1. Your boiler is more than 10 years old
If your boiler is around the 10 year old mark, then it’s probably time to start preparing to replace it. Things will start going on it soon (If they haven’t already), and it’ll start costing you more and more in maintenance & repair costs, as well as running costs (gas bills).
The main problem is all the cheap plastic or aluminum parts inside modern boilers, they just aren’t built to last. They start to fail or breakdown after years of use. The extremely ‘hard water’ in London also doesn’t help matters. The limescale actually ‘cakes’ onto the inside of parts & pipes etc, and restricts water flow, or completely clogs pipes up. Eventually your boiler just can’t keep on going, and repairing it becomes a losing battle.
2. It’s taking longer and longer for your boiler to heat up
We all start slowing down later in life, and the same can be said for boilers. This is one of the most obvious signs that your boiler needs replacing, or at the very least repairing.
Modern boilers heat up almost instantly, and if your boiler isn’t heating up quickly, then it’s showing its age and a newer, more efficient model could be on the cards. As I mentioned above, it could be scaled up or full of black iron oxide, that builds up in heating systems over the years, and has similar devastating effects on boiler parts
If your boiler is taking longer to heat up it will also be working harder than it should be, putting it under even more stress. Which means it will be using more gas too.
3. The flame in your boiler is yellow, and not blue
A yellow flame indicates the gas in your boiler is not burning correctly, and your boiler could be producing carbon monoxide (CO). You want to see a nice, strong, blue flame inside your boiler, and not a loose, floppy, yellow flame, which is a sign something is wrong.
*I realise this may be difficult to see on some modern boilers, but this is something that a qualified heating engineer could quite easily check on an annual boiler service.
Carbon monoxide can cause harmful effects on health and, at low levels, can replicate flu symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and nausea. However, with greater exposure can cause breathing difficulties and in serious cases, fatal carbon monoxide poisoning.
Although there may be a number of subtle signs that your boiler is emitting carbon monoxide, the best way to ensure detection is to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. These are now widely available as people have become more aware of the dangers, and a reputable heating engineer (or even an electrician) will be able to fit one of these for you.
4. You’re starting to replace more and more parts on your boiler
Two Winters ago your boiler needed this. Last Winter it needed that. Now this Winter it’s starting to play up again… Maybe you’re having to reset it too often, or it’s losing pressure quite often too and you’re having to “top up the pressure” every second day (or more). Or it’s making some strange noises (which you ignore, hoping they will go away). Or maybe it’s coming up with intermittent faults. Basically just not working how it should be..
Before you get any more parts replaced on it, I would seriously think about replacing it, especially if it’s 10 years old or more. We’ve seen it so many times when customers were trying to save a bit of money (wrongly thinking that fixing it will be cheaper) but they ended up changing part after part on the boiler at no end in sight. Repairing boilers can turn into a money pit, and often, when they’re of an age, it’s better to bite the bullet and replace them.
5. You open your gas bill at the end of the month and nearly have a heart attack
Older, less efficient boilers can cost you a fortune compared to newer A-rated, more energy efficient, condensing boilers. A simple gas analysis test can confirm the efficiency level of your boiler in a matter of minutes. If your boiler’s net efficiency is say 80% that means that out of every £100 you spend on gas, £20 will be going straight out your flue (the boilers chimney).
Compared to the most efficient A-rated boilers which are 93% efficient, meaning for every £100 you spend on gas, only £7 will be lost out the flue. And that is about as efficient as you can at the moment, give or take a few percent.
Here’s why I’m telling you all this.
Right now is the period of the year when you (and thousands of others) are switching your heating back on. Which means there’s more chance your boiler will break if it is of a certain age. (And for all the other reasons listed above).
What you want to avoid is to end up with a broken boiler at the least appropriate time… like, Christmas Eve. Can you imagine the pain in the a*%e if you end up with no heating then?! (And before you say anything, let me tell you, this is a more common scenario than you’d think!)
Anyway. To avoid this happening, here’s what you should do:
Fill out this quick and simple “Boiler Self Assessment Survey”. It will tell us if you are in the “danger zone”, and if we see that you are, we will get back to you immediately with our recommendations (free of charge) on what to do next.
Click this link here, and have peace of mind: https://goo.gl/forms/ftCtAO30AhC9fcJd2