How Long Should a Boiler Last?

How Long Should a Boiler Last?

Curious about whether your boiler is living up to the industry standards? Check out this article to find out everything you need to know!

A boiler is the centrepiece of a house’s heating system, and that’s why it should be taken care of well and maintained in great shape.

A big part of that is understanding the tell-tale signs that it needs maintenance or replacement and knowing the average lifetime of a boiler.

If you don’t know that, keep on reading.

What’s the Lifetime Expectancy of a Boiler and How to Extend It?

Typically, boilers are expected to function between 10-15 years. However, for that to happen, you have to provide it with regular and proper maintenance.

Here’s what to do to keep your boiler in shape and extend its durability.

1. Buy a Robust System

When you’re shopping for a boiler, you should opt for one that keeps reliability and efficiency in mind as a unit that breaks down often or has a temperamental system could really become a headache.

Vaillant, Worcester and Glow Worm are three of the most popular manufacturers in the industry, so you can buy those with your mind at peace.

2. Make Sure the Boiler Matches Your Needs

Every boiler has a kW output, which should always be proportionate to the size of the house it’s being installed in.

A boiler that’s too small could cause plenty of breakdowns and reduce the system’s longevity as the pressure it puts on the system is more than it can handle.

On the other hand, one that’s too big would use up too much energy and make the amounts of bills skyrocket. If you’re not sure how to match the sizes, consult a heating specialist.

Recommended reading: What Size Boiler Do I Need?

3. Don’t Settle for Anything but a Gas-Safe Registered Engineer

Not only is it dangerous, but having someone that isn’t qualified enough to work with gas-powered appliances like boilers could really put you in legal trouble.

Also, having a competent engineer check on your boiler could prolong its life expectancy considerably.

4. Run an Annual Service

Just like any machine, a boiler needs regular maintenance to run securely and efficiently. But the good part is that its requirements aren’t too demanding as you can do it once every year.

Not only would that help keep your boiler in shape, but this way, you’ll realise any potential issues that you can quickly deal with instead of facing huge damage later on.

Tip: Before you install a new boiler, run a system power flush. These are chemical flushes that when combined with regular water quality checks, could maximise the durability of your system.

5. Don’t Wait on Spotted Issues

The longer you wait after spotting an issue to fix it, the worse and more expensive things will become. Your boiler’s performance might deteriorate beyond repair, and you’ll probably be stuck without heating and hot water at times.

6. Keep an Eye on the System

You should always be aware of your central heating system and take notes if you notice anything different.

Most of the time, you’ll be able to tell when the system is not working as well as it usually does or when something’s wrong with it.

Whenever you do, make sure to check with a gas safe registered heating engineer as soon as you can.

How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Replace a Boiler?

No matter how long your unit runs smoothly, it’s always better to get a replacement after the expected lifetime is over.

You don’t want to be stuck with an outdated unit that burdens you with a lack of technology and deterioration in efficiency.

However, there are times when you’ll need to replace your boiler even before its life expectancy is over, and here are the tell-tale signs:

  • It frequently breaks down and requires maintenance
  • Repairs are starting to be costly, even when they’re frequent
  • The boiler makes loud and unusual noises
  • You can spot leaks in the system
  • Heating and hot water aren’t generated consistently anymore
  • It takes the radiators too long to heat up
  • Energy bills have been increasing a lot
  • The boiler produces unusual smells
  • You can’t find replacement parts on the market or in shops
  • The boiler no longer meets your needs

How to Choose the Right Boiler

If you’ve decided to buy a new boiler, you might be wondering how to choose the most suitable replacement. There are three types you can choose between:

  • A Combi (Combination) Boiler: Combis are the most popular type of boilers around the UK. It’s a compact unit whose water supply is provided by the mains. It heats the water on demand, so it spares you the need for a water tank or a hot water cylinder. However, if you have a big house, or use a lot of water, you might want to consider other options.
  • A System Boiler: Like a combi, a system boiler also acquires its water supply from the mains. It sends the hot water it produces directly to the radiators but requires a separate hot water cylinder to store the heated water. Typically, these cylinders are kept in an airing cupboard.
  • A Traditional/Regular Boiler: Usually, these are found as part of relatively older central heating systems. These are where the cold water is taken from the mains to fill a big tank (typically located in the attic), which then sends the water to the boiler to be heated. After that, the heated water is fed to the radiators and an independent hot water cylinder to be distributed on the taps.

How to Pick the Right Size for Yourself?

Choosing the right boiler size is of utmost importance because if it’s too weak to heat your radiators, it’ll be overworked and become faulty, which reduces its lifespan.

Contrarily, one that’s too strong would probably waste too much energy. That’s why you should consult a gas-safe engineer to help you decide the right size.

How Long Should a Boiler Last? Final Thoughts

Though new boilers are produced every day, you can enjoy the operation of the one you get for a solid 10-year or even 15-year period as long you take good care of it and provide it with regular maintenance.