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When to Replace Your Boiler and Prevent Costly Repairs

A new boiler replacement photo

Generally considered the heart of the home, your boiler can contribute up to 60% of your energy bills, and that’s why it’s important that these major appliances are well taken care of.

By ensuring that your boiler is in good condition, you will have improved quality of heating and hot water, a reduced carbon footprint with subsequent reductions in energy bills, better levels of energy efficiency, and ultimately, peace of mind about a boiler you can rely on. In this blog post, we’ll focus on when to replace your boiler in order to prevent costly repairs. 

How Long Does a Boiler Last?

The average life of a boiler depends on the boiler model, but generally, it should last you anywhere between 10 and 15 years. If you maintain your boiler regularly, however, it could even exceed this standard lifespan. It’s all about the steps you take to prevent any problems. 

When Should You Replace Your Boiler?

Boiler replacement is not a straightforward process and you need to consider several factors when approaching this task. That’s why it’s important to know when to replace your boiler. There are key indicators for this and we discuss each one in more detail below.  

1. Your boiler is too old

Although your boiler might be functioning as usual, after 10 to 15 years of use, it’s time you consider a replacement. The reason for this is that older appliances are usually less efficient than newer, more eco-friendly options. Chance is that your old boiler loses pressure now and then and often requires repair of internal parts.

2. There are visible leaks

There are several reasons why your boiler might be leaking. These are related to a boiler pressure valve fault, corrosion in the system or the heat exchanger, temperature valve issues, loose pipe fittings or broken seals in the boiler pump, and others.

3. Does it often require repairs?

If you’re paying good money to have your boiler fixed several times a year, the chances are that you’re throwing your money away. Boilers should run effectively for up to 15 years, and not be subjected to constant repairs. Add to this energy inefficiency and higher electricity bills, and you should know it’s time to find a boiler engineer to replace your boiler. 

4. Strange smells and noises

If your boiler is making strange noises or emitting odd smells, this is a strong indication that there are internal problems with your boiler and you’ll need to have it repaired or replaced.

5. Check the flame’s colour

A yellow colour flame is a sign of carbon monoxide being emitted in your home. This is dangerous and can cause symptoms like dizziness, nausea, headaches and others. Ideally, the flame should always be blue, and if it isn’t, you’ve got a problem on your hands.

6. Fluctuations in water temperature

When using water fixtures, such as taps, showers or baths, throughout your home and you notice fluctuations in temperature, it may be time to have your boiler re-pressurised. And if that doesn’t work, consider replacing your appliance.

7. Low-efficiency ratings

In short, a less efficient boiler (G-rated, for example) costs you more than an A-rated one. This is because it takes too long to heat up your water, causing inefficiency in the system itself. Getting an A-rated boiler is not only good for the environment but will also help you with your energy bills. Thus, understanding the boiler efficiency ratings is an important step towards your right decision.

8. Your bills are way too high

You can save up to around £450 per year on energy bills if you replace your old boiler with a modern, condensing boiler. High energy bills are another sign that your boiler may need replacement.

How Long Does it Take to Fit a New Boiler?

There’s no straightforward answer to this question, as it will depend on several factors. These include whether you’re relocating your boiler, whether you already have a boiler, what type of fuel is being used, what type of boiler is being installed.

Also, ask yourself whether you’re changing the type of boiler and what’s the specific type you are changing to and from. And let’s not forget the complexities in your home that are related to your water supply.

Given all this, there are some indications on the time frame for fitting a new boiler. On average, a new boiler installation can take anything from six hours to four days to complete. Here’s a brief outline of the different time frames: 

  • Straight boiler swap: 4-6 hours
  • Installing a completely new combi boiler: 1-2 days
  • Changing the position of your boiler: 1-2 days
  • Changing the boiler type: 2-3 days
  • Changing fuel type: 2-3 days
  • Changing the type and position of the boiler: 3-4 days

Can You Get a Free Boiler Replacement?

Of course, we would all love it if we could have our new boilers installed for free. However, in the UK, this is not always possible and applies to certain situations only. It ultimately depends on your household income levels, as well as several other factors.

To get free replacement boilers, you might be able to take advantage of the Energy Company Obligation government scheme. It has been established to help low-income households get access to home efficiency improvements, resulting in lower energy bills, and a lower carbon footprint. 

Some eligibility criteria for taking part in this scheme are: 

  • You must be the owner of your home
  • If you’re a tenant, you need permission from your landlord
  • You should receive a combination of government benefits
  • Your current boiler should be over five years old
  • Your property should have a gas supply

What’s more is that you’ll also, as an applicant to the ECO scheme, need to receive at least two of these benefits: 

  • Child tax credits
  • Working tax credits
  • Income-related ESA
  • Income-related JSA
  • Income support
  • Universal tax credits
  • Pension credits


The longevity of your boiler is a contributing factor to your peace of mind when it comes to your home’s comfort. However, certain problems may arise, which may mean you need to replace your boiler.

In this blog post, we’ve covered some of the most important telltale signs of needing to replace your boiler, as well as the general time frames for fitting and installing a new boiler, plus whether you’re eligible for the ECO scheme. If you’re ready to get your unit replaced, don’t hesitate and book a professional boiler installation service.

When to Replace Your Boiler and Prevent Costly Repairs

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