. Your Boiler is Emitting Fumes
Any unusual smell coming from your boiler is not a good sign and could be potentially life-threatening. If you’ve a gas boiler and you start to smell gas, you should contact the Gas Emergency Services on 0800 111 999 immediately because, at worst, there’s a risk of explosion.
The other worry is carbon monoxide – which is an odourless and deadly gas – but you can protect yourself from poisoning by installing a detector close to the boiler itself. If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, you should evacuate your home straight away and call the same number as above.
We recommend getting your boiler serviced once a year and this is the best way to nip in the bud any potential problems. Check out our boiler servicing page to find out what will be checked and how much they usually cost.
4. You Can Hear Unusual Noises
If you can hear knocking, hissing or popping sounds, and it’s not a visitor at the front door, a cat fight or a bottle of champers being opened, there’s a chance it might be coming from your boiler and central heating system. Boilers pump and distribute heat around your home, on demand, but with age they can become clunky and struggle to do this as efficiently as they once did.
There’s no need to be alarmed but you should get an engineer to check everything over. For example, untoward noises could mean an uneven water distribution which can cause vibrations when they heat; not dangerous but definitely a sign that your system will need replacing at some point in the near future.
5. Your Radiators Aren’t Getting Very Hot
This one is pretty hard to not notice or ignore, especially in the depths of the British winter.
If your boiler is still drawing fuel but it’s really struggling to provide heat around your home, it’s time to get as assessment. You may find that the system has airlocks if you have a conventional boiler and this can be sorted out during a service, though in most instances it’s the sign of a sluggish and worn-out unit. Modern boilers can get your property nice and toasty in no time at all – and do you really want to stick out those chilly months with a substandard system?
As we mentioned earlier, a new boiler can be a worrying outlay – but the benefits of lower energy bills, a safer home and a more comfortable lifestyle will make it all worth it. Just like any product and service, it’s possible to shop around to get the best price and getting multiple quotes is advised.
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