How Long Does A Gas Boiler Last?
The life expectancy of a boiler depends on the type of boiler you have. On average, a conventional gas boiler can last for 10 to 15 years given that it is well maintained and serviced annually. If you have a superior quality boiler and it’s well maintained, you can expect it to last for 20 years and more.
Boilers differ in terms of quality and longevity. Therefore, if you have saved money by choosing a cheap boiler model, it will eventually wear out soon; maybe even sooner than 10 years. However, if you have a modern boiler, you will have peace of mind since your boiler can last for up to 15 years.
Factors That Reduce Life Expectancy of a Boiler
There is no definite answer to how long a boiler will last. However, there are certain factors that reduce their life expectancy like:
Oversizing: Every boiler has a different kW rating. It plays a part in reducing the life expectancy of a boiler. If the boiler is very big, that is a major problem. Oversized boilers tend to overheat because the boiler has to shut down and start again and again. This puts extra pressure on the components of the boiler causing them to wear out soon.
Condition of the heating system: The performance of a boiler depends on the condition of the heating system too. If you have a modern heating system, you don’t have to worry much. The new controls reduce the workload on the boiler. This ensures the boiler runs at a temperature that matches the heat requirement of the building.
The heat requirements change from time to time. If the temperature outside is warm, the boiler does not have to work much. The boiler hence does not have to stop and start frequently. This means your boiler will work longer.
On the contrary, if your heating system is old, the boiler consumption will increase and it may put a strain on its components. Therefore, its life expectancy will reduce.
Quality of water: You might know this already – the central heating system can perform better if it has cleaned in it. The same goes for a boiler. If the water has dirt or debris, it will get caught in the vital components of the boiler leading to a breakdown earlier than expected. If the water in your local area contains minerals, chemicals, and debris, your boiler might break down sooner.
No annual maintenance: Annual boiler service is highly recommended. Over time, the original settings of the boiler change. Components lose their pressure. Annual service brings everything back to how it was when the boiler was initially installed.
When the boiler components wear out or their setting is altered, the boiler becomes faulty. Annual maintenance is a sensible way of increasing the life expectancy of a boiler. If you are not getting your boiler serviced once a year, you are reducing its life.
How to Make Your Boiler Last Longer?
There are ways you can extend the continuous and effective working of a boiler. You can make it last for 15 years and more with these tips:
Choose a modern boiler: The first thing that will help you ensure the boiler works for a valuable length of time is choosing a modern boiler. Pick a boiler from a leading brand. Don’t forget to ensure it meets your needs effectively.
Monitor the central heating system: Keeping an eye on your heating system can help you identify the faults early on. You always get to sense when the central heating is not working the way it should.
Arrange annual service: Annual services can prolong the life of your boiler. When an engineer comes and inspects your boiler, it provides an opportunity to identify faults and issues beforehand.
Choose the right size: An overworking boiler can only last for a few years. Its components overwork and thus, the boiler heats up often. This could reduce your boiler’s efficiency as well as life expectancy. To prevent this, install a boiler that meets the heating and hot water needs of your household. Choose the right boiler size.
Always call a qualified engineer: Whether it is installation, repair or maintenance, call the right person for the job, and not the cheapest. When you call a qualified engineer, this gives you peace of mind. He will do the job professionally and thoroughly. Gas safe registered engineers always work to a high standard.
Make timely arrangements for repairs: It is never a good idea to put off repairs to your central heating. Issues like build-up sludge can become worse over time. Therefore, it is best to organize the repairs as soon as possible. Otherwise, the sludge can damage the parts of your boiler making it wear out soon.
Use magnetic filters: You must have thought about this – how to prevent sludge from building up in the heating system. The answer to that is using a magnetic filter. These filters filter out the metallic debris and prevent it from settling in the radiators or pipework. No sludge means your boiler will perform well longer.
Use power flush: Sludge, dirt, and rust can cover the parts of the central heating system as well. These build up particles reduce the efficiency of the heating system. If you don’t do anything about that, then ultimately this would cause significant damage. With a service called power flush, you can get rid of such debris and ensure the parts of the heating system are functioning properly.
Signs That Your Boiler Is Ageing
Here are some telltale signs that indicate your boiler is aging and it’s time to get a replacement:
Rising energy bills: Check your energy bill to see if they have suddenly increased over the months. It could be because of your boiler. If your boiler needs constant servicing, this is also an indication that it has become less efficient. It is time that you upgrade to save money on the repairs as well as the energy bill.
Frequent failures: If the boiler is breaking down frequently, this is a clear sign that your unit needs replacement.
Discoloration: Are there any yellow flames on the gas burner? If so, that means the fuel is not burning properly. Your boiler is leaking carbon monoxide. This is not safe for anyone in the house. If you see discoloration even after getting an engineer to inspect the boiler, it is time to get it replaced.
Age: The age of the boiler is a sign itself. With proper maintenance, gas boilers are expected to last at least 15 years. Even if they are maintained regularly, the efficiency of an older boiler is lower than the modern condensing gas boilers. The energy savings from a new boiler can pay for its cost within a year or so.
Leaks: A boiler that needs additional make-up water is usually near the end of its lifecycle. You need to replace the existing unit or the leaks could cause damage to your property.
Quality: If it is a substandard boiler, it is time to upgrade. Get a boiler from an innovative brand to save energy and enjoy using the latest technology.
Faulty controls: If the temperature in the house varies throughout the day, there is a possibility that the controls of the unit are not as effective. Either you need to get the controls fixed or you replace your boiler with a new one.
Fuel efficiency: Gas boilers become inefficient when they have to burn an extra amount of gas. There is another problem with the older model of boilers. They produce carbon dioxide in large quantities when they have to do extra work. Modern boilers, on the other hand, don’t have to work that hard.
Noisy boiler: There will be days when your older boiler will work perfectly. Other days, you can’t figure out what’s wrong with the boiler. Users with old boilers often complain about loud noise. This noise is usually produced by the corrosion of parts inside. For instance, if the parts of the radiator were causing corrosion and you remove them but the noise returns, it is an indication that you need to replace the boiler altogether.
Should You Replace an Old Boiler if it’s Still Working?
You may be tempted to replace your boiler if it’s over 10 years old but still working. Getting a new boiler is a big investment so do not decide without careful consideration. With an older boiler comes greater risk. You will need regular repairs if you want to keep it from breaking down. But sometimes, getting a new boiler is still the right decision to make even if your old boiler is in good shape.
Reduction in energy bills: As a boiler age, it becomes less efficient at heating the home. It also consumes more energy to produce hot water. In such a situation, replacing an older boiler with a modern one can reduce the energy bills. When getting a new boiler will reduce your bill, it’s worth it to replace it.
According to This is Money, a modern condensing boiler has 90 percent efficiency. If you have an average semi-detached house, this means you could save up to £150 annually.
Home Remodeling: If you are remodeling your home and adding new bedrooms and bathrooms, your old boiler might no longer be adequate to heat the home and provide sufficient hot water in every bathroom. Don’t make your boiler overwork. If you do so, this will only cause frequent breakdowns and costly repairs. It is better to get a new boiler in such a situation.
Discontinued parts: Your boiler could be in good working condition but if its parts have been discontinued, it’s not recommended to keep it for long. When the parts need replacement, you will be out of options. It would be best to replace an oil boiler.
Latest technology: Modern boilers are visually attractive and compact. There is always an upgrade in technology. The modern boilers have their thermostats connected to the internet. You can control the heating of your house through an app. Such boilers are capable of automatically adjusting the heating according to the temperature. It’s always convenient to have boilers that feature the latest technology.
How Often Does A Boiler Need Servicing for Greater Life Expectancy?
Regular boiler service can go a long way in keeping the boiler working effectively all year round. Ideally, it is recommended to have your boiler serviced once a year.
Servicing doesn’t just ensure the boiler is working at its peak efficiency, but also that it’s working safely. With regular boiler service, the warranty of the boiler also stays valid.
When you call an engineer for the annual service, they will remove the casing of the boiler and examine its components. A thorough boiler service inspects the following:
- Gas pressure and flow
- Water and gas pipework
- Proper functioning of fans and other components
- Electrical connections
- Blockage in the pipes and condensate trap
- Flue and combustion to make sure the boiler is burning the right quantity of gas and air
The engineer will make sure all of the above items are well maintained and running smoothly. If there is some fault in the boiler, he will identify and fix them well in time.
The Bottom Line
A gas boiler is a big investment. You will be surprised to know how much you rely on it for your heating needs and supply of warm water. You would never fill your car with dirty oil and you would always make sure you change the tyre on time. Have the same outlook on your boiler.
A boiler can last up to 15 years or more if you maintain it and have it checked by a gas safe engineer on an annual basis. This will prevent sudden breakdowns and improve the life expectancy of the unit.