Published: 21 November 2019
Winter’s here – and the last thing you need is a cold house and bracing baths. It’s time to be extra-vigilant with your gas boiler, to make sure everything is working as it should be. Knowing the signs of a broken boiler can help you get it sorted quickly, before icicles form on the wrong side of the windows.
Often, replacing rather than repairing a broken boiler is a quicker, and in the long-term, cheaper option.
We’ll take a look at why replacing your boiler could be a better option than repairing, and then show you what you need to look out for.
When It’s Time To Replace Your Boiler
Sometimes, it’s too late to repair an older boiler. All boilers have a shelf life, and if yours has been working away for ten years or more, it could be time to replace it with a new model. As a boiler ages, it will need more and more repairs, and older parts can become expensive and obsolete.
If you’ve had your boiler for over ten years, you could be saving up to 40% on your annual gas bill by replacing it with an efficient, A-rated model.
We can come and take a look at your boiler, and advise you whether it’s repair or replace. We’ll always be honest with you: if something as simple as a new valve, we’ll say so. However, quite often, with elderly boilers, a breakdown can be the sign that it’s nearing the end of its life.
But – this could end up actually saving you money. Here’s why.
Why It’s Better To Repair Than Replace
Recently, there’s been a rising concern about our throwaway culture, with a return to the “make-do-and-mend” approach. Whereas we applaud that with many domestic items, it’s actually better for the environment, and your pocket, to replace rather than fix a malfunctioning or elderly boiler.
Old boilers are inefficient
An older boiler (by which we mean over 10 years old) is likely to be working at 60% capacity. That means it’s spewing up to 40% of this wasted energy into the atmosphere, as CO, every single day. AS you can imagine, this isn’t good for the environment, or your bank balance.
You’ll make immediate savings
A new, A-rated boiler produces very little waste: instead of going up into the ether, that lost 40% will be a 40% saving on your gas bill. You’ll use only what you need, and pay for only what you use – with minimal polluting waste.
You can upgrade to more efficient heating controls
You can also get funding towards new heating controls from the SEAI Home Energy Grants scheme, which will make your new system even more energy efficient. We can help you with the application. As well as getting a grant of €750 towards your new controls, modern, programmable digital controls enable to you run your house economically.
Repairs aren’t necessarily the cheap option
A professional diagnosis followed by getting in the spare part or parts, plus the call-out charge, can be expensive. If it’s an older boiler, the chances are this repair won’t be a one-off, as your hard-working machine gradually begins to give up.
Parts for older boilers can be difficult to get hold of, simply because they’re not mass manufactured any more. Naturally, this comes with a cost.
New boilers come with a guarantee
All the new boilers we replace at Duffy Heating come with 7 years’ free warranty. If there is a problem during that period, just give us a shout.
…and a free filter
We’ll also throw in a free MagnaClean filter. This keeps your system clean from magnetite, the iron oxide sludge that is a common cause of central heating systems become clogged up.
You’ll have a shiny new boiler
If your boiler’s reaching the stage where you’re having to sort out more and more repairs, it’s probably not much fun to live with. Not only will you have an effective and efficient new boiler, but you’ll have better programmable controls and a sleek new casing. If you opt for a combi boiler, you’ll also get hot water on demand with no space-wasting tanks.
Once you get a replacement boiler, keep it ticking over nicely with an annual service. If you live in the Dublin area, we can service your boiler every year. A regular service will keep your home nice and cosy, pick up on any potential issues, and ensure that your boiler is running safely.
If you suspect that your boiler is broken, it’s time to act now, before the problem gets worse. Replacing your boiler now can save you some costly repairs – and some unpleasantly cold winter evenings. But how can you tell that your boiler’s on the blink?
How To Tell That Your Boiler Needs Replacing
You don’t need to be an engineer to spot that your boiler isn’t working properly. It could be as simple as noticing a drop in the ambient temperature of your home. If you know what to look out for, you’re more likely to spot any potential issues.
Here’s what you need to look out for:
Your Hot Water Isn’t Hot
Taps running cold? Yes, this is a pretty clear indication that everything isn’t working as it should. Completely cold water could be a sign of a thermostat problem, frozen pipes, or even just a dodgy timer. It’s always worth getting it checked out: nobody likes a cold shower.
Your House Is Cold
Again, this is a sure sign of a boiler problem. Cold radiators could be caused by a number of factors, and it’s not always easy to work out what the issue is. Valve, thermostat, air lock? Call us in for a proper diagnosis, as it could be any of those.
You’re Hearing Strange Noises…
Even quiet boilers make a sound. We’re all so accustomed to the sound our own boiler makes, that we’re pretty much tuned-out to it all the time. So, if it suddenly makes a new noise, we notice. Clunks, clanks, whistles, whirrs… These could all be signs that the something is broken or blocked. You wouldn’t ignore a funny sound coming from your car engine, so treat your boiler in the same way.
There’s An Odd Smell
Does your boiler smell of rotten eggs? This is never good. An eggy smell near your boiler means it’s leaking carbon monoxide, and you need to act quickly. Shut down the boiler and call for a qualified engineer to check it out asap. Another way to spot a carbon monoxide leak is by looking at the boiler casing, because a CO leak can cause dark spots.
Sometimes, there’s an oily smell, or an acrid hot plastic or metal smell. This is a sign that something is overheating, such as an element or circuit. Again, shut it off and call for expert help. You may get that hot dust smell the first time you fire it up after the summer. This is normal, but seek advice if the smell doesn’t burn off after a day or so, or gets really unpleasant.
There’s a Water Leak
Are there damp patches or even puddles on the floor near your boiler? A leak can cause damage to your boiler, not to mention your property. Don’t ignore a small drip, because as we all know, little drips can turn into big leaks. Act fast, before the leak increases and causes damage to your property.
The Boiler Turns Itself Off
Most boilers have a safety cut-off to prevent them from overheating. If your boiler keeps shutting down, it may mean that one of its components is becoming too hot. Again, this isn’t a job to investigate yourself. It’s good to know that your boiler’s safety cut-out is working – but it’s safest to switch it off and wait for the engineer to take a look.
Your Gas Bill Is Enormous
Have your energy bills increased? If so, it could be a sign that your boiler has started to run inefficiently. Older boilers can be only 60-70% efficient, so you’re paying for a lot of lost energy.
If you think that you’re paying a lot for your gas or you notice a sudden spike in costs, please get in touch and we’ll come and have a look at your boiler. It could be that a replacement boiler will pay for itself pretty quickly.
Those are the seven most common signs that you may have a malfunctioning boiler. If you spot any of these signs, don’t panic. Switch the boiler off, and give us a ring.
Talk To Us About Our Replacement Boiler Service
At Duffy Heating, we have years of experience of installing new boilers in Dublin’s homes, with as little fuss and mess as possible. We promise to get your central heating up and running as soon as possible.
Over the years, we’ve had to source all sorts of weird and wonderful obsolete parts for ancient boilers; and honestly, fitting a whole new boiler is far quicker than sorting an obscure part.
Contact us today to discuss your broken boiler, and we’ll come and take a look.