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How long should a boiler last?

Your boiler is the heart of your home, keeping you and your family warm and safe - hopefully for a very long time. If you’ve just invested in a new boiler, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing it for many years. Most modern boilers last between 10 to 15 years on average. But unfortunately, boilers don’t last forever. If your boiler is in it’s golden years, it may be time to consider a replacement. In this guide we’re going to look at how much life you can expect to get out of your boiler, signs it might be time for a replacement, and how to extend the lifespan of your new one.

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Your boiler is the heart of your home, keeping you and your family warm and safe – hopefully for a very long time.

If you’ve just invested in a new boiler, you shouldn’t have to worry about replacing it for many years. Most modern boilers last between 10 to 15 years on average.

But unfortunately, boilers don’t last forever. If yours is in it’s golden years, it may be time to consider a replacement. You might like our related blog: 6 signs that you need a new boiler.

Older boilers, especially those installed more than 10 years ago, pre-date the Boiler Plus regulations and are far less efficient than modern ones.

Some old boilers were only 70% efficient when bought new. And energy efficiency can also deteriorate further with age.

Just imagine the sky-rocketing energy bills of a G-rated 70% efficient boiler fifteen years down the line!

And there are plenty of these old inefficient boilers still out there. The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council estimate that there are 4 million of what they describe as ‘Zombie boilers’ lurking around UK homes, getting in the way of our journey to decarbonisation.

So, if you suspect that your boiler is a zombie, or you want to know how to extend the lifespan of your new one – then this blog’s for you!

In this guide we’re going to look at how much life you can expect to get out of your boiler, signs it might be time for a replacement, and how to extend the lifespan of your new one.

What is the life expectancy of a boiler?

This is a very common question. But precisely how long you can expect your boiler to last for, will depend on several factors.

Boilers vary in their quality, and how you use and look after them will also make a difference.

But on average, modern boilers typically last between 10-15 years. After all, they’re complicated and hard-working appliances that are made up of numerous component parts that will eventually wear out.

All that heating and cooling, expanding and contracting would take its toll on anybody! 

How to extend your boiler’s lifespan

Since boilers are a substantial financial investment, you’ll want to look after yours, so that it stays in good condition for as long as possible. 

Follow our tips on how to do this:

1.    Extend your boiler’s lifespan by using expert engineers

The first crucial step to optimising your heating system and getting your boiler to last, is to always choose Gas Safe registered, expert engineers to install and service your boiler.

Remember that your boiler will only be as good as the engineer who installed it.

And unfortunately, not all installers are created equal!

There’s a vast skills and knowledge gap within the heating industry. The Heating Hub says that:

‘99% of installers do not understand how condensing gas boilers work and therefore cannot set them up to run as they were designed to.’

Clearly, there’s little point in spending lots of money on an all-singing-and-dancing new boiler, and then having it thrown on the wall by someone who doesn’t know (or care about) what he’s doing. You’ll just be wasting your money.

You need an expert to service your boiler too – the last thing you want is for shoddy workmanship to cause damage.

Rest assured that here at The Heating People, our engineers are Gas Safe registered and are proud to be Heat Geek Accredited, so that you know that we’re passionate about optimising your heating system.

2.    Extend your boiler’s lifespan by choosing a reliable and efficient model

An ATAG boiler with a 14 year guarantee badge.Although boilers might all look very similar, don’t be fooled – not all boilers are the same! Boilers vary greatly depending on the manufacturer, and the model you’re looking at.

As with all things, boilers vary in quality. Be cautious about opting for the cheapest model on the market, because if you buy cheap, you might end up buying twice!

Whilst the initial cost might be cheaper,  it may ultimately end up costing you more in the long run.

A low-quality boiler is likely to have a much shorter life span than a high quality one. This means you’ll have to replace it sooner, and you might be facing lots of repair costs, or paying excessive energy bills on your ‘bargain’.

Rather than shopping by price, you need to choose a boiler that’s reliable and efficient. And if you’ve chosen an expert engineer to do your installation, they’ll be able to give you advice on your best options.

The Heating People aren’t tied to any one manufacturer, we can work with all of them. But we have our favourites! We’re proud to be:

  • Worcester Bosch Accredited Installers
  • Vaillant Advance Installers
  • ATAG Selected partners
  • Viessmann Trained Installers

Each of these manufacturers offers outstanding performing boilers that stand the test of time.

3.    Extend your boiler’s lifespan by choosing the correct size

A calculator next to a thermal image.As well as being reliable and efficient, your boiler needs to be suitable for your needs if you want it to last.

If you’ve read our blog: What size boiler do I need? You’ll know that size matters here!

Whilst people often fall into the trap of oversizing their boilers ‘just in case’, bigger isn’t better when it comes to boilers.

An oversized boiler will lead to excessive energy bills, and is likely to suffer from a problem called ‘boiler cycling’. This will put stress on component parts, and will ultimately result in a shorter lifespan.

But undersizing is also a problem because if it isn’t powerful enough to meet your demands for heating and hot water, it will have to work harder. An undersized and overworked boiler is more likely to suffer breakdowns and will likely have a shorter lifespan.

So, just like Goldilocks, you need to find one that’s ‘just right’.

But don’t worry, The Heating people will calculate and recommend the perfect size for your needs after conducting a heat loss calculation for your home, during your free survey. 

4.    Extend your boiler’s lifespan by having it serviced every year

There are many reasons that you should have your boiler serviced every year, one of which is to help extend your boiler’s life.

During your annual service, an engineer will:

  • examine your boiler and ensure that it is still Gas Safe;
  • identify any minor faults that could develop into more serious and expensive ones;
  • clean and maintain the component parts to allow it to run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Remember that to keep your boiler’s guarantee, you’ll need to have your an annual service.

5.    Extend your boiler’s lifespan by addressing potential problems straight away

Prevention is better than cure, so if you notice any potential problems or issues with your heating system, you should deal with them straight away.

Ignoring warning signs is never a good idea. Delaying any required repairs or maintenance (such as a power flush) is likely to result in problems growing into more complicated and expensive ones.

So, if you notice any changes or strange noises, you should consult an engineer as soon as possible for help. 

Should I replace my old, working boiler?

If you’ve been looking after your ten-year-old boiler well, it might have a few more good years left in it.

But in some cases, it can be more economical to replace an aging and inefficient boiler, than to hang onto it.

Here are some of the signs that it might be time to replace your boiler:

  • You inherited the boiler when you purchased the house, and it isn’t meeting your needs;
  • Energy bills have crept up without explanation;
  • Your heating system isn’t working like it used to;
  • Your boiler is breaking down frequently;
  • You’ve spent lots of money on boiler repairs;
  • Your boiler is no longer within its guarantee;
  • It’s hard to find replacement parts for your boiler due to its age;
  • Your boiler is leaking;
  • Your boiler is making strange noises.

The Heating People will examine your old boiler during your free survey and will be able to advise you whether repair or replacement is the better option for you.

You might like our related blog: Your options with a boiler replacement.

What are the benefits of replacing my old boiler?

There are lots of benefits of replacing an old boiler with a new one, including:

Reduced energy bills

efficient boiler

As we mentioned earlier, modern condensing boilers are much more energy efficient than their old non-condensing counterparts.

All new boilers must be ErP A-rated for efficiency. All modern combi boilers must be at least  92% efficient.

This means that for every £1 you spend on heating, only 8% goes to waste. Since heating and hot water makes up around 55% of your energy bill, having an efficient boiler will help you to save money.

Reduced carbon footprint

As well as reducing the money you spend on your energy bills, a more efficient boiler will also reduce your carbon footprint because it has to burn less fuel to do its job.

Reducing our emissions is crucial if we’re to meet our national ambition of achieving net zero by 2050.

More comfortable home

If you’ve been putting up with an aging boiler that’s struggling to meet your needs, you’re bound to feel the benefits that a new, modern boiler can bring to your home. You’ll benefit from improved quality of heating and hot water and can stop squabbling with family members over whose used all the hot water!

Improved technology and control

A woman operating smart heating from her phone.If you’re replacing an old boiler with a much newer one, you’re likely to benefit from having much more control over your heating than you had in the past.

The technology offered by boilers has come a long way in recent years, with some boilers (such as the Worcester Bosch Greenstar 8000 Style) even offering nifty LCD colour touch screens!

Depending on what you have currently, you might find that you have more options with your heating controls too.

If you’ve not used them before, getting a new boiler is the perfect opportunity to add smart controls to your heating system so that you have much greater control over your heating, from wherever you are, at any time of day.

Availability of parts

If your old boiler has been discontinued, finding replacement parts in the event of a breakdown can be tricky, time-consuming, and expensive. With a new boiler, you’ll have the peace of mind that should anything go wrong, finding parts for a repair should be straightforward.

Peace of mind

If your old boiler has been stressing you out with constant faults and breakdowns, you’ll love the peace of mind a new boiler will bring. No more worrying about being left with no heating or hot water!

Manufacturer’s guarantee

A new boiler should work better for longer, and you might benefit from the reassurance of a manufacturer’s guarantee on your new model. This means that should anything go wrong; your repairs will be paid for.

All new boilers installed by The Heating People come with a guarantee of up to 14 years.

How much does a new boiler cost?

A shopping trolley with a boiler in it.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.

Contact The Heating People today to arrange your free quotation.

Final thoughts…

A good boiler that is well looked after should last you for around 10-15 years. But, if your boiler is more than ten years old, it’s a good idea to consider a replacement. This is because the older a boiler is, the more prone to breakdowns and the less efficient it is.

When choosing your new boiler, choose an expert installer that you can trust. The right installer will help you to find the correct boiler for your needs and will have the expertise to keep it ticking over for years to come.

To find out whether it’s time you replaced your old boiler, contact one of our friendly team to book your free survey.

You might like our related blog: 6 top tips for buying a new boiler.

Useful links:

Heating and Hot Water Industry Council – Zombie boilers