Do I need a new boiler?

Your boiler is an essential appliance in your household. With 95% of the UK using a gas boiler as part of their central heating system, they are the most popular form of central heating. But do you know the signs of a malfunctioning or broken boiler?

Here, we give our top five signs of a boiler that may need replacing. Please note that it is recommended that a Gas Safe registered engineer is used to look at your boiler as it could be dangerous if you are not qualified to do so.

1. There’s a smell coming from your boiler

A fully-functioning heating system will not omit any offensive smells. If you can smell gas, then call the Gas Emergency Services straight away:

0800 111 999 for England

0800 002 001 for Scotland, Wales & NI

If you don’t smell gas but something doesn’t smell quite right, this could be a sign of a carbon monoxide leak. Whilst carbon monoxide itself is odourless, a leak could cause the boiler to not burn properly which could lead to a strange smell. A carbon monoxide leak can be fatal to your health, so make sure to get your boiler seen to as quickly as possible and evacuate the premises until it’s been seen to.

Other signs which suggest a carbon monoxide leak include:

  • A yellow pilot flame rather than a blue flame
  • Dark soot stains
  • A weak pilot light which frequently blows out
  • Increased condensation in your windows

It’s important to note that these signs can also suggest that something else is wrong with your boiler, such as a blockage or an obstructed or dirty pilot tube tip. So, it’s best to get this checked out by an engineer to find out the underlying cause.

2. You’re experiencing a lot of breakdowns

Possibly an obvious one, but important nonetheless. If your boiler consistently experiencing boiler breakdowns, this could be a sign that you’re in need of an upgrade.

Age can be an issue with boilers as, over time, its internal parts can corrode, rust and rot. This can cause leaks and mechanical failures.

Your pipework can also become clogged with debris, air and gunk which can stop water from properly circulating. This clogged water can then infiltrate your boiler, causing damage. If this happens once, a simple flushing of your central heating system could be enough. But if your boiler keeps breaking down, it could be time for a new one.

 3. Your pilot light is orange or yellow

Your pilot light is located on the front of your furnace. There will be a little window where you can see it flickering.

It should be crisp and blue in colour. If it isn’t, this could suggest a dirty pilot tube tip. This doesn’t always mean that you need a new boiler, but it’s important to get it checked.

Another reason could be because of a carbon monoxide leak, as mentioned earlier.

Again, we recommend that you contact a Gas Safe registered engineer to have a look to maintain full safety.

4. You have a loud radiator noise

When your boiler fires up, there will be the usual quiet hum. If your radiator is making a banging noise, then this may be cause for concern. If there is a lot of crashing and clanking, this could be a sign that there is something wrong with your boiler.

A noisy radiator could suggest a number issues:

  • Broken valves
  • Build-up of sludge inside the radiator
  • Trapped air inside the radiator
  • Build-up of limescale and/or debris

Switch off your boiler, as this can refrain from further damage, and get a Gas Safe registered engineer to check it. Whilst it could be saved, it could also be a sign that it’s time for a new boiler

5. Your energy usage dramatically increases

This may be a difficult sign to spot due to the recent energy price increase across the country, but it’s good to keep this in mind.

If your boiler is using more energy than usual, this could mean that it is running inefficiently due to a possible issue. This is very common for older boilers. The older your boiler is, the less efficient it will run.

All new boilers must be in line with the government’s Boiler Plus legislation which means that your boiler must have an ErP efficiency of at least 92%, and to have times and temperature controls fitted. This means that your new boiler will run much more efficiently so you can have peace of mind that your energy usage will not be higher than it should be.

Here, we have shared our top five signs of a broken boiler. If you spot any of these signs, then you must get your boiler checked straight away by a Gas Safe registered engineer. A small malfunction can lead to a larger, more dangerous issue so it’s best to get it checked as soon as you can.

If you are in need of a new boiler, you can have a look at the vast range of boilers that we have on offer here. All of our boilers meet a variety of needs and cover multiple price ranges, so you’ll be sure to find one with us.

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