Tips & Resources
Have you noticed that your boiler is no longer functioning as efficiently as it once was? You may be wondering if it is more cost-effective at this time to repair or replace it. Several indicators can help you make that determination with confidence.
Here are some key factors that signal it could be time for a replacement.
Boilers typically have a lifespan of up to 15 years. If your boiler has had standard maintenance and is approaching the 15-year mark, age is the likely culprit for any problems. As the boiler ages, it has to work harder, which can hinder optimal operation, increase wear and tear and result in the need for more frequent repairs. Age alone does not necessarily mean there is a problem, but the cost and frequency of repairs for an older furnace are a good indication that it is time for a replacement.
As your boiler nears the end of its lifespan it will likely become less efficient. This means it requires more energy for the same level of performance, which translates to higher monthly energy costs. Energy bills typically represent the largest amount of a home’s budget, after mortgage payments, and minimizing them is often a priority for homeowners. If you notice your bills are getting significantly higher, it may be time to upgrade to a new energy-efficient model. The reduction in energy costs can help offset the cost of replacement.
A properly functioning furnace produces a blue flame. Discoloration, in the form of yellow flames, happens when dirt and soot clog the burners and prevents the gas and oxygen from mixing properly. The boiler is then burning carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas. At low levels, carbon monoxide causes headaches and dizziness, but at higher levels it is lethal, so this issue should be addressed immediately. Contact your HVAC technician or gas company as soon as possible.
If your home is not evenly heated, meaning you experience hot spots or cold spots that you can’t control, the problem may be the boiler and, if so, it is probably time for a replacement.
Leaks, even if they are small, are a strong indication that it is time to replace your boiler. You will want to prevent small leaks from becoming larger and potentially causing more damage to your home.
A gas smell around the boiler indicates a gas leak, and any gas leak is dangerous. In this situation, repairing an older boiler completely is not possible. A boiler with this type of leak should be replaced as soon as possible.
As a boiler ages and repairs become more frequent, investing in a new boiler makes sense. While the initial cost of replacement may seem high, the cost of multiple individual repairs each year adds up quickly. In addition, a new, energy-efficient system will have significantly lower operating costs, making it a wise investment.
Unusual noises beyond the normal sounds of the boiler turning on, such as rattling, banging and clanking, indicate that the pressure inside the system is no longer at optimal levels. This negatively affects the overall performance of your heating system.