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When to change your boiler? - jan 2023

so, when should you change your boiler

There are some things in life that we tend to forget about, or just take for granted: we might wait until something goes wrong before getting the car serviced, or only think about gutter repairs when there’s a torrent running down the wall. Similarly, we may put up with a problematic heating or hot water supply, or simply not notice the slowly increasing gas bills. As a result, you may not have ever considered when to change your boiler - or that you may need to.

Today’s article will explain why you may need to give boiler replacement some thought.

Reasons to Replace Your Boiler


An older boiler may function properly to a degree, in that it continues to provide heat and hot water when you need it. With age, however, comes reduced efficiency, loss of water pressure and potentially frequent repairs.

Boilers usually are classed as "in retirement" after 10 years old and usually last around 12-15 years


Your boiler may be leaking water - either a difficult to spot drip (look for wet patches under the boiler, staining on the cabinet or dried water deposits under the boiler, or mould in the vicinity) or a full on stream.

Leaks can occur as a result of failed over-pressure valves, corroded internal parts, or loose fittings and failed seals. These can be repaired, however, if the unit is older it may make more sense to replace it and avoid future issues.

Ongoing expensive repairs

If you’re frequently having to call out a boiler engineer and pay for expensive repairs, it may make more sense to bite the bullet and opt for a replacement. This will cost more in the short term; however, long term will cost you far less - and you’ll enjoy all the benefits and comforts of a modern boiler.

Internal Issues

Much like a political party whose leader is being investigated for unlawful acts - your boiler may be experiencing trouble on the inside. This may not be obvious at first glance, however, can be evidenced by unusual smells or strange noises. These may well be precursors to more serious issues and offer a good indication that you should change your boiler.

Flame Colour

A properly functioning, safe boiler will be lit with a healthy blue flame. If the flame is yellow, it’s a sign of carbon monoxide being produced and emitted into your home. Exposure to carbon monoxide can result in ailments ranging from minor headaches and nausea, all the way to death. If you see a yellow flame - it’s time to change your boiler, pronto.

Unstable Water Temperature

When water being drawn from your taps, shower, or other outlets seems to fluctuate and rarely remain constant, your boiler may merely need re-pressurising or another simple repair. It could, however, be a sign of more serious issues, identified by a specialist, and mean that it’s time to change your boiler.

Low Efficiency

As we said at the start of the article, an older boiler may function ok, however, require more gas to do so, as well as struggle to achieve higher water temperatures, or take longer to warm up. All of these are inconvenient and will lead to:

Expensive Bills

No, not talking about a ducks’ costly beak (I’ll see myself out…) but the unfortunate and sometimes insidious rise in monthly payments to your energy provider, resulting from increased gas or oil usage. If these are getting out of hand, it may be right to change your boiler.

Time to Change Your Boiler: FAQ

Is it Easy?

The answer to this depends on a few factors. If you’re replacing like-for-like, and the surrounding infrastructure such as pipework, tanks, and pumps do not need replacing - the job can be fairly straightforward.

If converting your boiler from a combi to system solution, you’ll have to face decommissioning and removal of said infrastructure which is an added complication (but hardly the end of the world).

Of course, an easier job will take less time and thus cost less in labour, so this is a factor worth considering.

Ultimately, however, it will be a professional boiler engineer carrying out the work so the ease of replacement is something for them to worry about!

How Long Does It Take?

This again depends on the scope of the project. A straightforward boiler swap may take between four and six hours, installing a new combi boiler may take a day or two…and changing the boiler type, fuel, or position can add one, two, or even three days onto the time it takes to change your boiler.

How Much Does It Cost?

first of all we recommend you watch this short video


When budgeting to change your boiler, you’ll need to consider the cost of the boiler unit, decommissioning and disposal of the old unit and infrastructure, and labour costs.

A new combi boiler, which supplies hot water and central heating on demand, may cost £1800 for a basic model, all the way up to £3500 for a premium offering. (installed)

A system boiler, which heats water and stores it in an external tank may cost £2000 for a basic model, and nearly £4500 for a premium model. (installed)

A standard heat-only boiler may be less expensive, with prices starting around the £1600 mark.(installed)

Removal of old boiler infrastructure is predominantly a matter of labour costs as it’s purely a case of disconnecting water and fuel pipework and physically removing it from the fabric of the building. Most pipework and fittings can be taken to a local recycling centre. You may be allowed to take the boiler too, however, this depends on the rules set out by your local recycling centre. The easiest thing to do is ask the boiler installation engineer to dispose of all the old components. There is normally a low, flat rate fee for this service.

Labour costs vary a great deal however you can expect to pay between £60 and £95 an hour, or £540 to £1000 per day, depending on various factors. Clearly a more complicated project will take longer and, therefore, be more expensive.

While having your boiler replaced, it makes sense to flush your entire central heating system to remove deposits of grime and rust that would otherwise immediately contaminate your brand new boiler. You can read about this here.

What Type Of Boiler Do I Need?

If you think you might need to change your boiler, you’ll rightly be wondering which type will meet your needs. Our previous blog found here, will answer this question for you!

Copper Pipes

Let’s get down to brass tacks - or perhaps, copper pipes: the deciding factors determining when to change your boiler really “boils down” to whether the boiler is functioning properly and safely, and whether it is currently or likely to require expensive ongoing repairs.

If you’re happy with your current boiler performance, and you’re not getting knocked out with dizzy spells and headaches…you’re probably safe to take no further action. On the other hand, if your energy bills are escalating, or your hot water is unreliable…perhaps it’s time to change your boiler after all. And if that’s the case - give us a call.



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Adam Dilger
Managing Director
We offer ground braking reliable heating solutions across the Northwest. With 20 years experience our engineers install, service and maintain your central heating systems. Connect with Adam on LinkedIn >>
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