A good boiler should not only heat your home efficiently but also do it for a long time. If you have just bought a new boiler, you likely do not have to worry about getting a replacement for a good many years. Most modern boilers last for anywhere between 10 to 15 years on average. However, if you have an older one approaching the end of its life, it may be time for you to consider a new one.
Older boilers, especially those installed more than 10 years ago, are far less efficient than modern ones. These boilers are from a different time when technology and climate concerns were different. They are also probably at the end of their useful life, so you should begin saving up for a new one. However, if you got your boiler installed even 5 years ago, it is likely to be much more efficient. You can keep it running efficiently and extend its lifetime
The Useful Life of a Boiler
As stated above, the average modern boiler can last up to 15 years at most. Obviously, this does not include minor breakdowns or malfunctions. A new boiler is a significant investment, and you want to stay assured you will not have to invest in another one for a long time.
More than half of new boilers installed in the United Kingdom are combi-boilers. These compact boilers serve as both a water heater as well as supplying water to your showers and taps. This combination of water heater and central heating boiler give combi boilers their name. Combi boilers are highly efficient, thanks to the high standards set by UK and EU laws. Modern combi boilers have an energy efficiency of at least 92%, as required by regulations. The cost of a new combi boiler can range anywhere between £600 to £1500, depending on what make and model you choose. This does not include installation costs, which are also significant.
When you spend hundreds or thousands of pounds on a new combi boiler, you expect it to last for a long time. The life of your combi-boiler depends on several different factors. You can take a number of steps to ensure your boiler lasts longer.
How to Extend the Life of Your Boiler?
Most manufacturers claim a useful life of 10 to 15 years on their boilers. This does not necessarily mean your boiler will always last that long. On the other hand, if it does, it may not continue to function as efficiently as it did when you first bought it. However, the following steps can help your boiler last longer and stay in good condition:
Choose a good quality combi boiler: When in the market for a new boiler, there are several manufacturers offering new boilers in a range of prices. However, not all boilers are created equal. You may feel tempted to go for the cheapest model on the market to save money. In the long term, this can be a poor choice. You could end up with a low-quality boiler not built to high standards. It may be less likely to last longer and could be more prone to breakdowns. Trying to save money in the short term could be a disaster.
Arrange for annual boiler service: It is generally a good practice to get your boiler serviced by a professional at least once a year. Many manufacturers cancel their warranty on your boiler if you do not get an annual service done every year. In addition to extending the warranty, an annual boiler service can help extend your boiler’s life. An annual service means a qualified professional will examine your boiler and identify any minor faults that could grow into expensive ones. It can help keep your boiler in good working condition as well.
Always use qualified professionals: We saw above that many manufacturer warranties become void without annual service. Warranties also become void when you use anyone other than a qualified professional. A professional is a right person for the right job, so do not go chasing after cheaper options. An engineer has the right technical skills to install, repair and service your boiler. You should only use Gas Safe registered engineers or manufacturer accredited installers. These professionals know how to handle the job thoroughly and effectively. That means you do not have to worry about shoddy workmanship damaging your boiler.
Keep an eye on your central heating: It is usually easy to detect problems with central heating, mainly because it stops heating as efficiently. You need to keep a close eye on your central heating system, making note of any unusual changes. This can help you identify any faults early on and make an appointment with an engineer before a potential breakdown. Central heating systems are not cheap or easy to repair. Prompt action can save you money while extending the life of your boiler.
Do not delay a repair job: Your boiler, like most inventions, can develop faults or break down from time to time. Delaying any needed repairs to your boiler or central heating system is never a good idea. Many issues can be time-sensitive. For instance, sludge build-up could increase in your system while you decide whether to call for repairs or not. You need to contact an expert as soon as possible so that small problems do not grow into bigger, more expensive ones.
Choose the right boiler size: Choosing the right size of combi boiler for your home is very important. A boiler that is not powerful enough to meet your heating needs will have to work harder. The harder you work a boiler, the more likely it is to break down. Overworking can affect not only your boiler’s performance but also its life. Always choose a boiler with enough power to meet the heating needs of your home.
Why Is Boiler Efficiency Important?
Your boiler is perhaps the most important household appliance you have. Especially in the cold winter months when surviving without heat can be difficult. On average, your boiler accounts for 60% of your energy bills over the course of a year. An efficiently working boiler can help keep your energy costs on the lower side. The more efficient a boiler is, the better it is at converting energy into heat. With lesser energy wasted, your boiler ensures most of your energy costs are efficiently utilized.
Boilers are a significant expenditure that can cost you thousands of pounds with installation and other expenses. When you invest that much money in something, you need it to be reliable, efficient and long-lasting. You need it to last for at least a decade before you think about investing in a new one. During your lifetime, you are likely to buy at most three to four boilers in total. You do not want to increase that number due to negligence, skimping or shoddy workmanship. A well-maintained boiler lasts longer, helps you save on energy costs and breaks down less frequently.
Should I Replace My Old, Working Boiler?
If you have been maintaining your ten-year-old boiler well, it may give you a few more years. However, in some cases, it can become more expensive to hang on to an aging boiler than to replace it. It would be wise to start saving up for a new one, even if your current boiler is working fine. It may seem like a hefty expenditure but is likely to save you more money in the long term.
There are a number of benefits of replacing your older boiler with a modern one, which includes:
More Energy Savings: Modern combi boilers have energy efficiencies going well above 90%. UK and EU regulations require combi boilers to have at least 92% efficiency. That means only 8p out of every £1 spent on heating goes to waste. Since boilers account for around 60% of your energy costs, even the least efficient combi boiler on the market will help you save.
Better Technology: If you compare a modern combi boiler with your old one, you should see several differences. Modern combi boilers tend to look sleeker and more compact than older ones. But there is much more to them than meets the eye. Modern combi boilers have more advanced technology used in designing them. This means they are more efficient and convenient to use than older models.
Parts Availability: If your boiler is approaching the end of its useful life, you may have trouble finding parts for it. Many boilers were long since discontinued, which means you cannot get new parts for them Locating parts for an old boiler can be very difficult and time-consuming. On the other hand, finding parts for a modern combi boiler is much easier.
The Costs of Replacing Your Old Boiler
Obviously, you need a good-quality boiler that should last you for a long time. However, it will not come cheap. An A-rated gas combi boiler usually costs around £1500. But the boiler’s price is just one part of the total cost of replacement.
The costs of installing your boiler are another significant expenditure to consider. A combi boiler installation in the same location as the old one can cost you around £500 at the very least. Installing it in a different location can cost you more than £1500.
A system flush may be necessary to ensure your new boiler works well with your central heating system. Depending on what engineer you use, this can easily cost you £300.
Magnetic filtering is essential to filter out metallic particles in your central heating system. These particles can build up and damage your boiler and central heating system over time. Magnetic filtering can cost you around £100.
You may also need to have a condensate pump or drain pipe installed with your new boiler. This can cost anywhere between £100 to around £250.
All of these items add up to your final cost. This only highlights how important it is to make the right decision the first time around. It also tells you how important it is to properly maintain your boiler and extend its lifetime. Otherwise, you will be looking at a substantial expenditure much sooner than you want.
What New Boiler Should You Choose?
Choosing a replacement boiler is not going to be an easy task. Like most appliances, there are several boiler manufacturers. They offer boilers in different price ranges and sizes. Boilers also have varying efficiency ratings and reliability histories. You need to sort through all of this before you can choose your new boiler. In short, you need to with a brand and model that:
- Is within your budget.
- It is powerful enough for your home.
- Is energy-efficient.
- Is reliable.
However, this may not always narrow down your choices. After all, modern combi boilers are built to high standards. In such cases, a good way to decide is to look at the warranty with the boiler. The next section discusses the boiler warranty.
Why Is Manufacturer Warranty Important?
You can identify a good boiler based on the warranty the manufacturer offers with it. The most basic warranties cover parts and labour for a year after your boiler has been installed. However, many manufacturers offer warranties lasting as long as 10 years. A warranty that lasts that long indicates how long the manufacturer expects its boiler to last. You need to be careful about a few things to keep your warranty intact. Most manufacturers require that you get an annual boiler service regularly for the warranty to remain valid. If you try to do it yourself or use an engineer, not on the Gas Safe register, the warranty becomes void. Manufacturers also offer ways to extend your warranty. For example, an installation by one of the manufacturer’s accredited installers can help extend the warranty period. Even if you don’t use an accredited installer, you will still need a Gas Safe engineer for installation to keep your warranty valid.
A good boiler should last you for at least 10 years. Since it is a significant expenditure, it is important to keep it well-maintained. However, if your boiler is more than a decade old, you need to consider a replacement, even if it is working fine. The older a boiler is, the more prone to breakdowns and the less efficient it is. Make sure you choose the right boiler to replace your old one and be sure to get one with an extended warranty. Always use a Gas Safe registered engineer for any repair or maintenance on your gas combi boiler or central heating system.