Your boiler is one of, if not the most important component of your home. That’s why it pays to keep it in top condition, to ensure your heating and hot water continue to work without issue.
However, even with routine checks and maintenance, a boiler doesn’t last forever – with the average lifespan in the UK ranging between 10-15 years. While a broken boiler is a sure sign yours may need replacing, there are a number of signs to look out for that can let you know much earlier that your boiler may be on it’s way out. Here’s our list of the five most common:
It’s not working like it used to
The first, and perhaps most obvious sign that your boiler may need replacing is if you feel it simply isn’t working as efficiently as it first did. Does it take much longer for your hot water to heat up before you can take a shower? Or perhaps you’ve noticed your radiators just aren’t heating your home as well, even when turned up to max?
If so, these are common signs that your boiler just isn’t working like it used to. While this can just be down to general wear and tear, there could also be bigger issues at hand. A routine gas boiler service plan can help identify these issues early on, reducing the risk of needing to completely replace your boiler.
Your boiler is making more noise
You may not notice it throughout your day to day, but if you pay close attention, you’ll notice your boiler isn’t completely silent. A few whirring sounds when in use are perfectly normal, but if you notice your boiler is making more noise than it normally does, this could be a sign your gas boiler needs replacing.
Listen out for tapping sounds – if it sounds like someone is tapping on your boiler’s pipes, this could be a sign of sludge buildup, a common issue.
Sludge forms when there is a buildup of both dirt and rust, which can prevent hot water working through your boiler system. If the buildup isn’t too bad, you may be able to get rid of it with a powerflush, but in some cases, particularly for older boilers, a replacement may be needed.
Other sounds to listen out for are excessive banging or vibrating. These can be signs of a bigger issue at hand, that may require the help of a local gas boiler engineer.
Your bills are higher than normal
Keeping a close eye on your heating bills every month is another great way to see if your boiler isn’t performing as well as it should. Naturally, there will be times when your bills may fluctuate, such as during the winter months, but if your bills seem higher and you haven’t been using your boiler anymore than your normally would, it’s a sure sign it isn’t operating as well as it used to.
All boilers are given a boiler efficiency rating between A and G when first installed – if you’re unsure what your boiler is, they can usually be found on a sticker on the boiler itself. Over time, though, your boiler’s rating may decrease through general wear and tear. A less efficient boiler means higher costs to run, which may explain why your central heating bills are higher than normal.
If you’re unsure whether your boiler is working at a lower efficiency rating, a gas boiler service will be able to help identify this, as well as any other issues your boiler may have.
There’s signs of a leak
While less common than some of the other signs mentioned in this list, leaks shouldn’t be overlooked. If not addressed quickly, they can prove very dangerous and cause damage to your home.
As your boiler works with both water and gas, there is the potential risk of either a water or gas leak. Water leaks are a sure sign that a valve or seal has broken somewhere. If left unattended, the leaking water can cause structural damage to your home, not to mention the risk of your boiler short circuiting.
With gas leaks, the most obvious sign is an odd smell. Gas used in a boiler tends to have a rather distinct, almost eggy-like smell, so if you can smell this, turn your boiler off immediately and contact a gas boiler engineer. While boiler repairs are possible for both water and gas leaks, they are harder to fix. Depending on the size of the leak and the damage, you may require a replacement boiler.
Your boiler frequently breaks down
Finally, if your boiler tends to break down often, it may be a sign that your home is simply due a new one. Boilers can last a long time with the proper care and routine maintenance checks, but there will come a point where the costs of seeking out repairs on a regular basis become counter-intuitive over simply opting to get a new boiler altogether.