Nine signs your heating boiler needs replacing
Your boiler has a limited lifespan. But how do you know when to consider a boiler replacement?
Boiler Replacement 101
Like any appliance in your home, your boiler has a limited lifespan. But how do you know when to consider a boiler replacement? This article will provide you with nine signs to look for.
Your heating boiler may be the most under appreciated appliance in your home. Virtually ignored, it works tirelessly and without problems for years, keeping you warm and comfortable. However, as time passes it will become less efficient, less reliable and increasingly prone to major repairs. When this happens it might make good sense to consider a boiler replacement. Here are nine signs that will help you decide whether or not your boiler's days are over.
1. Your boiler is simply getting old
The average boiler should last approximately 15 years. Boilers made of cast iron can often last 20 to 30 years or more. While proper maintenance can often squeeze some additional years out of your boiler, it will be more likely to experience major mechanical issues or even a total system breakdown. Decreasing reliability and efficiency, combined with increasing service and maintenance costs are good reasons to consider modernizing your heating system. A new system will give you the peace-of-mind that you will not be left in the cold during the winter months. And the extra money you used to spend on higher fuel bills and repair costs stays in your pocket.
2. Your boiler requires increasingly frequent repairs or experiences regular breakdowns
Granted, a new heating system is not an insignificant investment. But there comes a time when mounting boiler repair bills for problems that go beyond just general maintenance, only to be left with the same old boiler, can no longer be justified. If your previous year's repair bills exceed 50% of the cost of a new system, you might want to seriously consider a boiler replacement.
3. Your boiler's replacement parts are becoming difficult to source
Once your boiler reaches the age when the necessary parts to service or repair the unit are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, it may be a good time to replace the unit. Not only are you paying a premium to the contractor for sourcing hard to get replacement parts in order to keep your existing boiler running, chances are you are also losing a significant amount of the energy you are paying for due to your boiler's decreasing efficiency. Most manufacturers will offer replacement parts support for their products for approximately 10 years.
4. Your fuel bills are increasing
A rise in your fuel bills may have two reasons: Either your energy supplier is raising the fuel price on you or your boiler's decreasing efficiency is costing you more money to heat your home. Older heating systems tend to have to work harder to provide the heat you need – leading to higher monthly heating bills. Upgrading your boiler to a modern energy efficient unit could save you upwards of 30% on your energy bills.
5. It takes a long time for your boiler to heat up
If it takes your boiler unusually long to heat up or for your home to feel warm and comfortable, it might be time to consider a boiller replacement.
6. Your house just doesn't feel warm
This is another obvious sign that your boiler's days may be numbered. However, we often put up with an underperforming heating system for far too long. If your boiler takes forever to spring into action and your house just never feels quite warm enough, it may be time to call your heating contractor to check out your heating system.
7. Your water isn't hot enough
If your domestic hot water is heated by your boiler and your water temparture never seems to get hot enough to have a comfortable bath or shower, it's time to call a heating specialist to investigate.
8. Your boiler is making unusual noises
You know the sound your car makes when it's running properly. So when suddenly you hear a lot of clanking, squealing or banging, you know there's something wrong and it's time for a visit to the mechanic. The same goes for your heating system. If you start hearing sounds that just don't seem normal, it's a good idea to call your heating contractor. If you find yourself repeatedly making this call, it might be a good time to think about boiler replacement.
9. There's a strange smell coming from your boiler
Although carbon monoxide is an odourless gas, if there's an issue with your boiler's combustion, there may be a faint smell mixed in with the carbon monoxide. If your carbon monoxide detecter goes off, or if you detect an odd smell coming from your boiler, you need to leave your house and call the fire department immediately. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that can be fatal. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, nausea, headaches, and fatigue. Call 911 if you or anyone in the house is exhibiting such symptoms. When it's safe, have a qualified heating contractor perform a thorough inspection of your boiler.