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when should you replace a boiler


It’s that old conundrum. You don’t have boiler cover, and your boiler has started slowing down, causing problems, or even costing you more money than usual. You don’t want to have to spend a lot of money on a boiler breakdown, but at the same time, you’d rather not have to keep going backwards and forwards on getting diagnoses and repairs. You just want a cost effective solution and for your boiler to be working; not costly repairs.

So – repair a boiler or replace a boiler? Whats best

There are a few questions and pointers you should keep in mind if your boiler is regularly breaking down before you make the right choice – and we’re going to explore them all right here.



Age and Stability

One of the key factors in deciding on a replacement boiler should always be its age and its ongoing performance.

How long does a boiler last?

If you’re still using the same boiler that’s been in place for more than 10 – 15 years, even if its been serviced regularly then there’s a good chance getting a new boiler replacement is going to benefit you in the long run.

How can I tell if my boiler needs replacing?

One of the most common boiler problems is a loss of pressure. If the boiler pressure drops too low, it can cause the boiler to make strange noises or even switch itself off.

Another common issue is leaking. A boiler that is leaking water is not only wasting energy, but it could also be damaging the boiler itself. If you notice any of these issues, it’s important to get in touch with a qualified boiler engineer who can help diagnose the problem.

Your boiler or radiators are making a lot of noise

Many homeowners are surprised to find that their boiler or radiators can be a source of unwanted noise.

While boiler noise is usually not indicative of a serious problem, it can be annoying for those trying to enjoy their home. Radiator noise, on the other hand, is often caused by loose pipes or valves and should be checked by a qualified heating engineer.

In some cases, it may be necessary to replace the boiler. Replacing an old boiler with a new, cost-effective model can help to reduce your energy bills and keep your home warm and comfortable all winter long.

  • Even if your boiler and central heating system is on the older side and still running as expected, it could still be potentially unsafe, so it is a very healthy idea to consider a new boiler replacement. That’s because, the older a boiler gets, the more hassle they can bring you if and when things do go wrong. Unfortunately, no boilers are ever built to last forever, even if you’re working with the fanciest, most efficient boiler system on the market.
  • If your boiler is of a fair age – say more than 10 years old – and you are having to arrange for an engineer to come and check the system more than once or twice per year, then chances are you are going to need a replacement.
  • If you have a newer boiler, and you only ever notice problems infrequently, then it’s probably worth considering a repair or fix first. Of course, even newer boilers may need replacing for a new model if problems come thick and fast, so you can’t always blame problems on age and senility!

Cost of Running

Yes – it may be that you can effectively get your boiler fixed up so that it runs as expected once again – but is that really your cheapest option considering the rise in energy bills? And the cost of repair bills. Should you repair a boiler instead of replacing your boiler could save money?

Consider how much running your central heating system is costing you each year. If not, look at your quarterly energy bills, or at least how much it costs to run your central heating during the colder seasons. If it’s costing you an absolute fortune on your gas bill to keep your radiators and hot water running, then it may just be worth swapping out your old boiler for a new A rated boiler.

This ties in with the age factor. If you are running an old boiler and it’s running up hefty energy bills, then it does make sense to consider getting a completely new boiler system put in place. Modern combi boiler installations are remarkably energy efficient. With lower maintenance and less frequent breakdowns. They are built to deliver greater savings to householders through a more efficient energy burn, and of course, there should be less need for you to have to keep calling out the engineers after you have had your new boiler installed.

Therefore, replacing your boiler may not be a case of ‘is it necessary’ from a functionality point of view. It might just be that it’s going to save you more money in the long run to pay out for the new system in the here and now.


Safety Options

In many cases, while it is perfectly possible to repair a boiler and for it to continue running as you demand it to, it might not always be the safest option. For example, there might be a quick fix that an engineer can put in place to keep it running for a few more months, but if there is a deeper, underlying issue at stake, you are going to need to think about whether or not a complete replacement is the better route.

  • Safety is absolutely key when you consider the repair or replacement scenario. A heating engineer worth their salt – who is Gas Safe registered and who has years of experience and expertise – will soon be able to tell you about boiler safety and if it’s safe to continue with your current boiler or not.
  • Tell tale signs for most boilers that are in dire need of replacing rather than repairing will be those that emit foul smells, stop heating, losing pressure, carbon monoxide leak, may be leaking water, or maybe making loud noises across the home. Of course, any smells coming from your boiler that are unusual may indicate there is a serious safety hazard.
  • Therefore, if you really are not sure if it is safe to continue with your existing boiler, or to just get it patched up, then it’s altogether better to go for a new boiler installation outright.


Boiler man preparing to repair a boiler

Repair a Boiler – Replacement Parts Are Difficult To Source

Often with older gas boilers parts can become obsolete or harder to find, this is due to the boiler manufacturers concentrating more on newer models with more options and better energy efficiency, and to reduce carbon emissions your engineer would attest to this when he comes out for your boiler service.


Central Heating System Doesn’t Meet Hot Water Demands

Your boiler controls the central heating system and is one of the hardest working appliances in the home. It’s responsible for heating up the water that gets piped to all your radiators and to fixtures and appliances throughout the house.

But when it doesn’t meet the demand for hot water, it can be a major inconvenience. A boiler that’s too small for the home will struggle to keep up with hot water demands. This can lead to long wait times for hot water at fixtures, a cold shower, and general discomfort.


Get 3 Local FREE Boiler Replacement Quotes

Current boiler doesn’t meet hot water demand

If your boiler isn’t meeting your hot water needs, it may be time to upgrade to a new system. A boiler that’s correctly sized for your home will provide enough hot water to meet your family’s needs without any difficulties.

In addition, new boilers are fitted with a smart thermostat that is be more energy efficient than your older boilers, leading to lower utility bills each month. When it’s time for a new boiler, make sure you choose one that will meet your home’s hot water demands.

Here is a rough guide to boiler sizes and how many radiators in the home.

  • 24-27 KWThis size of boiler would be adequate for most flats and apartments and small houses with up to 10 radiators.
  • 28-34 KWThis sized boiler would be suitable for larger 3-4 bedroomed houses with up to 15 radiators.
  • 35 KW and aboveThis is ideal for large houses with 20 plus radiators

Weighing Up The Costs Of Boiler Replacement

One of the biggest factors people may consider when they have a broken boiler is choosing between repairs and a new boiler is, of course, cost. It might seem cheaper to get your boiler repaired than to replace everything, but consider that repair costs can and will add up if there are constant problems.

What’s more, if you are running an older boiler and find that you need to keep fixing it up, the costs are likely to be even higher. Therefore, pound for pound, you are probably much better off just paying for the outright replacement of a new boiler.

Of course, costs will vary from engineer to engineer, and from boiler to boiler. That’s why it is so important to try and compare quotes on your heating system from at least three trusted sources in your local area.

The more problems your boiler experiences, the more it will cost you in the long run. So, make sure to grab some quotes for new boilers!


Get 3 Local FREE Boiler Replacement Quotes


relax new boiler

We’d never suggest you replace your boiler outright if there is a chance it can be safely repaired, and any trustworthy gas safe engineer will tell you the same. However, there are going to be some circumstances where it is more affordable to get a new boiler, and altogether safer, to replace outright.

When it’s Time To Replace a Boiler?

Hopefully after reading through our guide on the things to look out for you might be ready to replace your boiler please use our comprehensive comparison service.

Boiler Comparison Service

By using our boiler price comparison service, you can find out just how much local engineers are likely to charge for the problems, giving you a better idea of whether to repair a boiler or to replace your boiler and central heating systems. Get in touch today and let’s start saving you money, and giving you back that peace of mind.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon Associate links, through which I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products I genuinely believe in. Visit my Privacy Policy page for more information.