Typically, a combi boiler should have a lifespan of between 10 and 15 years. Boiler technology is always evolving, and the best way to ensure you have the most efficient and reliable combi boiler is to upgrade your heating system at least every 15 years.
In this blog post, Ideal Heating offers advice on when to replace or upgrade your combi boiler, plus how to maintain your boiler to optimise its efficiency and improve its lifespan.
What Is The Lifespan Of A Combi Boiler?
You can expect your combi boiler to last up to 15 years, depending on the specific type of boiler, how often you use it and whether it has been serviced regularly. However - this doesn’t mean your boiler will suddenly stop working after 15 years. It’s simply a guideline that suggests that, after this period of time, it’s likely your boiler will become so inefficient that it’s more cost-effective to buy a new one.
That’s because different parts of your boiler wear out at different rates, which means that eventually your boiler has to work much harder and use up more energy to deliver the same results it did fifteen years ago. It’s far more energy efficient and cost effective to treat yourself to a snazzy new combi boiler.
A combi boiler is a popular heating solution that is designed to provide on-demand heating and hot water, without the need for a separate water storage tank. Like all boilers, a combi boiler is a complex piece of machinery and it won’t last forever. Visit our website to read more information on what a combi boiler is, how it works and whether you need one.
8 Signs You Need To Repair or Replace Your Combi Boiler
Buying a new combi boiler can be an expensive decision, so it’s important you know when it’s time for a boiler replacement and when a more simple boiler repair will suffice. Here are the key signs to look out for:
1. It’s over fifteen years old
Time is a great indicator of when to replace your combi boiler. After 10 - 15 years you may start to notice things going wrong with your boiler, showing it’s time to treat your heating system to an upgrade.
2. You’ve inherited an old boiler
If you’ve moved house, chances are your boiler system is at least a few years old. Try to dig out the service history of the boiler to find out when it was last inspected. If your boiler hasn’t been seen by a professional engineer in years, then it’s more likely your boiler will have worn-out components which could lead to a boiler breakdown. If this is the case, book an inspection with a Gas Safe registered engineer as soon as possible for a full boiler MOT.
3. You have a non-condensing boiler
Due to a change in the law, all domestic boilers installed since April 2005 will be condensing boilers. That means, if you have a non-condensing boiler, it’s definitely time for an upgrade. Not only are non-condensing boilers going to be well over fifteen years old, but they’re also considered significantly less efficient than condensing boilers. To find out whether your combi boiler is a condensing boiler, check out our guide.
4. You are noticing common boiler problems
There are many reasons why your boiler may not be working. Some of the most common indicators of a faulty boiler include strange gurgling or rattling noises coming from your combi boiler, leaking water or drips around your boiler, or issues with your radiators (such as taking a long time to warm up).
If you find yourself needing to contact a combi boiler engineer more frequently, this is a sign your boiler is on the blink.
5. Your energy bills are on the rise
Older boilers are typically more inefficient, and therefore cost more to run. If your rising bills are getting you down, it could be time to invest in a more efficient combi boiler model that will save you money in the long run whilst also helping the environment along the way.
6. You are noticing an issue with your boiler pressure
If your boiler is regularly losing pressure, or your hot taps are running slowly, it could be a sign that your combi boiler needs to be repaired or replaced.
There’s a common misconception that combi boiler systems don’t provide good shower pressure, leading some people to take occasional low water pressure as a sign there’s something wrong. Combi boilers actually do provide a high-pressure water supply as they heat water directly from the mains and deliver it at mains pressure. However, it’s not recommended to run multiple showers if you’re using a combi boiler, as sending water to more than one outlet can weaken the water pressure. Visit our page on using a combi boiler to power your showers for more information.
7. Your boiler flame is yellow or orange
If your boiler flame is yellow or orange instead of bright blue, this is a sign of incomplete combustion which increases the risk of a dangerous and potentially even fatal carbon monoxide leak. While fixing the issue could be fairly straightforward, it’s most certainly a red (or yellow) flag and should be checked out by a professional.
8. You can smell gas
This one’s obvious, but if you smell gas then you should turn off your boiler straight away and contact an emergency engineer. A gas leak can be extremely dangerous - even fatal - and a boiler that leaks gas is often in desperate need of replacement.
If you do decide it’s time to replace or upgrade your combi boiler, read our advice on how to upgrade your combi boiler. We also recommend checking out our combi boiler size guide for advice on choosing the right size and power for your heating system.
Who Can Repair A Combi Boiler?
Only a Gas Safe registered engineer can work with gas appliances, including carrying out combi boiler repairs and servicing.
While a plumber or someone without a Gas Safe qualification can work on parts of your heating system, such as your radiator, they are not legally able to carry out work on your combi boiler’s gas pipe.
The Benefits Of Replacing Your Boiler
Replacing your boiler not only protects you against boiler breakdowns, but also enhances efficiency. This can help to keep your gas bills down, reduce your carbon footprint and could even add value to your home. A new combi boiler is also less likely to become faulty or leak, which keeps your home and family safe.
Finally, a brand spanking new combi boiler will still be in warranty, so you have complete peace of mind that you won’t need to foot the bill if something does go wrong with your new boiler. Ideal Heating combi boiler warranties vary between 2 and 12 years, with additional out of warranty boiler protection also available for any Ideal system under 15 years old. There’s a reason our warranty and protection plans aren’t available for boilers over 15 years old - because they’re considered a greater risk of breakdown, and are therefore ready to be replaced.
How Much Is A New Combi Boiler?
The price of Ideal Heating’s combi boilers vary depending on the size of the boiler and your heating requirements.
Ideal Heating’s Combi Boiler Maintenance Tips
As the proud owner of a combi boiler, there are a few tips and tricks to help ensure your boiler runs as efficiently as possible:
1. Conduct an annual boiler service
Booking a boiler inspection every year not only helps to keep your boiler safe and protects your warranty - it ensures your combi boiler is well-maintained and running at optimum efficiency.
2. Clean, repair and replace
Follow your engineer’s recommendations. If a component of your combi boiler requires cleaning, repair or replacement, then make sure this work is carried out. This will help to ensure the rest of your boiler isn’t impacted by one damaged part, thus increasing the lifespan of your boiler.
3. Reduce limescale build-up
Boilers can be prone to limescale build-up, which is a deposit of calcium carbonate. Without going into too much science, limescale can start to block your pipes and shorten the lifespan of your boiler if left untreated. Installing a water softening device and cleaning away limescale during your boiler service could add a few years of life onto your boiler.
Installing a magnetic system filter can also help to remove debris and sludge lurking in your heating system.
4. Look after your heating system
To improve the lifespan of your boiler, make sure all elements of your central heating system are running effectively. From bleeding your radiators to insulating your pipework in the winter, there are many ways you can keep your central heating running as it should.
5. Install a wireless thermostat
Though installing a thermostat for your combi boiler might not improve your boiler’s lifespan, it will improve your home’s overall energy efficiency. A smart thermostat like Ideal Heating’s Halo combi boiler thermostat lets you set your heating schedule wirelessly, ensuring your heating is only ever on when it’s needed. Why make your boiler work harder than it needs to, especially during the night or if you’re out of the house?
Choosing Your Combi Boiler
Good things can’t last forever. If you’ve had your combi boiler for over fifteen years, it might be time for an upgrade. There are many advantages to choosing a combi boiler- they’re efficient, compact and provide instant access to hot water when you need it.
Take a look at our easy-to-use Boiler Finder to help you choose the right boiler for your home.