The average boiler has a recommended lifespan of around 10 years, yet many homeowners keep their appliance operating far longer. And why not?
Replacing a boiler is expensive. Removal of an old boiler, and subsequent installation of a new one, can cost upwards of thousands of pounds. If your boiler still turns on and produces the heating and hot water you need, why bother buying a new one?
In reality, though, boilers are a silent sink of money.
What Your Old Boiler Is Actually Costing You
It may seem like you’ve hit the jackpot. Your ancient machine, chugging away out of sight and mind, has been doing so for decades now. Unlike those unlucky souls who have to replace their boilers every 10 years or less, yours just won’t stop going.
But there is a price to pay for that workhorse.
- Consistent Repairs — An old boiler is like an old car. It may work, but it is going to need a bit more TLC than a newer model. New parts, replacement components, regular check-ups; these are all small expenses, nothing compared to the price buying a new boiler, but they add up.
- Damage to the System — Modern boilers are designed to protect piping and central heating systems from damage that comes hand-in-hand with faults. This includes avoiding build-up of limescale and sludge that causes corrosion, and shutting down in the event of high pressure. Old boilers aren’t so savvy, lacking such detection mechanisms. This means as they age and develop more faults, they’ll be more likely to cause harm to other connecting plumbing components.
- Inefficient Operation — Perhaps the most compelling reason to avoid operating an old boiler for too long is a drop in efficiency. As parts wear and a boiler ages, it becomes less capable of performing its primary task of heating. However, that doesn’t mean your hot water won’t be as hot anymore. Instead, it means the boiler has to work harder, expending more energy to heat it properly. Over days, months and years, this means higher accumulated energy costs, hiking up your utility bills. For large homes, an older boiler could be adding over £300 a year to energy costs.
- Potential for Emergency — As boilers age, the potential for emergency issues increase. This includes a lack of hot water and heating, leaks, or simple appliance failure. These issues are expensive to repair, with most major problems costing hundreds. They may also lead to required boiler replacement, incurring even higher and unexpected fees.
Benefits of Replacing An Old Boiler
The key thing to be aware of is that, eventually, a boiler will fail and require replacing. Homeowners must weigh up the costs associated with operating an old boiler, versus that of buying and installing a new one.
But are there really many benefits to new boilers over older appliances?
Why buy one now instead of waiting for your current boiler to give out instead?
- Reliability — Newer boilers are technologically advanced machines designed to last. They are far less prone to failure than their older counterparts. The result is that you’ll find purchasing a new boiler reduces outgoings by removing the need for repairs.
- Eco-Efficiency — Almost every modern boiler you can buy has been built with the environment in mind. This not only means greener energy production, but more efficient energy production. Efficiency reduces waste. A reduction in wasted energy keeps bills low.
- Stability — Old boilers could go at any moment. It may run for another five years or it may conk out the next time you turn it on. However, with such ancient appliances, it is difficult to know. The result is you may end up facing a large cost at an unforeseen time, which can be incredibly stressful and difficult to manage. Upgrading your boiler is a planned event, giving you time to make the necessary savings. Once installed, you needn’t worry about such unforeseen costs, especially as most new boilers are protected with a warranty.
Should You Keep Your Old Boiler or Upgrade?
Unfortunately, the business of boilers is an expensive one.
Whether you upgrade to a new appliance or keep your old one, you will be hit financially. However, it’s all about where that cost goes.
Maintaining an old boiler is, until it fails, a series of smaller payments over many years. Replacing a boiler, conversely, reduces those long-term costs but comes loaded with a major financial burden up-front.
Here is the simple fact, though: old boilers bleed money.
Over time, their costs will hurt your bank balance far more than upgrading. Whilst not everyone is in a position to invest in boiler installation, those who have the financial capacity, but are holding off purely because their current system is operational, should carefully consider the points of this article.