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How Long Does a Boiler Last?

Becky Mckay
By: Becky Mckay
Updated: 6th October 2023

Homeowners often wonder, how long does a boiler last? The average boiler lifespan lasts between 10-15 years before it needs replacing. This is great news for people who have recently invested in a new boiler, but what if your boiler is a little longer in the tooth?

Your gas boiler is one of the most important appliances in your home and accounts for as much as 60% of your energy bills, so it’s crucial that it is working as efficiently and effectively as possible. Here’s how you can keep your boiler in top condition for as long as possible, and how to recognise when it’s time to replace it.

When that time does come, many of us might find ourselves unsure of where to find the installer for the job. If that’s the case, then you’ll be happy to know that we at Boiler Guide can make the process a whole lot easier.

Simply by filling in our quick form, you can have up to 3 exclusive quotes provided directly to you. These quotes are from licensed installers, all within your local area.

By comparing their quotes, you have the opportunity to find a great deal for your boiler replacement by choosing the installer who offers the most competitive price, all while having precious peace of mind that you won;t have overpaid.

It’s never been easier to secure the replacement boiler your home deserves. To get started, click the button below.

 


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How to lengthen a boiler’s life

While the average boiler lifespan is between 10-15 years, with the proper maintenance, you may find your boiler continues to run efficiently for even longer. There are several ways you can do this, as we’ve listed below.

Get an annual service

After putting it to the test we noticed that the best thing you can do to keep your boiler working as efficiently as possible for as long as possible is to get it professionally serviced every year. You need to get this carried out by a Gas Safe heating engineer who will perform safety and efficiency tests on the boiler. This ensures that it operates effectively and prolongs the boiler lifespan.

The engineer will also check the system for faults or leaks which is a great way to catch small problems early on before they cause expensive breakdowns. It’s also worth remembering that annual services by Gas Safe engineers are usually required to ensure your manufacturer warranty remains valid.

Only use Gas Safe engineers

From getting the boiler installed to any ongoing servicing or repairs, ALWAYS make sure the engineer you hire is on the Gas Safe register. This is the official list of heating engineers who are legally qualified to work with gas appliances and will complete the work to the highest standard.

Using an unqualified person could result in damage to your heating system and if unsafe work is carried out the consequences could be incredibly dangerous.

Get repairs fixed ASAP

You should pay attention to your heating system so any changes or unusual noises can be resolved quickly. If you suspect something is wrong, don’t ignore it or put it off for longer than you have to. Even small problems can lead to big repair costs if left to worsen over time.

Boiler repairs and replacements can amount to hefty overall costs. A great way to limit the total amount is by choosing a local installer. Not only will they charge far less than a nationwide company, but you can also take advantage of their local knowledge and expertise.

Use Boiler Guides free quotes service and you’ll be connected with up to 3 local boiler installation companies who can offer you a fixed quote for their services. All of the installers in our network are Gas Safe registered and vetted by our team.

It’s quick, reliable, and totally free. You are also under no obligation to accept any of the quotes you receive. Click the button below to get started.

 


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Powerflush

A central heating system is made up of metal and water so it’s natural that rust, dirt and sludge can build up in your pipes and radiators over the years. We noticed that this can create blockages which will gradually reduce the efficiency of your heating system and - if left for too long - can cause significant damage.

A professional engineer can add chemicals to your system and flush it through to clear the sludge with a service called a ‘Powerflush’ or chemical flush.

Magnetic filters

Powerflush

You can prevent the buildup of sludge in your heating system by installing a magnetic filter which will filter out metallic debris before it settles in your pipework or radiators. New boilers must now be fitted as standard with a magnetic filters according to the latest Building Regulations.

Don’t overwork your boiler

Setting the water pressure too high could also cause wear-and-tear on your boiler and, a bit like with a car, overusing your boiler could shorten the boiler life expectancy. A boiler of the right size and good quality should be perfectly able to meet your hot water demands for many years to come without any issues.

Should you replace an old boiler that's working? 

If your boiler is over 10 years old but hasn’t broken down yet, you may be tempted to put off getting a replacement for as long as possible. After all, it’s a big investment  and not one to be made without careful consideration.

There are of course some indicators that your boiler may be on its way out, such as the need for regular repairs or odd noises, but there are other motivators (besides faults and breakdowns) which might make a new boiler more worth it (compared to an old boiler)…

Cheaper energy bills

In the average life of a boiler, it will become less efficient at heating your home as it ages, i.e. it needs to work harder and use more and more energy to produce hot water. By replacing an older boiler with a modern, highly efficient model you could see a significant reduction in your annual energy bills by as much as £840* in some cases, according to the Energy Savings Trust (January 2023).

The latest technology

Modern boilers and their controls are not only more compact and more visually attractive, but we also found out that they outshine their predecessors in terms of cheaper running costs and performance. You can now purchase boilers and smart thermostats which are connected to the internet and enable you to control your heating via an app wherever you are in the world.

You can also buy thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) which will heat each room of your home to a different temperature and several include weather compensation technology which will automatically adjust your heating according to the temperature outside.

Changes to your home

If you’ve added bathrooms, bedrooms, a loft conversion or an extension (or a few extra children!) it may be that your original boiler is no longer the right type or size for your home. Not only will this lead to a less than comfortable home, but continuing to overwork a boiler which is too small will only lead to breakdowns and costly repairs.

Old boilers may require discontinued parts

Even if your boiler is still hanging in there, the parts it needs may not be around anymore. When old boilers need replacement parts they are often difficult, if not impossible, for engineers to source. They can also be expensive, which means a complete replacement is the better option.

If any of this is sounding familiar, it may be time to consider replacing your old boiler. While it may seem daunting, BoilerGuide has a solution that will make the process of finding an installer quick, simple, and completely free.

After you fill out our form, our team match you with up to 3 of the best installers for the job. They will then offer you exclusive quotes for their installation services, which you can then choose from.

You can get up to 3 free, no-obligation quotes from Gas Safe engineers in your area by sending us a simple enquiry today.

 


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Choosing the right boiler

When it is time for a new boiler, you need to be sure you’re making the right choice for your home, lifestyle and budget. There are 3 main factors to consider:

Boiler type

There are 3 types of boiler to choose from:

  • A Combi (combination) boiler is the most common type of boiler installed in the UK today. It is a single compact unit which takes its water supply directly from the mains and heats water on demand, i.e. there is no need for any hot water cylinder or water tanks. However, these boilers are not always suitable for large homes with a high demand for heating and hot water.
  • A System boiler also takes its water supply from the mains. The boiler produces hot water and sends it directly to your radiators but it requires a separate hot water cylinder (usually kept in an airing cupboard) to store the hot water for use in your taps.
  • A Regular (traditional) boiler is often found in older central heating systems. In these setups cold water from the mains fills a large tank in the attic which feeds this water down to the boiler where it is heated. Hot water can then be sent to radiators and a separate hot water cylinder for your taps.

Boiler size

Getting the right size of boiler is important as if it’s not powerful enough to heat your radiators and hot water it will be overworked, develop faults and may have a shorter lifespan as a result. On the other hand, getting a boiler which is too big for your home may mean you’re wasting energy.

The best person to recommend the correct boiler size to you is a Gas Safe engineer, but you can find out more here in What Size Boiler Do I Need?

Manufacturer

Like any other household appliance, there are many boiler manufacturers each offering boilers of different types, efficiencies, reliability and performance and at varying prices. A good way to identify the best boilers is to check the warranty you’ll receive.

A manufacturer’s warranty should cover parts and labour for at least a year after the boiler has been installed. The longest warranty on the market is 10 years which is a great indicator of quality and reliability. Find out which brands offer the Best Boiler Warranties .

To keep the warranty valid the boiler will need to be installed by a Gas Safe engineer and some manufacturers specify that the engineer must be accredited by them to get the longest warranty period. The boiler will also need to be serviced by a Gas Safe engineer annually to keep the warranty valid.

How much does a replacement boiler cost? 

On average, the most reliable and energy efficient boilers on the market will cost between £1,500 - £2,000. However, this will vary depending on the type, brand and size of boiler you choose, as well as the cost of having it installed.

Installation costs will depend on the work involved, i.e. if your new boiler is to be installed in the same place as your old boiler you could be looking at a cost of around £600 but installing it in a different location may be between £1,500 and £1,800. And, if you’re updating a particularly old heating system, you may also need to factor in other costs such as a system flush, a magnetic filter, a condensate drain pipe, a central heating pump, new pipework, a thermostat or radiator valves.

With so many technical specifications to consider, it’s easy to become overwhelmed when choosing a new boiler and, perhaps more importantly, the most suitable installer for the job. Rather than spending countless hours assessing an installers qualifications, and receiving their quotes, why not let us at Boiler Guide take care of this part for you?

It’s simple: fill out the form, then we’ll connect you with the best local installers. They can then offer you their professional advice and a tailor quotes for their installation services.

Comparing quotes from multiple engineers is the best great way to keep new boiler costs down and ensure you're getting top advice. Send us an enquiry today and we’ll find up to 3 Gas Safe registered engineers in your area who can recommend the right boiler for your home and provide free, no-obligation quotes.

Frequently asked questions 

Can a boiler last 20 years?

The average boiler lifespan lasts 10-15 years. However, your boiler might exceed this with proper maintenance, including annual service and periodic power flushes.

How do I identify the age of my boiler?

To determine the age of your boiler, you need to locate its serial number-this is a long barcode that will typically be found on the outside casing. The 3rd and 4th numbers of the serial code representing the year of manufacture (e.g., 05 signifies 2005).

How long should a Worcester Bosch boiler last?

A Worcester Bosch boiler should last at least 10 years, and up to 15 years. With yearly maintenance, this could exceed up to 20 years.

How long does a Vaillant boiler last?

The average life of a boiler from Vaillant will last 10-15 years, and even longer with proper annual maintenance.

How inefficient is a 20 year old boiler?

A 20 year old boiler will have an efficiency of around 70-75%. Across the boiler lifespan, its efficiency will gradually decrease. The extent of this will depend on how well you maintain the boiler.

Becky Mckay

About the author

Becky Mckay

Becky has been a writer at Boiler Guide since 2021. Her vast boiler knowledge means she’s ready to help with any home heating query, big or small!

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