With the indian summer spoiling us this autumn, many people are reluctant to let wintry thoughts inside their minds, however this might be the best time to think about replacing your boiler to ensure a worry-free onset of colder weather. We don’t usually notice our boiler as it sits hidden away in a cupboard. Except for when it breaks down. It’s a difficult call to make – whether to replace your old boiler this season or live with your fingers crossed praying your boiler will last until the next season, and wondering how long does a boiler last.
Many boilers, especially if they’re made by a well-known manufacturer like Worcester-Bosch or Vaillant, will last longer than their manufacturer warranty period. With the less-known brands, it’s often touch and go as they tend to magically expire once their warranty period has expired. I’m sure we can attribute this to the so-called Sod’s Law. To give you a checklist of tell-tale signs it might be time to say goodbye to your old gas-guzzling boiler.
Look at the last few repair bills. Once they start running into the hundreds, start considering combi boiler replacement. Parts and labour are rather expensive when it comes to heating. It’s ok to have a few parts replaced, however if it begins to form a trend, there’s a limit to what you want to spend on repairs because the cost tends to go up with each new repair bill.
So, how long does a boiler last? Medium quality boiler manufacturers give 5 – 7 years warranty on their products. Makers like Worcester-Bosch or Vaillant may offer up to 10 years. It’s unlikely for any boiler to last longer than 12 – 15 years. Most parts are subject to high temperatures and extreme working conditions.
If your family has grown since you last installed a new boiler, or if you’ve added a new shower or a new tap and it looks like the old boiler is no longer coping with the load, it might be a good time to shop around for a new one. With parts affected by wear and tear, your heating system may take longer to heat up. If you regularly have to wait for hot water or for your radiators to heat up, it means the old appliance is no longer coping.
All modern boilers come with an A energy rating meaning that their efficiency is around (or slightly over) 90%. This is pretty cool as they only waste 10% of the energy going into them. At the same time, there are still millions of low-efficiency boilers in active use in the UK. Their efficiency may hover around 70% or even lower.
This is adding unnecessary cost to your energy bills and is also quite bad for the environment. Replacing your boiler with an A-rated appliance can save you a significant amount on energy bills, however, the buy-back time on boilers is quite long. If we assume you manage to save around £200 per year, it will take more than 10 years to recoup the cost of a new boiler. So, unless you’re a Greenpeace Warrior and want to make a tangible difference to the environment you’re unlikely to be persuaded to buy a new boiler just based on the saving you might make.
Nevertheless, this is a very convenient additional excuse for wanting a combi boiler replacement, and if any other signs from this list match your situation, you know that it’s time to go for it.
A regular humming noise is ok and boiler noise is not something you usually pay attention to, until something goes wrong and you start thinking about how long a boiler should last. Louder than usual buzzing or screeching noise is a telltale sign that it’s time to replace your combi boiler.
The most usual faults related to strange sounds are broken fans or water pumps. Neither of these parts are cheap to replace, especially if you have an old model. And as they say, it never rains but it pours. Once the fan is gone, it’s almost certain another expensive part will fail within the next few months.
Despite your old boiler broken down, there is still some value associated with it. There are some parts that can be reused or recycled for money. That’s why most boiler installers are keen on taking your old boiler. However, you want to make the most of your combi boiler replacement. That’s why you should go with a company that offers you a trade-in deal. On average, you can expect to get between £200 and £400 discount depending how old your boiler is.
During the years, a lot of gunk and tiny metallic particles have accumulated in your house’s pipework. Some boiler installation companies manage to offer a lower price tag by cutting the corners a little bit.
You want to find an installer that offers power flush – a full system clean with a magnetic filter installed. What’s the point upgrading the boiler if you’re going to run the gunk through it constantly affecting its efficiency and longevity.
Even though sustainable technology finds it hard to catch on, there will be more and more solar panels installed on residential homes in the next couple of years. If you end up jumping on the green living bandwagon in the future you will be happy to have chosen a boiler replacement that is compatible with solar panels. Not all boilers are. Check with your installer before you choose.