Boiler Maintenance tool box

Five signs it’s time for a new boiler

A good quality new boiler can last you many years, keeping you comfortable all through the year, and providing that all-important hot water right on tap (pun intended!).

But, sadly even the best ones do not last forever, and a time will come when your boiler has to be replaced.

If you’ve had your current boiler for a while now, it may be time you looked into whether it does need replacing. So, to that end, we’re going to show you 5 easy to spot signs that it’s time for a new boiler.

1. Old boiler?

If your home’s boiler is a more modern one, then if you take care of it properly, you can expect to get about 15 years out of it. But, as we’ve already inferred, this is only if it has been regularly maintained and serviced at least once a year.

But 15 years is a little generous, and traditionally boilers were only expected to last about 10 years.

If there’s a boiler already installed when you first move into your home, you may not know exactly how old it is, or even if it’s considered a “modern” boiler. In which case, you will need to look for any brand names and model numbers mentioned on the boiler and have a little Google to find out how “modern” it is. But that won’t tell you how long it’s been in place for, in which case you’ll have to be extra vigilant about spotting other signs that it might need replacing. So please, read on…

2. Takes longer to heat radiators

Normally a radiator takes just a few minutes to heat up. But if you find yourself still huddled in a blanket after the heating has been on for half an hour, then this raises questions.

But before you rush out and buy a new boiler, you must first check whether this is a problem with the radiator itself, rather than with the boiler. Do you get the same problem in every room?What you’ll need to do in this instance is to bleed the radiators, and let built-up air out of the radiator. Then put the heating on to see if you still get the same problem. If the problem remains, you need to get a qualified engineer out to confirm that the issue rests with the boiler.

tradesman maintaining a radiator

3. Unusual noises

Boilers are rarely silent when first fired up, and you should be quite accustomed to their low but constant hum.

But if you start hearing strange or unfamiliar noises, such as whirring, banging, or clunking, then this is unusual. And a bad sign.

These sounds could be due to general wear and tear, or a sign that something in the system is faulty, whether it’s a problem with the heat pump or a broken valve.

If you have this problem, we strongly suggest that you switch the boiler off altogether to avoid any further damage, and call out for an engineer ASAP.With any luck, it may be possible to fix, if not then it’s time for a new boiler.

4. Rising energy bills

If the cost of your energy bills starts to increase faster than before, then this is a clear sign that your boiler system is becoming less efficient.

But rather than simply search for a new energy provider, it is often more appropriate to invest in a new, more efficient boiler, that won’t cost quite as much money to run.

If you find yourself torn between which of these two actions to take, refer back to our first sign, and consider the age of the boiler. You should also look at the boiler’s ErP energy label, a color-coded system that tells you exactly how efficiently the boiler is meant to be running.

5. Boiler giving off a bad smell

A good quality boiler will never emit any kind of smell. If however, you do detect a smell from the boiler, then this needs to be investigated as soon as is possible by a qualified professional. It could be a sign of a carbon monoxide leak.

Carbon monoxide leakage is very dangerous indeed, potentially fatal. Symptoms of such poisoning include nausea, headaches, shortness of breath, and unconsciousness. While carbon monoxide itself is odorless, the bad smell could be caused by the leaking gas causing the boiler not to burn as it normally would.


What we’ve discussed here are only 5 of the signs that your boiler needs to be replaced – there are many more. For example, leaking water, the pilot light going out, no hot water from the taps, loss of pressure, the build-up of limescale, and so on. The key takeaway here is that any number of things can go wrong with your boiler, so it pays to be vigilant. Don’t hesitate to call out a qualified professional if you are at all concerned.

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