Category - Boilers
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Ryan Gill, Engineer

31 Jan : Updated 18 Apr ● 6 min read

How long does a boiler last?

Have you ever wondered what the lifespan of a gas boiler is? Whether your boiler’s performance is starting to deteriorate or it’s simply on the older side, knowing your boiler's life expectancy can help you decide whether or not you need a boiler replacement.

In this guide, we discuss why the age of your boiler is important for maintaining a healthy central heating system.

What is the average boiler life expectancy?

The average lifespan for a boiler ranges from 10 to 15 years.

As your boiler gets older, it may start running less efficiently, which is why annual boiler servicing carried out by a professional Gas Safe engineer is essential for keeping on top of any maintenance that may be required throughout its lifespan.

Your engineer can give you a more accurate timescale and fix any problems that might be occurring.

The lifespan of a boiler can vary depending on the type of boiler:

What is the lifespan of a combi boiler?

For combi boilers, the average lifespan tends to be up to 15 years.

There are a few things that can affect the performance of a boiler and if these things aren’t regularly checked, a bigger problem can develop. Things such as limescale or sludge build-up can cause corrosion and blockages in your system that may reduce your boiler's life expectancy.

If you’ve managed to maintain your combi boiler for over 15 years, you may wish to consider buying a new boiler, since this may be more cost-effective than needing constant repairs.

What is the lifespan of a standard boiler?

A standard boiler also typically lasts around 15 years.

Unlike the combi boiler, standard boilers can have an external hot water cylinder and have additional external controls, including pumps and valves that engineers need to install and assess, meaning the price of maintenance and installation could be more costly.

With this in mind, you may wish to consider replacing your boiler and/or controls, instead of repairing if it’s causing issues, as it could cost you less in the long run.

What is the lifespan of a system boiler?

System boilers, again, can last up to 15 years.

Much like standard boilers, system boilers usually have an external hot water cylinder and external valves (the pump is contained within the boiler).  So again, it is worth considering the age and condition of the external controls if you are looking to replace the boiler.

How can I tell the age of my boiler?

If you've been noticing some odd behaviour coming from your boiler, age might be at play.

To find out how old your boiler is, there are a few different routes you can take:

  1. Check the make and model of your boiler - when did manufacturing begin?
  2. Look for the serial number on the boiler
  3. Call your manufacturer who can provide more information
  4. There may be additional information from previous occupiers such as service history

How can I improve the longevity of my boiler?

It goes without saying that you want your boiler to last as long as possible. We’ve compiled a number of tips and tricks to help elongate the lifespan of your boiler.

1. Annual boiler service

The most common way to do this is by having annual boiler service checks from a registered Gas Safe engineer. Your annual boiler service will help to flag any minor issues before they develop into something more serious.

2. Bleed your radiators  

Regular radiator bleeding can help to keep the circulation within your central heating system running smoothly.  If your radiators are cold at the top but hot at the bottom it’s likely to have air in the radiator. Air or oxygen in the system can cause corrosion if left for a long time. Likewise, if you find yourself bleeding air out of a system regularly, there could be underlying issues.

3. Install inhibitors and filters 

Inhibitors and filters help protect against corrosion build-up and ensure you have a cleaner system.

4. Don’t forget about your boiler in summer

We recommend turning your boiler on once a month, during the summer.

This is to ensure your system isn't overwhelmed by the time autumn and winter come around and may reduce the possibility of the valves/pump seizing.

When should you replace your boiler?

You may wish to think about a boiler replacement if you’re experiencing more and more faults with your system as it gets older.

In time, it could end up being more cost-effective (and efficient) to choose a new boiler rather than constantly forking out on boiler repairs.

Although age is a good indicator for changing boilers, there are other factors that can work alongside it that should make you consider a replacement.

Telltale signs that your boiler may need replacing:

  1. Frequent leaks - From corrosion to loose pressure valves, if you constantly have to fix a leaking problem with your boiler, it may be time to look for another one.
  2. Odd noises - Radiators can often be the first sign of trouble when you notice certain sounds. Tapping, clanking and bubbling can indicate a build up of water pressure or waste in your system, which requires a flush. Loud banging or vibrating can indicate a serious problem, however, which will need to be addressed by a Gas Safe registered engineer.
  3. Foul smells - If you happen to smell something eggy or sickly coming from your boiler, it's possible that there may be a gas leak. You must contact a Gas Safe engineer using the emergency gas line, 0800 111 999 and turn off your boiler immediately if you notice this.
  4. Low performance and high energy bills - Whether it's a blockage, limescale build-up or a breakdown with your system: if you notice that your boiler is running slower than usual, you may wish to consider a replacement. A low performing boiler could actually be costing you a lot more in your energy bills. Check with a certified engineer about whether it's time to say goodbye to your boiler.
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At BOXT, we understand the importance of maintaining a smooth running central heating system for your home. Ensure you have explored the option of boiler cover for additional peace of mind.

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