If your radiators aren’t feeling hot enough, or if your boiler keeps turning on and off, you are probably wasting energy and not receiving the full heating benefit to your home. An inefficient boiler means money is being wasted, so you should speak to an engineer. Heating can be boiler related or to do with your radiators so it’s worth getting professional advice.
London experts LS1 Boiler Installation recommend you get a check at least once a year, to spot damage to parts before your boiler breaks down. At your annual service, your boiler engineer may suggest getting a new boiler, rather than fixing the existing one. This can be because the boiler is too old or the parts are very expensive.
Often repair will be possible, so how do you know if you really need a new boiler or if repair will do?
Replace your boiler if… it is no longer safe
In 2016, nearly a fifth of UK households (18%) faced at least one boiler breakdown. Boilers are expected to last up to fifteen years, so if your boiler is reaching its peak then now may be the right time to think about replacing it. If it still has some years to go, then it is best to check the boiler is functioning as it should, as regularly and as efficiently as possible.
When your boiler engineer carries out an annual service, they may find that your existing boiler is no longer safe to be operating. Often this is due to age, with parts that have or are about to break. Broken boilers can leak gas and cause other dangerous issues. When an old boiler breaks down, it may reveal more issues than just the cause of the original breakdown. In this instance, you will have get a new boiler immediately.
Watch out if the flame in your boiler burns yellow instead of blue
An extremely important and dangerous sign to look out for is the colour of the flame in your boiler. The flame has to be burning blue. If it is yellow, this is a sign of carbon monoxide, which is a dangerous gas known as the ‘silent killer’ because you cannot see it or smell it.
The only way to detect if your boiler is leaking this gas, and to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning is to have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted. If this keeps going off while your boiler is operating then then there is most certainly a problem, and your boiler could potentially be very dangerous to you and your family’s health.
Repair your boiler if….it starts to sounds like a boiling kettle
The sound of your kettle boiling as you wait for a good brew can be a comfort to us all, but what if the same sound is not coming from your kettle, but from your boiler?
A boiler operates by heating hot water via a heat exchanger. Kettling is commonly caused by hard water and the buildup of limescale or sludge that can restrict water flow. This can lead to overheating and boiler breakdown.
At the very least, hard water’s effect on your pipes can cause a rise in your energy bills. In extreme cases, kettling can cause water pipes to burst. it is therefore important to maintain your boiler and continue serving it to prevent this problem from building up in the first place.
Replacing pipes and fittings in a new boiler can help increase the life of your boiler before it needs replacing. If you are in a hard water area, you might want to seek out a local boiler engineer who can regularly service your boiler and keep on top of this issues. If your boiler is rattling around, don’t panic. Boilers have a number of safety controls that should automatically activate and turn it off should there be a hard water related issue.
If you do need to replace your boiler, or are moving into a hard water area, a combi boiler can combat water expanding 1600 times when transforming into steam, due to the pressure release valve. A traditional boiler uses the expansion cistern which is normally in the loft.
Repair your boiler if…it’s less than 5 years old
With regular checks you’ll be able to keep on top of any issues with your boiler. The cost of repairing your boiler varies depending on the extent of damage but also the boiler’s age. Many newer boilers are likely to be covered with a warranty, which can cover the costs of replacement parts, and in some cases, the cost of labour.
If you boiler is less than five years then you will likely be able to get replacement parts at reasonable prices. Bear this in mind when getting your new boiler serviced as “cowboy” boiler engineers may suggest you replace the whole boiler just to get more money from you.
Always be careful about replacing a new boiler, especially if it is less than half way through its estimated life cycle of around 10 years. Trusted boiler companies will be able to break down quote and be trustworthy, you can check this online at places like the Gas Safety Register.
Typically, you can replace most parts easily on newer models that are 5 years or less old. The older a boiler is the higher the cost of replacement parts.