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How Do I Know If My Boiler Needs Replacing

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  • 15-09-2022
How Do I Know If My Boiler Needs Replacing

Find out how to know if your boiler needs replacing? We look at how often  a boiler should be replaced and things to consider when buying a new boiler.

Many homeowners take their new boilers for granted, but even the most efficient boiler needs replacing eventually. Even if yours is serviced regularly, you could save money by getting a gas safe engineer to inspect the unit. Keep reading this article if you believe your home heating system requires repair. 

Does my My Boiler Need Replacing?

Your central heating system must remain healthy and efficient: it's a no-brainer. While it's expected to make strange noises, experience general wear and tear and continue running smoothly many years into its life, you can experience problems, increased energy bills and a less efficient boiler as it ages.

You will need a new boiler and a heating engineer to provide a replacement boiler after you encounter some of these below signs, as leaving it unattended could be potentially fatal. 

A healthy boiler does not produce odd smells, so it's time to contact a gas safe registered engineer if you notice bad smells. Most modern boilers have a way of showing you there's an internal problem, but a bad smell is a sign of an issue with the gas supply and potentially a gas leak.

A carbon monoxide leak on a gas boiler can be the cause of odd smells and is worth noting before it causes further damage to you and your family. These faint smells can be sulphurous and eggy in odour. If you do smell these, call the emergency gas line immediately and turn off your gas before professional help arrives.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can make you seriously ill, with symptoms ranging from headaches, dizziness, muscle pain and shortness of breath. If you notice increased condensation inside windows or if the pilot light is frequently blown out: carbon monoxide leaks could be present. If so, immediately turn off your gas. 

An inefficient boiler is expensive. As your heating bills increase, it's understandable you become more frustrated. If you're experiencing regular breakdowns or problems not long after your boiler installation, that shows there's a deeper problem.

If your current boiler's efficiency isn't as expected, despite having an energy-efficient model, or you're without hot water, you can save money and replace your boiler. Many conventional boilers are installed with screens or monitors, telling you when there's a broken valve, or you require boiler service. 

If your heating bills are increasing without much reason, this signifies an internal component isn't working at capacity. Most modern A-Rated Boilers run at over 90% efficiency, while old G-Rated Boilers only operate at 70% efficiency or less. Read the ERP energy label on your boiler, as it could be old and run inefficiently.

Old and broken boilers can cripple low-income households, and replacing your boiler isn't a cheap endeavour, but it's worth it when the gas doesn't burn properly and heat your home poorly. 

All boilers and radiators make noise, especially when heating up or turning on. This means if you do hear it making noises, you don't need to panic. However, if you notice loud noises, aggressive noises or a constant hum, these are telltale signs you are in need of a boiler replacement.

Tapping sounds inside the radiators is a sign of sludge build-up, which can be fixed by a Powerflush from a gas safe engineer. Any banging, vibrating or humming from your boiler or other noises can mean you have some structural damage within the central heating system.

Gas emergency services can check the unit because it could be as simple as the boiler's pressure is wrong, but otherwise, it's a potentially extremely dangerous problem that needs rectifying. 

Your oil boiler should burn with a blue flame, so if your boiler's flame has changed colour, you should turn it off and call for assistance.

If a yellow flame is present, this could be a sign of a bigger issue. You should call an engineer and get it professionally checked, as they can provide more details on the damage to your home and boiler, along with the best solution. 

Water leaking from your boiler is not a good sign and signifies an internal component or valve is broken. When you leave this unattended, and without repair, you risk an electrical short-circuit or perhaps even structural damage to your home.

You could find the energy consumption increases when you have a water leak, especially as your hot water demands increase in the Winter months. If you're experiencing lost energy and the maximum temperature of your radiators fluctuates, a water leak could be responsible.

Contact a professional heating engineer as soon as possible if your boiler is leaking water. 

There's a reason why you should be getting an annual service and buying replacement parts as soon as you can because they become more expensive over time. Older boilers are full of faults and sometimes too expensive to repair.

It can be costly to replace obsolete parts, so ask your Gas Safe engineer what they think is the best solution. In most cases, you will have to get a new boiler; although boiler buying is expensive, this can save you more money in the long run. 

Despite caring for your boiler with an annual service, there is every chance that it becomes less efficient over time without you doing anything. If the radiators take longer to warm, or if you find yourself consistently changing the boiler's pressure, it's time to get a replacement.

An old boiler will never work as well as a new one, but changing your boiler depends on your budget and if you can afford it. Regardless, low performance is one of the warning signs you should be looking out for. 

How Often Should a Boiler Be Replaced?

Replacing your boiler takes more money than most people have spare, which is why they opt to buy endless repairs and replacement parts as they typically turn out cheaper. However, if you've had your boiler for many years, it could be time to replace it more than you realise.

The best boiler for you is the one that works for your requirements, but no boiler older than 15 years should be in your home. After that point, the efficiency rating of your boiler drops below what it should be, and it is more likely to leak water, use more energy or become completely obsolete.

There are some instances where you can get by with some boiler repairs, and we're not suggesting you should always get a replacement when the boiler unit is still new. Instead, if your boiler is not working properly, call an expert, and they could be able to repair it back to full capacity. 

When should I replace my boiler?

You should buy a new boiler when you notice any of the above signs and you've had a Gas Safe engineer visit for an inspection.

Faint smells? Tapping sounds? Regular call outs? It's time for a replacement, however tempting it is to invest in the cheaper quick fixes available from engineers.

While your radiators taking time to heat up potentially being a sign of sludge build-up and replacement parts being a regular part of owning a boiler, there comes a time when buying new combi boilers is more cost-effective than owning the older one.

Compare it to owning a car: after a while, no car is road worthy, and it's safer if you buy a new model.

Furthermore, the longer you own your boiler, the more likely it is to have a gas leak. Carbon emissions increase with old boilers, which leads to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, vomiting, tiredness and, in severe cases, death. 

How Do I Know If My Boiler Needs Replacing?

New boiler vs replacement boiler

There is a difference between a new boiler and a replacement boiler, and understanding this can help you ensure you get one working efficiently for your home. A new boiler entails making the switch from one model to another, meaning you will need a new infrastructure with the machine.

For example, changing from a system boiler to a combi boiler. In comparison, getting a full replacement is a more up-to-date model of the same type, meaning your home will have the right internal parts without making a big switch.

Getting the right boiler for you involves a discussion with a heating engineer and understanding how they both work, as it can vary depending on your requirements, amount of rooms, etc. Either way, you will be saving money as you can get spare parts for cheaper. 

How much will a new boiler cost?

Buying a new boiler can be expensive, which is why so many people choose to repair it over replace it. They can range from £1000-£4000, covering the installation costs, new chemicals to flush the heating system and the boiler itself. 

However, before buying any new boiler, be sure to get as many free boiler quotes as possible. Many companies will let you get a free quote before buying from them, meaning you can assess the options on the market. Compare quotes and assess what boiler is making the most sense to you and your requirements.

You could be eligible for free boiler installations, depending on your situation. Government boiler grants exist to help those in need, with the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) being established to grant low-income households a chance to improve their boilers. 

You must be receiving at least two of the following Government benefits to be considered for ECO:

 Child tax credits

 Working tax credits

 Income support

 Universal Tax credits

 Pension credits

What type of boiler will I need?

We recommend you buy a combi boiler, as they are more efficient and take up less space than older boilers. An old boiler has a cylinder for heating water and a separate water tank, whereas combis are more energy efficient and suitable for smaller homes.

If you're making home efficiency improvements, we suggest looking at your boiler and getting a new model, as you can save money compared to regular servicing of your older unit. 

Things to Consider When Buying a New Boiler

Considering boiler prices are expensive, you want to ensure you make the right decision. Making the wrong choice can cause more problems than you realise. Here are our tips for choosing the right boiler for you:

 Pick the correct type of boiler.

If you live in a smaller house or flat, you must ensure your boiler meets your heating needs. Smaller spaces don't need as much energy or power to heat them, so a storage tank is definitely not required. Combi boilers are smaller and easier to install, so we recommend them to most people.

 Choose a trusted company

The boiler brand you pick is almost as important as anything else: you need to make sure they are reliable, and you can source replacement parts quickly. Don't pick the cheapest option, as you need to ensure the quality is high and the manufacturers are legit. 

 Efficient model

Switching to a modern boiler will do wonders for your heating bill, regardless of the age of your property.

All modern boilers are condensing boilers, or a form of it: meaning these carry a large heat exchanger capable of recovering heat that escapes through the flue.

In short, you can save energy and regain heat for a later date. 

Finally, we recommend you work with a licensed gas safe engineer. Not only are you paying for their experience and expertise, but you can know you're getting a safe product.

If you require assistance, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team, and we can get you started with your home efficiency improvements. 

Things To Consider When Buying A New Boiler

Do you require boiler replacement or heating servicing? We offer services to both domestic and commercial customers Uppingham, Oakham, Stamford and Rutland. Our charges are highly competitive and realistic. If you are experiencing problems with your central heating - Please contact us.