5 Signs that it’s time to get a new boiler
It’s natural enough that so long as the boiler keeps working then we’re happy. And if you get your boiler serviced every year, that should help to keep everything on an even keel.
But deterioration can take place little by little over time, and there comes a point where there are good reasons to ask yourself whether it’s time to get a new boiler.
Here are some warning signs you should look out for.
1. Radiators take longer to heat up
Your boiler should reach maximum temperature quickly once it’s switched on. If your radiators are being sluggish in responding, it may be a sign that your boiler is becoming less efficient as it ages.
That said, there are other- less dramatic – factors that can lead to the same issue. For instance, your radiators may have a build-up of sludge, which will inhibit the flow of water around the system and can put pressure on the boiler. So you may want to get a heating engineer to flush your system first of all to see if that cures the problem.
2. Energy consumption is going up for no obvious reasons
It’s important to focus on the energy consumption, not just the size of the energy bills. Your energy bills may be going up because your energy provider has put prices up. If that’s the case, you may be able to address that by changing provider or tariff. But if energy consumption is going up and nothing has really changed to justify it, then it may be another indicator that your system is losing efficiency as it ages.
3. The boiler is over 10 years old
Even if your boiler has been pretty much fault-free for the whole of its lifetime, once it goes past a certain age you have reached the stage where things will start to go wrong more frequently.
Just as importantly, you will be well behind the curve when it comes to the technology. Modern boilers have seen significant advances when it comes to fuel efficiency, with the best boilers getting energy ratings of well above 90%.
If you look at the energy rating for your boiler and see that it has less than an ‘A’ rating, the difference could be even greater.
4. The boiler is regularly breaking down
Any boiler can go wrong occasionally without any need to press the panic button. But if it’s happening increasingly often that you need to call the engineer out because of a problem, or you have to keep topping up the pressure, then you have probably reached the position where things are unlikely to improve.
The money you’re spending in call-out charges and replacement parts could probably be better spent on a new boiler that will give you reliable fault-free service.
5. Certain serious boiler faults are evident
Most faults just need an engineer to come out to carry out repairs and then all will be good again. But certain faults are more serious than others.
Chief amongst these is if your boiler is giving off a bad smell. Gas companies add an unpleasant sulphurous odour to gas so that leaks can be detected. A leak could see the emission of carbon monoxide, which is potentially lethal to your and your family. If the boiler smells bad, and also if it is burning with a yellow flame rather than a blue one, then there could be a serious problem. In that case, evacuate the house and call the emergency gas line on 0800 111999.
It may be that there is no smell, but the boiler is making noises. Banging and clunking are not things you should be hearing from a healthy boiler. It may be a minor problem that can be fixed, or it may be a bigger mechanical problem. If you hear weird noises, shut down the boiler to prevent any further damage and call a heating engineer to see what the problem is.
When the time comes when you need to consider a new boiler, talk to your local heating engineers. They will be able to assess your system needs based on the size of your property and your current situation, and give you advice to get the best fit.