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6 Aug 2023

Signs your boiler needs replacement

Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist

If you’re a homeowner, then you know that your boiler is one of the most important pieces of equipment in your home. Not only does it provide warmth and comfort during the winter months, but it also helps to keep your water heater running properly. Often, however, we don’t realise that we need a boiler replacement until it’s too late!

Concerned about your heating system? Here are five signs that it’s time to call in a professional for a boiler replacement.

1) Your boiler is more than 10 years old 

The average lifespan of a boiler is around 10 to 15 years. While yours may be able to survive for another couple of years, it can be more economical in the long run – and less hassle – to replace it sooner rather than later.

2) A bad smell

Have you noticed a funny smell coming from your boiler? This odour could indicate that the boiler is burning fuel inefficiently and, as a result, emitting harmful fumes. If you notice this happening, it’s important to have your boiler checked out by a professional immediately. 

It’s especially important to get an engineer out if you notice a sulphurous smell, which could be gas. If that’s the case, you’ll probably need a boiler replacement.

3) Your radiators take a long time to heat up

Sometimes, radiators take a little longer than usual to heat up – particularly if you haven’t used your central heating for a while over the summer. However, if they consistently take a long time, it could be a sign of a problem with the boiler.

For example, your boiler may not be big enough to heat all of the radiators in your home. This is especially common in older homes where the boiler may have been added as an afterthought. 

Another possibility is that the boiler is not burning fuel efficiently, resulting in a lot of heat being lost before it reaches the radiators. If this is the case, you may need to purchase a new boiler that is more efficient. 

Finally, there may be a build-up of scale or rust. In this case, it is best to consult with a professional to see if repair or replacement is the best option.

4) You’re seeing higher energy bills 

If you’ve noticed that your energy bills have risen a lot recently - in addition to the heating crisis - it might be time to think about replacing your boiler. As boilers get older, they can become less efficient and start to cost more to run. 

One way to check your boiler’s efficiency is to look at the energy label. If the boiler is rated low on the ErP (energy efficiency) scale, it’s likely that it’s not running as efficiently as it could be. Replacing an old boiler with a newer, more efficient model could help to lower your energy bills while still using your boiler to heat your home.

5) There’s visible corrosion or damage

Corrosion or damage on any part of the boiler can indicate that it’s reaching the end of its life and needs replacing.

6) Your boiler has low pressure

One way to tell if your boiler needs some attention is by checking the pressure gauge. If the needle falls into the red zone, this indicates that the boiler is losing pressure. There are a few possible reasons for this, but one is that there may be a leakage in the system. Another possibility is that air is escaping through a valve. In both cases, the problem can be fixed by adding a leak sealer to the heating system.

However, if the cause of pressure loss is something else, you need to get your boiler serviced immediately. This could also be a sign you need a new boiler. Don’t take any chances with your boiler. If in doubt, always call a qualified engineer to take a look.

Anna Dearden
Home Sector Specialist
Combining in-depth research with an interest in all things home improvement, I aim to keep SpotDif readers up to date with interior design trends, renewable energy options, and more.
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