Should I replace or repair my boiler?
It’s a question that comes up a lot around this time of year.
Summer ends and the winter starts to set in. The days get shorter and colder and whilst we’re all preparing for Christmas our boilers have to step up to the mark after spending most of the summer relatively dormant.
The majority of us don’t even think about it, we just turn the heating back on and expect our boilers to carry on working as before. But with our boilers staying mostly idle through the summer months, the chance of moving parts seizing up increases.
Calls for boiler faults increase exponentially from September onwards and lots of customers are faced with the difficult question, do I repair or replace my boiler?
So what factors should you be looking at when deciding?
I always tend to take into account the age, make and cost of repair.
If your boiler is under 5 years old and well maintained there is no reason that it shouldn’t last for another 10 years. The average lifespan of a boiler is around fifteen years, so if yours is closer to this I’d probably go straight to cost of repair.
Older boilers can be inefficient, more prone to faults and can be difficult to source parts for. If yours has a history of breaking down and you’re faced with an expensive repair bill it’s probably time to say goodbye.
Don’t forget, regardless of the age, the fact that it isn’t working doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad boiler.
Faults can be caused by a number of things unrelated to your boiler. Poor water quality in your central heating system can cause blockages in the heat exchanger or seize up the pump. Or a leak in the system, resulting in it being constantly topped up with aerated water can damage your expansion vessel.
Some of these problems can lead to a very expensive repair bill or, worst case, a new boiler. Remember to take note of the cause so it can be prevented in future.
Some boilers are very poorly made and can be very prone to faults.
Also in most cases the cheaper the boiler, the more expensive the parts. So the cost of, what seems like a small repair, on a cheaper boiler can soon spiral.
Some of these cheaper boilers will barely last ten years so if the cost of repair is in excess of £250-300 I would strongly recommend your replace it. That £250-£300 would make a very healthy contribution to a new boiler and there’s no point wasting in on a boiler that is likely to break again within a short space of time.
If you have a reliable boiler, say a Worcester or a Vaillant I’d be more inclined to repair it if the bills start adding up, but still, I’d never recommend spending more than £300. Especially, if it’s getting old.
Some faults can be repaired for next to nothing, but when minor faults start occurring, I think that’s a good indication that it’s time to start putting money aside every month for when something bigger goes wrong.
When the time does come and your boiler needs replacing. Make sure you do your research, most heating engineers have a preference when it comes to boiler. But that preference doesn’t always mean it’s the best option for you. Go online and check out the boilers that they’re recommending to see how they stack up.
I always think, if you can afford it, you should try and get a good boiler. A better quality boiler will last longer and will save you money in the long run.
Also most of them come with warranties in excess of five years which gives you peace of mind. These warranties especially come in handy if anything does go wrong in the first few years of your boilers life.
If you have boiler cover you will be able to save money by getting rid of that. Most manufacturers warranties cover parts and labour so there’s no point paying for cover on a boiler that is already covered.
If you take your monthly premiums and times it by the duration of your warranty it’ll add up to a sizeable chunk of your installation cost. Money you’ll save over the warranty of your new boiler.
A new boiler installation can cost from £1200-£3000 depending on what boiler you have and what type of installation it is.
Don’t forget, if you don’t get your boiler serviced every year it will invalidate any warranty you have.
And, most importantly, always use a registered gas engineer! Ask to see an I.D card or check out the business at www.gassaferegister.co.uk.
If you’re having problems with your boiler and would like some heating advice don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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