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Boiler Replacement, is it for me?

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

boiler replacement
boiler replacement

Is boiler replacement for me? Keeping up with the soaring cost of energy is increasingly difficult for homes across the UK, especially if you have a gas boiler. While the upfront costs may put you off, upgrading your boiler to optimise your heating system is one clear way that you can minimise your monthly energy costs. According to the Energy Savings Trust, a new gas boiler can make you savings of up to £840 in a detached house, and up to £230 if you live in a flat, when upgrading from an inefficient, G rated boiler.

Finding the right new boiler is important to truly maximise your savings. This article is here to help you understand the kind of replacement boiler you will need, what’s involved in the process, and the costs you can expect along the way.

Why boiler replacement?

Ofgem's latest price cap increase in October 2022 means that the cost of energy has gone up by 80% since the last increase in April 2022 in the UK. This brings the average household’s energy spending up to a staggering £3,549 per year.

One of the most effective ways to combat these costs is by investing in an efficient heating system. By law, modern boilers come with minimum efficiency rates of 92%, thanks to condensing technology.

With condensing technology, heat that’s usually lost as waste gases from combustion can be recovered and converted into usable energy.

With 92% efficiency, only 8% of the fuel used is wasted, as opposed to losses of up to 30%, or more, if you’re relying on an inefficient boiler.

Below we’ve listed the main reasons for a new boiler replacement:

  • Reduce your energy bills by up to £840 per year*

  • Increase your homes value

  • Improve energy efficiency by up to 30%

  • Increase safety of your home

  • Reduce your carbon footprint

New boilers will also come with the newest, custom features, according to the manufacturer you go for. This will likely include advanced heating controls. This will allow extra control and comfort while also improving efficiency as you can manage your systems heating output more easily.

What’s more, a modern boiler will not produce as many harmful pollutants, such as nitrogen oxide (NOx), as older models. This reduces the environmental impact of our collective heating system, and increases the safety in your home.

When should you replace your boiler?

You should replace your boiler after 10-15 years. Typically, older, unreliable boilers could need nearly £900* extra per year to run and have a much higher risk of breaking down. This could lead to sudden repairs that you may not have anticipated.

Here are the key signs that you need a boiler replacement:

  • Increase in energy bills (without increase in boiler use)

If it seems your bills are on the up with no explanation, then it probably means that your boiler is outdated and is not running as efficiently as it could be so it might be reasonable to consider a boiler replacement. You can easily tell if your boiler needs an upgrade by checking its energy-efficiency label. If it is rated G then it's an older model (new boilers are rated between A-D). If you have had your boiler for around 10 years, it’s likely the efficiency has also dropped over time. A G-rating means that your boiler has an energy efficiency of 70% or less. Whereas, modern, A-rated models have up to 90% energy efficiency. A-rated boilers could save you up to £840* a year, compared to G-rated boilers.

  • Radiators take noticeably longer to heat up.

This could just be a blockage in your system, in which case you won't need a full replacement. However, outdated boilers will take longer to heat your home, so it’s best to have it checked to be sure! Any significant change in temperature from the usual room temperature is also an indication that something's up with your boiler.

  • Boiler or radiators are making unusual noises.

While you might be used to the occasional noise from your system, listen out for frequent humming, vibrating or banging. This is a sign of internal damage which could lead to leaking, or complete power outage. If your pipes are congested with 'sludge' then they will make a banging sound, in which case you may need a chemical flush.

  • Notice a smell coming from your boiler.

An eggy or sulphurous smell coming from your boiler means there may be a combustion problem and possibly a gas leak. If you smell gas, or suspect there is an emergency, call the gas emergency helpline on: 0800 111 999. Carbon monoxide is an odourless gas, which can escape from your boiler and can be life threatening. It’s important to have a detector fitted to sound an alarm if carbon monoxide escapes, however, you may be able to see signs of a leak if there are dark stains on your boiler, or if your pilot light has turned from blue to yellow.

  • Your boiler is leaking

Leaking is not always an immediate sign that your boiler needs a replacement, it could be that the internal valve or seal needs to be looked at. However, frequent problems with leaking are signs of an ageing boiler. The price of constant repairs, energy inefficiency, and the potential structural damage that leaking could cause to your home is reason enough to upgrade.

  • Replacement parts are harder to source.

If it's difficult to get your hands on the parts you need to repair your boiler, then this could mean the parts are outdated, and have run into obscurity. If this problem is frequent, now could be the time to replace your boiler.

Is it possible to fit a new boiler in an old system?

In short, yes. The easiest way to fit a new boiler system into an old system is by installing a new combi boiler. Combi boilers are contained in one unit, so they don't require a cold water feed tank or hot water storage cylinder. Whilst this makes them very quick and simple to install, you will also need to account for the time it takes to remove any older system parts or update old pipework.

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