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How Do I Know If My Boiler Needs Replacing?

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Replacing your boiler may be a daunting thought, as this is often one of the most expensive appliances within a household. And, unless your boiler simply stops working, it may be hard to determine when and if it really needs replacing. Keeping an eye out for these telltale signs will help you determine whether your boiler may need a replacement.

1. Radiators take longer to heat

Dirty water within your radiators will create blockages and cold spots, and can negatively affect your boiler in the long term. But if you have recently serviced your system and the radiators are still slow to heat up, it may mean that your boiler is on its way out. A fully functioning boiler should reach maximum temperature and start producing heat quickly once it has been turned on.

2. Your energy bills are increasing

Rapidly increasing energy bills may be a sign that your boiler is no longer energy-efficient.  The older your heating system gets, the less efficient it becomes, especially when compared with more modern models.  An overworked boiler will start and stop more often and therefore consume more energy to create the same level of output. 

Your boiler should be labeled with an ErP rating, which indicates the percentage of fuel that the boiler efficiently converts into usable energy and how much fuel is wasted through the process on a scale form A to G.  

Since April 2018, all new boilers are required to have an ErP rating of at least 92% (A). But for old boilers, the energy efficiency may be as low as 70% (G).  If your boiler has a low rating or is showing signs of inefficiency due to its age, replacing it may be the most cost-effective decision in the long term.

3. Boiler leaks

Water coming out of your boiler should be a matter of concern, as there is no circumstance in which your boiler should leak. A leak is a sign that a valve, seal, or some other internal component has failed and it could lead to serious damage to your heating system and, potentially, your home. It will also most likely cause your bills to increase as your radiators become less efficient.

While some leaks can be easily repaired by changing the faulty component, if it becomes a repeated occurrence it may be a sign that it is time to upgrade your boiler to a newer model. 

4. Your boiler smells

A functioning boiler should never emit a smell. If you detect a smell when your gas boiler is in use, it may be a gas leak. It’s best to turn it off immediately and call the Gas Emergency line at 0800 111 999. Once you’ve done so, contact a Gas Safe engineer, who will be able to assess the problem and offer a solution. 

Home Assist can provide Fully qualified Gas Safe engineers, to help you get your heating system working again as soon as possible.

5. Strange noises coming from your boiler

Although some sounds within your heating system are normal, it is worth paying attention to any new and unexpected noises that your boiler or radiators make. Sounds like bangs, tapping, and humming are a sign that some component within your heating system has failed. 

If you detect new sounds, turn off your boiler and contact a professional, who will be able to determine what’s at fault and offer a clear plan of action.

6. Frequent boiler breakdowns

If your boiler frequently breaks down or stops working, it is probably time to replace it. When problems appear more than once a year, you’ll find that the cost of additional repairs will quickly near the cost of a new boiler. Further to this, an unreliable boiler adds stress and inconvenience to your life when it stops working out of the blue, so a replacement will come with the added benefit of peace of mind.

What is the average lifetime of a boiler?

The average lifetime of a boiler is somewhere between 10 to 15 years. Anywhere beyond that, your boiler is probably no longer energy-efficient, as it becomes overworked and most likely outdated. In the long term, you will be able to save more money by replacing it with a newer, more energy-efficient model. 

Replace or Repair?

When repairs become too costly, parts are no longer available, or your boiler is older than 10 to 15 years, it is almost definitely time to replace it. If you’re having other kinds of  trouble with your boiler, including the issues outlined above, it is best to contact a professional, who will be able to assess the situation and recommend a repair or replacement as necessary. 

At Home Assist Repair and Servicing, we offer boiler installations, servicing, maintenance, and repairs all performed by experienced and fully qualified Gas Safe engineers. You can contact us today by calling 0191 406 0888 or requesting a callback here.

Scott Flannigan

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