Boilers are an integral appliance in the modern home- we rely on them to power our central heating systems, keeping us warm throughout the winter and heating up our water. So, when our boiler starts to malfunction, we want to get things sorted as soon as possible. After all, having to use your neighbour’s shower or boil the kettle to do the washing up simply isn’t practical!
Here at John Mutch Building Services, we regularly service and install boilers for customers who need cost-effective and efficient solutions to their boiler-related problems. To help you to understand your boiler and to work out whether it might be time for an upgrade, we’ve put together this handy guide.
Signs you need a new boiler
The first step of boiler installation is, of course, figuring out whether there is a problem with your system. As complex pieces of equipment, boilers have various internal parts which can malfunction and cause issues in your home. If you know what you’re looking for, detecting these problems is easy- below we detail the symptoms of a faulty boiler.
A noisy central heating system isn’t necessarily out of the ordinary- sounds are often just a result of the system powering up. However, when the noises change or get louder, you should listen carefully. Whilst some noises could simply mean your boiler is in need of a simple repair, such as whirring, sloshing or tapping noises, an unusual sound such as a loud humming, vibrating or banging, could indicate a serious fault.
A leaky boiler usually pinpoints a malfunctioning internal part like a damaged valve or seal. If left unfixed, a leak could lead to an electrical short-circuit or even cause structural damage to your home. You should switch your boiler off immediately and contact a boiler service if you notice any water coming from your boiler.
If your boiler is emitting a sulphurous or eggy odour, this could be a sign of a gas leak. Dark spots may also emerge on the casing- in which case you should immediately turn the system off and call a Gas Safe engineer. Gas leaks can lead to potentially fatal carbon monoxide poising, so why wait for the smell? Get a carbon monoxide alarm so that you’re aware of the leak before it gets out of hand.
Slow water heating
Have you ever noticed that your radiators take a particularly long time to heat up, or your hot tap takes forever to reach temperature? Well, this could be a sign that your boiler simply isn’t working as well as it should do. Similarly, if you find yourself having to adjust the boiler pressure a lot, it could be time for a new boiler.
Rising energy bills
If you find yourself forking out more and more each month for your gas bill, this could indicate that your boiler is becoming less efficient. In the winter, you want your home to heat up quickly and an efficient boiler should allow this, however, an old or faulty boiler will have to work hard to reach temperature, meaning that your energy bills will increase.
Does your boiler breakdown more than once a year? If so, this certainly warrants getting a new boiler. The cost of regular repairs could amount to more than simply replacing your boiler altogether. Meanwhile, if your boiler is old, replacement parts are expensive and hard to find, so again upgrading could be the most cost-effective option.
Boiler repair vs. boiler replacement
Whilst most of the problems described above indicate a serious fault with your boiler, it’s worth knowing that some defects can be repaired. For example, there might just be a build-up or blockage of sludge which can be easily rectified. Your boiler should have a yearly service to ensure it’s performing at its optimum level- during this procedure the engineer can resolve any minor underlying faults.
However, sometimes you have no other option but to replace your boiler entirely. This is usually based on the age of your boiler; any boiler over 15 years old will probably be coming to the end of its working life and will frequently experience faults as a result.
If you’re not sure whether your boiler needs repairing or replacing, there are three important things you should consider:
An old boiler that regularly breaks down can not only be frustrating, but keeping an old boiler can actually have legal implications. The Boiler Plus scheme – introduced in April 2018 – aims to increase the energy efficiency and safety of homes across the UK. According to the new legislation, all homes must have modern A-rated boilers and if not, you could be prosecuted by Building Control and face fines of up to £5,000.
Even if you think your boiler just needs a repair, a fault in the system offers a good opportunity to consider the energy efficiency of your current system. Energy efficiency affects the cost of your utility bills, so you need to work out- could you save money in the long run if you replace your boiler?
As we’ve already mentioned, the Boiler Plus scheme means that all boilers must now be upgraded to an A-rated system. These modern boilers operate at 92% efficiency or more, whilst old G-rated models operate at 70% or less. By replacing a G-rated boiler with an A-rated model, you’ll not only comply with the new government guidelines, but you could also save around £350 per year on your energy bills.
If you notice your A-rated boiler isn’t working efficiently, this could signify a sludge build-up or similar problem which can be easily repaired by a Gas Safe engineer. Be sure to get your boiler serviced before you rush into replacing the entire system.
When it comes to figuring out which option is most cost-effective, there are a lot of variables. Repairing an old boiler can be just as costly as a replacement because the correct parts can be difficult to source and so the older your boiler is, the more expensive repairs will cost. This is especially true if your boiler is out of its warranty period and you’re now responsible for covering the cost of unexpected breakdowns.
The cost of boiler replacement also varies, but generally a new boiler costs between £1,500 – £3000, depending on the system and the boiler service you use. It’s worth noting that a new boiler from an energy supplier can be up to £1,000 more expensive than when you use a local boiler service company who is directly accredited by a boiler manufacturing brand.
When you choose to get a new boiler, you can get a free quote to find out exactly how much it’s going to cost- essentially, you can predict your costs rather than going through the uncertain process of paying for regular repairs of which costs can quickly add up. A new boiler will also come with a warranty, giving you peace of mind that if your boiler breaks down, your costs will be covered in the initial all-inclusive price. Boiler warranties usually last for around 10 years, so there’s no need to fear hefty, unexpected payouts during this period.
Finding a reliable boiler service company
As we’ve mentioned throughout, using a registered Gas Safe engineer to manage your boiler-related problems is not only recommended but essential. A reliable boiler service company will have a team of Gas Safe engineers, indicated by a Gas Safe Register logo on their website. It also pays to work with a boiler service who is accredited by a well-known boiler manufacturing company, for example, Worcester, Vaillant or Ideal. Not only does this mean you’ll get a cheaper deal, but your warranty is also likely to be longer too.
A good boiler service company should offer annual checkups, emergency repairs and full installation services. If you rent out property, you’ll also want to choose a company that offers professional landlord gas safety certificates too. A reliable option is to work with a larger property maintenance company- they offer a wide range of services so can also assist with electrics, plumbing, locksmith services and any other building repair and maintenance trades.
At John Mutch Building Services, we are a leading provider for an extensive range of property maintenance services. Along with boiler installation and servicing – of which we are Gold Accredited Worcester Bosch Installers – we also offer electrical, plumbing, joinery, locksmith, decorator, roofing and general property maintenance services.
Our award-winning property repair and maintenance service makes us the go-to company in Aberdeen, as we’re committed to providing an unparalleled service across the board. So whether you’re in need of a new boiler, you want to redecorate your living room or you’re looking for more energy efficient lighting solutions, our experienced team of trade experts can solve any problem, big or small. Get in touch with us today for a free quote or to find out more about our comprehensive range of services.