When should I replace my boiler?

Your boiler probably just burbles away in the background, heating your home and making sure your showers aren’t chilly. And as long as you’re warm and cosy, you probably don’t give it a second thought. But like most things, boilers do have a lifespan. Here’s how to figure out when it’s time for a replacement boiler.

Getting the most out of your boiler

You can help to increase your boiler’s longevity with a few tweaks and regular servicing, but there comes a point when you should change your boiler. You might start noticing some changes in how it works, or you may decide not to wait that long. With today’s boilers being far more energy-efficient than older ones, replacing your boiler with a newer model can help you save money on your bills, as well as helping you reduce the carbon emissions of your home and so do your bit to help us reach Net Zero.

If your boiler is on the blink, look out for these signs that could be an indication that it’s time to replace your boiler. Or if you’re ready to replace your boiler, let us help you find the right boiler for you.

1. Odd smells

Get in touch with a registered Gas Safe engineer if you ever detect any unusual odours emitting from your boiler.

If you smell a sulphurous, eggy odour when you use your boiler, there’s probably a gas leak. Immediately turn off the boiler and call the emergency gas line on 0800 111 999.

In this situation, it’s likely that you’ll need to replace your boiler. You can find out more in our guide to boiler safety.

2. Frequent breakdowns

Granted, a new boiler isn’t cheap. But if your boiler is giving up on the regular then you know just how inconvenient and expensive that can be too. The family is freezing, while those breakdown bills pile up, so it’s worth doing your sums to figure out if a new boiler could leave you better off in the long run.

While it’s important to have your boiler serviced regularly to keep it ticking over smoothly, if you’re also calling out a Gas Safe engineer more than once a year on top of your annual service then it’s probably time for a change.

3. Higher bills

Are your bills creeping up without explanation? It could be down to the age of your boiler. Simply put, a less efficient boiler costs you more money to run. Modern A-rated boilers operate at over 90% efficiency, whereas older G-rated boilers run at 70% or less.

Our handy guide to boiler efficiency explains in more detail, but the key point to remember is that replacing your old G-rated boiler with a new A-rated energy efficient boiler can save you up to £840 per year. And because it saves energy, it helps you do your bit for the planet too.

4. Noisy system

Your boiler and radiators make all sorts of sounds, most of which are completely harmless. But it’s worth noting any changes in the type of noise or its volume.

Tapping sounds on your pipes or radiators could be a sign that sludge is building up in your central heating system. It might sound scary, but it’s easy to fix with a Powerflush.

However, if you hear humming, vibrating, or banging, then it could be a sign that you should change your boiler because of a bigger fault either with the boiler or the central heating system. You’ll need a heating engineer to help get to the bottom of the noises and fix the issue.

5. Yellow flame

Your boiler flame should burn bright blue. If it’s changed to a yellow or orange colour, your boiler needs an immediate service from a Gas Safe engineer. They’ll be able to tell you how serious the problem is, and the best way to resolve it.

6. Water leaks

Your boiler shouldn’t ever leak water. If it does, it’s usually a sign that an internal component – such as a valve or seal – is broken. Left unfixed, it could lead to an electrical short-circuit, or even structural damage to your home.

If you spot a leak, switch off the boiler and have it professionally checked. Hopefully, it can be repaired rather but could mean that you should change your boiler.

7. Parts problems

As your boiler gets older, it can get ever harder and costlier to find spare parts when it needs repairing, so you need to do your research on their price and availability.

If it’s very expensive to replace obsolete parts, it’s only worth repairing your boiler if it rarely has issues. But if your Gas Safe engineer is scouring the internet for new parts regularly, it could be more economical to replace the boiler instead.

8. Low performance

Despite its annual service, there might come a point where your boiler just isn’t behaving as it used to. If your radiators are taking a lot longer to heat up, or you’re continually adjusting your boiler’s pressure, you should get it checked. A Gas Safe engineer can see if there’s a minor issue like a build-up or blockage that can be resolved, or if it’s beyond repair.

Decided that replacing your boiler is the way to go? Don’t be bamboozled by all the boiler options out there – we can help you find the right one for you and your family. You can find lots of choices online, or book an appointment with one of our expert Heating Advisers to talk through your options and find the best boiler for your home.

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