6 signs that you need a new boiler…
Is your boiler past its best?
Boilers are hardworking appliances that have been known to keep ticking over for twenty years or more! But like anything, they don’t perform at their best forever.
Even if your boiler is still running, you might benefit from a boiler replacement.
And it’s worth thinking about it before your boiler packs in completely; and you’re left with no heating or hot water!
So, if your boiler is over ten years old; is underperforming; or has become a bit temperamental – it could be time to consider a boiler replacement.
By replacing your old boiler with a new efficient model, you could save money on your energy bills. Whilst also benefiting from increased comfort and control.
To help you decide whether it’s time for an upgrade; we’ve put together this list of 6 signs that you need a new boiler.
For tailored advice, contact one of our friendly team at The Heating People, to book your free survey.
How Long Does a Boiler Last?
But as we mentioned earlier, even if your boiler is still running, it’s worth considering a replacement if it’s old.
This is because boilers that pre-date the Boiler Plus Regulations are far less efficient than modern ones. So you’ll be paying over the odds on your energy bills.
The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC) say that there’s a real problem with so-called ‘zombie boilers’; lurking around UK homes.
According to the HHIC, 4 million people are still using outdated and inefficient boilers; that are bad for your wallet, as well as the environment.
Signs that you need a new boiler
When your boiler completely conks out, it’s easy to see there’s a problem! But what are the more subtle signs that suggest your boiler isn’t running smoothly?
Here are 6 signs that indicate it might be time for a boiler replacement:
1. Your boiler is old
Just because your boiler is knocking on a bit, doesn’t necessarily mean it should be sent to the scrap heap.
Most boilers last around 10 to 15 years. But with regular servicing, your ten-year-old boiler might still have a few good years left in it.
But it can sometimes be more economical to replace an aging and inefficient boiler, rather than hanging on to it.
Older boilers may start to deteriorate, costing you money on repairs. Most boiler warranty periods are around the ten-year mark. And repairing a boiler that has exhausted its warranty, can be expensive.
Even if your old boiler seems to be ticking over smoothly; it might be costing you over the odds on your energy bills.
Heating technology has come a long way in recent years. And your old boiler simply won’t be able to compete with the efficiency and control options of a newer model.
2. Your old boiler isn’t A-rated
When considering the age of your boiler, you should look at its energy efficiency rating.
Since heating accounts for about 60% of your fuel bill, having an efficient boiler can help to reduce your bills. And this is more important than ever, given the current high price of gas!
To check how efficient your boiler is; look for a little sticker on your boiler with an energy efficiency rating on it.
The Energy Related Products (ErP) energy scale is a seven-point colour scale. Starting from dark green (A-rated and most efficient) down to red (G-rated and least efficient).
If your boiler is old or you can’t find a sticker; you can use your boiler’s model number to find out it’s efficiency rating. The Greenage has a good article on how to do this. We’ve linked to this at the end of this blog.
But once you’ve found it…
Your boiler will be rated on a scale from A-G, with A being the most energy efficient.
All new boilers must be A-rated for energy efficiency, meaning they have an energy efficiency of 90% or more. But if your boiler’s very old, it may be much lower than this.
An old G-rated boiler has an efficiency of 70% or less. This means that for every £1 you spend on your heating bill you are wasting 30p on lost energy.
So, if your boiler is old and inefficient, you should definitely be considering a replacement! You might like our related blog: How to choose an energy efficient boiler.
3. Your boiler isn’t performing like it used to
Sometimes your boiler will carry on working, but only just!
If you’ve noticed that your boiler is struggling to perform like it used to; it could be time to consider a replacement.
You should ask yourself whether you’ve noticed any of the following:
Your radiators are taking ages to warm up
If you’ve noticed that your radiators are taking forever to get hot; or your home never feels warm enough; it could be a sign that your boiler is on its way out.
But sluggish radiators could also be caused by air or sludge in your heating system.
If air or sludge is present in your radiators; there will be less space for hot water to circulate; which can result in your radiators feeling cool, or having distinct cold spots.
So, you should eliminate these two possible problems first.
Start by bleeding your radiators, to release any trapped air. This is a straightforward task that you can do yourself with just your radiator key.
If this doesn’t improve things, you should ask a Gas Safe engineer about a power flush.
If the issue is with your boiler, you need to consider a replacement. Otherwise, you’ll have a boiler on at full blast, causing high heating bills, and only a cool home to show for it!
You keep running out of hot water
If you find that you’re regularly running out of hot water for your baths, showers, or other normal household activities, it could be a sign that your family has outgrown your boiler.
This is more likely if it’s been a very long time since your boiler was installed, or if you inherited the boiler when you bought the house.
Heat-only and system boilers are able to meet much higher demands for hot water because they store large quantities of hot water in a cylinder, and can supply multiple outlets at the same time.
Your heating engineer will be able to specify the correct size and type of boiler for your needs.
Your boiler has suddenly stopped producing hot water
If your boiler has suddenly stopped producing any hot water, or your water is always tepid, you could have a pressure fault or a problem with your heat exchanger.
Your heating engineer will establish the cause of your hot water problems and will be able to advise whether a fault can be repaired economically, or whether a replacement is on the cards.
4. Your boiler is frequently breaking down
If it seems like there’s always something wrong with your boiler, and you’re constantly paying out for repairs, it may be time to bite the bullet and get a replacement.
It can be a false economy to ‘mend and make do’, especially if finding replacement parts for your boiler is difficult and expensive because of its age.
The money you’re spending on repairs and emergency call-outs could be better put towards a reliable and efficient new boiler.
You’ll benefit from the peace of mind that comes with a substantial boiler warranty, and you might save some money on your energy bills too.
5. Your boiler or radiators are noisy
Does it sound like there’s aircraft taking off in your utility room?!
Does your boiler sound like a kettle?
Have you noticed banging, whistling, whooshing or gurgling noises coming from your heating system?
Some noises are an inevitable part of the heating process, but if you’ve noticed any unfamiliar, loud or strange noises, you should get them checked right away.
Strange noises are a warning sign that your boiler is out of kilter, and they shouldn’t be ignored. Failing to address the issue could pose a safety risk; a more expensive repair bill; or result in the need for a replacement that could have been avoided.
Your heating engineer will determine the cause of the strange noises and will advise you on whether repairs or replacements are needed in your situation.
6. Your boiler is leaking
Forgive us for pointing out the obvious, but puddles of water around your boiler are a bad sign!
And it’s also possible to have a leak that you can’t see. If you’ve noticed low water pressure or a slower than usual heating process, these might also indicate you have a leak somewhere in your system.
Unfortunately, a water leak is a clear indication that your boiler itself, or its pipes, are not working.
There are several possible causes of leaks, from high boiler pressure; corroded pipes; loose joints; problems with the pump or heat exchanger; to simple wear and tear over time.
But whatever the culprit, you should contact a Gas Safe heating engineer without delay. Ignoring a leak could lead to serious damage.
Some leaks, such as those caused by loose joints, may have a cheap and easy fix. But leaks caused by a heavily corroded heat exchanger, might spell the end of the road for your boiler.
7. Your energy bills are increasing without explanation
If you’ve noticed your energy bills or your energy meter are going up faster than normal – and this isn’t just because of the price cap going up in April 2022 – it could be that your boiler is inefficient.
As we mentioned earlier, if you have an old boiler which pre-dates the Boiler Plus Regulations, it will be inefficient, and will cost you more to run.
Modern boilers are A-rated and operate at more than 90% efficiency, whilst old G-rated models run at 70% or less.
Boilers also lose efficiency over time. So if your boiler started life at 70% efficiency, it’s probably pretty dire fifteen years down the line!
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that if you replace an old G-rated boiler with a modern A-rated boiler that has a full set of heating controls, you could save around £350 a year on your heating bill.
But with the price of gas now set to rise by 54%, the savings are likely to be even greater!
Should I repair or replace my boiler?
If your boiler isn’t old, and it only breaks down occasionally, or only needs minor repairs then you probably don’t need a replacement. But your heating engineer will be able to give you tailored advice after assessing your system.
How much will a new boiler cost?
The price of replacing a boiler costs less than you might think. It obviously depends on what you are changing from, and what you are changing to. But as a rough guide, at The Heating People a boiler replacement costs between £1800-£3000.
But don’t worry if you don’t know what type of boiler you need. The Heating People are experts at finding the right type and size of boiler for your home and lifestyle.
We can offer extended guarantees of up to 14 years on our boilers, for your peace of mind.
Contact one of our team today to book your free survey.
When your boiler reaches its golden years, or starts acting up, it can be hard to know whether you should keep repairing it or replace it with a new model.
So, we hope that this guide has been helpful in highlighting some of the signs that it might be time to invest in a new boiler for your home.
If you choose to replace your old boiler, you’ll potentially benefit from:
- increased home comfort;
- more control over your heating system;
- reduced energy bills;
- reduced carbon footprint;
- the peace of mind that a reliable new boiler brings; and
- a substantial warranty on your new boiler.
For tailored advice on the best heating solution for your home, contact one of our friendly team today.