As many people find out the hard way, boilers can break down completely with no warning at all. Often, however, your boiler will be struggling for a while before it gives up completely and if you can recognise the signs you can take matters into your own hands. Taking action sooner rather than later is usually better when it’s time to replace your boiler so you can avoid being left without heating or hot water or, worse, your boiler becomes a danger to your home and family.
Here are 10 of the biggest signs to look out for if you think it might be time for a new boiler.
- The boiler is over 8 years old
- It is less than A-rated for efficiency
- It breaks down regularly
- Your heating bills are getting more expensive
- Your heating system is noisy
- The boiler’s flame is yellow
- You can smell gas or another unusual smell
- Boiler parts are hard to find
- The boiler is leaking water
- It’s not heating your home well enough
If your boiler was installed over 8 years ago then it’s likely that it will no longer be performing at its best and that things will only continue to get worse. Even if the boiler doesn’t seem to have any major problems, upgrading to a modern boiler with better efficiency, more safety features and sophisticated controls will improve your comfort and could lower your heating bills.
By law, any new boiler installed in a UK home needs to be at least 92% efficient which means that for every £1 you spend on heating, only 8p is wasted. Compare this to a G-rated boiler with efficiencies of 70% or less and it’s easy to see why replacing a boiler can save you up to £315* on your heating bills each year (according to the Energy Saving Trust).
If your boiler is breaking down regularly, you’re always having to adjust the pressure or your heating is not working as well as it used to, things will only get worse if you don’t take action. Spending money on repairs and replacement parts which fix things for the short-term is a very costly strategy. While buying replacement boiler will seem like the bigger expense initially, in the long run it often works out more cost-effective. In addition, a new reliable boiler will get rid of the ongoing stress or worry of a boiler that could pack up at any moment.
When heating bills are on the rise, it may be down to increased prices from your supplier, but if nothing has changed there and you’ve noticed your bills are creeping up, your boiler could be the problem. As boilers age they become less efficient at converting fuel into energy and more is wasted. You may also want to consider getting smart thermostat controls which will give you greater control of your heating and energy use.
We often learn to ignore them, but noises from your boiler and/or radiators are not good. Whether you can hear banging, kettling or gurgling noises, they mean that something needs attention and the longer you leave them the worse the damage will be.
A gas boiler should always burn with a bright and strong blue flame. If the flame is yellow or orange this could mean that the boiler is not burning fuel completely and is releasing carbon monoxide into your home. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous, odourless and colourless gas that can be fatal if exposure levels are high enough. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, nausea, headaches and fatigue.
Carbon monoxide is odourless, but the gas itself has been given an ‘eggy’ smell to help you identify when there is a leak. If you smell gas, open the windows, get everyone out of the property and call the Gas Emergency Services on 0800 111 999. Unusual smells might also point to other faults in the boiler such as a metallic, electrical burning smell or even a smell like burning fabric.
If you suspect that there is a gas leak and/or carbon monoxide in your home, call the free Gas Emergency Services emergency line immediately on 0800 111 999.
When a heating engineer tells you that parts for your boiler are hard to come by or no longer in production, it’s only a matter of time before your boiler can no longer be fixed if/when it breaks down.
Water leaking from your boiler is not only a sign that something is damaged, but could also be a safety risk if the water comes into contact with electricals or other components in the boiler. This is not the mention the damage the water could do to your home. You should call an engineer as soon as possible.
Too often we will put up with a heating system that isn’t actually doing its job simply to avoid having to pay out for a repair or replacement. If your heating takes a long time to warm up, is always too cold or you never have enough hot water, it makes much more sense to get a new boiler.
If you think your boiler is on its last legs and you’d like to get ahead of the problem, the first step is to get in touch with a local boiler engineer. They will be able to assess the entire heating system and advise you whether it would be better to repair or replace your boiler. Head over to Boiler Guide to get free no-obligation quotes from engineers in your local area today.
Alternatively, if you know you need a new boiler and would like to find out if you’re eligible for a free boiler grant, enter your postcode below to get started.