If your boiler suddenly stops working without warning, it can throw your household into panic. The boiler is the beating heart of the home and it’s usually only when it breaks that we realise just how much we rely on it each day. From heating up our homes and keeping them warm and dry in the winter months to providing us with hot water to shower and bathe in, our boilers work hard every single day to make sure we have the hot water we need.
When your boiler breaks down suddenly, not only is it inconvenient, but it can also be pretty costly to repair or replace too – especially if it’s come out of nowhere and you’re not expecting the expenses. Fortunately, there are some tell-tale signs to look out for that indicate your boiler is on its way out – sometimes, your boiler might even be telling you it needs replacing!
Below, we discuss how to tell when you need a gas boiler replacement and all of the signs to keep an eye out for, from strange noises to leaks and smells.
Your boiler is old
Just like anything, your boiler will need to be replaced at one point or another. Sadly, they don’t last forever – and even with the very best maintenance schedule in place, your boiler will still need replacing. As a general rule of thumb, if your boiler is more than 10 years old, it’s worth looking into getting a replacement. Old boilers are far less efficient than newer models, so upgrading your boiler can help lower the cost of your energy bills and save you money. Plus, modern boilers have smart control options and enhanced safety features too.
It frequently breaks down or needs repairing
If you find yourself having to call out a Gas Safe engineer more than once a year, you’re probably better off just purchasing a new boiler. If you’re constantly paying out on repairs, replacement parts and inspections, buying a new boiler that you can rely on will save you money in the long run. Plus, it will ensure you and your family are safe too – a boiler that constantly breaks down and needs repairing likely isn’t the safest in your home.
Don’t forget to make sure your boiler is serviced annually by a Gas Safe engineer. During a service, your engineer will thoroughly inspect your boiler, identify any potential problems and ensure it is running in top condition.
Your energy bills are getting higher and higher
Have you noticed your energy bills creeping up over the last few months? If you haven’t been using your heating or hot water any more than you usually do yet your bills seem to be getting higher each month, it could be your boiler. An increasingly inefficient boiler can easily (and quickly) rack up your energy bills and cost you far more than you can afford to spare. If your bills are high and your boiler simply isn’t working as efficiently as it should be, it may be time for a new one.
You can check your boiler’s efficiency by looking at the rating on its ErP energy label. An A-rated boiler is the most efficient, at 90%, while a G rating represents less than 70% efficiency. When shopping for your new boiler, look for an energy efficient model to help keep your bills low and do your bit for the environment.
Your boiler is making strange noises
It’s normal for your boiler and heating system to make some sort of noise when it runs. However, if you’ve noticed strange sounds coming from your boiler that aren’t usually present or the strange noises seem to be getting louder, this could be a cause for concern.
If you can hear banging, gurgling or kettling noises coming from your boiler, this requires your attention. Tapping sounds on your pipes and radiators could be an indication that there’s a build up of “sludge” in your system. Humming, vibrating or banging sounds can indicate a bigger fault in your system. Whistling, knocking, popping and hissing noises are signs of potential uneven distribution or air bubbles forming in the pipes.
There is a strange smell when your boiler is on
Carbon monoxide is odourless; however, gas companies add a scent to help you identify when there is a leak. If you can smell a sulphurous, eggy odour when your boiler is switched on, you could have a gas leak on your hands. This requires urgent attention and is very dangerous; you should turn your boiler off, open the windows and vacate your property immediately, before calling the Gas Emergency Services.
There are other carbon monoxide warning signs that you should look out for too:
- Your boiler is burning a yellow flame instead of a blue flame
- The pilot light frequently blows out
- There’s a dark soot staining on and around your boiler
- You’ve noticed increased condensation inside windows
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be fatal and therefore you need to evacuate your property and contact the Gas Emergency Services if you suspect a gas leak in your home.
Your boiler is leaking
All boiler leaks, no matter how big or small, should not be ignored. If you’ve noticed puddles forming around your boiler, you should get in touch with a Gas Safe engineer as soon as possible. Leaks are an indication that internal parts of your boiler, such as a valve or seal, may be faulty or have started to disintegrate.
Ignoring or leaving leaks could lead to an electrical short-circuit in your property and can even cause structural damage to your home. Before things escalate and get dangerous, it’s absolutely crucial you contact an engineer to inspect your boiler for you.
Your radiators take ages to heat up
When you turn your heating system on, you should expect your home to heat up as soon as possible. If you find your radiators stay tepid or take hours to get hot when you switch your boiler on, there could be a problem with your boiler. Similarly, if you have to run your taps for ages before any hot water comes out, you could have a boiler issue on your hands.
Modern boilers should reach their maximum temperature quickly and produce heat almost immediately. Lukewarm radiators and water could be a sign your central heating system is filled with sludge which causes blockages and cold spots on your radiators. If there’s dirty water circulating in your heating system, this could result in long-term boiler issues. It’s always best to get in touch with a professional Gas Safe engineer to inspect your boiler for you.
Do you need a high-quality boiler installation by a reliable boiler company?
T.B. Mackay Energy Services are Gas Safe Register approved contractors. We offer installation, repair and maintenance services to both domestic and commercial clients. If you’re looking to upgrade your heating system or install a new energy efficient boiler, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. Our team of experienced, skilled and qualified engineers can cater for all your gas heating, central heating and domestic plumbing needs.
We also offer annual boiler servicing to ensure your boiler remains in top condition all year round. For more information about our services, visit our website today.