During the colder months, staying warm is very important. The drop in temperature can lead to various health issues including viruses and colds that can be hard to fight off. This is why it is important to keep your home heated during colder months and to make sure that your boiler is working correctly. Lots of homes rely on gas heaters for hot water and heating, and when your gas boiler breaks down it can be both stressful and costly to repair – especially if the temperatures are low outside. Below are the top five signs that it may be time to replace your boiler.
A water leak from your boiler is perhaps one of the most obvious signs that your boiler is breaking down and could need replacing. Water leaks should not be ignored, as leaks can lead to serious problems and can cause damage to both your boiler and your home. Leaks can be caused by a number of problems, some include:
● Corrosion. The heat exchanger in your boiler can corrode over time and eventually split, leaking water. Heat exchangers are very expensive, so unfortunately it may be time for a new boiler.
● Overworking valve. The pressure release valve in your boiler may be working overtime which could be the reason that you are experiencing boiler leaks. The valve releases excess water if the pressure rises too high, but sometimes this valve can operate too high and cause leaks.
● Cracks. Your boiler is constantly heating up and then cooling down and this can cause the metal inside to expand and contract, leading to splits and cracks which will leak out water. Cracks and splits are a sign that it is time for a new boiler.
If you notice a bad smell coming from your boiler then this is a sign that you need a boiler replacement. Boilers that are functioning correctly will not smell, and a smell coming from your boiler could be an indication that there is a carbon monoxide leak – something that requires immediate attention and can be fatal. If you experience any bad smells coming from your boiler then it is important to get in touch with a professional immediately as carbon monoxide can be very dangerous, leading to poisoning. Other signs of a carbon monoxide leak to look out for include brown-yellow stains around the boiler, your pilot light turning from blue to yellow and condensation in the room where your boiler is installed.
If you have noticed a sudden increase in your energy bills then it may be a sign that it is time to replace your boiler. There are a few things that can cause high gas bills:
● The motorised valve is faulty. If your boiler is particularly old then a sudden increase in energy bills could be down to the motorised valve being faulty. Motorised valves in boilers can become jammed, causing a number of problems. Signs of a faulty motorised diverter valve include hot water coming from your taps but no general heating, having to switch on your heating in order to get hot water from the taps, and lukewarm water coming from your hot water tap. A faulty motorised valve means that your boiler will continue to run when it is not timed to, costing you more money.
● Your boiler has an old pilot light. Again, if you have an old boiler then chances are you may have an old pilot light which could be wasting gas and racking up your energy bills. An old pilot light is a small burning gas flame that is used to ignite the main gas burner. This flame burns 24 hours a day which means that, as it is burning constantly, you can end up wasting a lot of gas. Old pilot lights usually feature in much older boilers, so getting a new boiler altogether is a good option to save on energy bills.
It is a good idea to track your monthly gas bills in order to see exactly how much gas you are using. This way you can see any sudden random spikes in your energy bill prices and make sure that you are not wasting money.
If there are odd noises coming from your boiler then this could be another sign that your boiler needs replacing. You may hear noises that sound like a kettle boiling or whistling, or a tapping or scratching sound. Different noises can indicate different problems within your boiler.
● A whistling sound can be a sign of kettling in your boiler, which can be caused by a build-up of limescale on the heat exchanger – the component that transfers heat into the water. Minerals found in hard water can result in limescale – a white substance that tends to form in layers and limit the movement of water – and this can form in limescale deposits on your heat exchanger, trapping water and causing it to boil. This is the reason you hear a noise that sounds like a kettle boiling.
● A scratching or tapping sound may be a sign of sludge build-up. Sludge is basically dirty water. Particles from this water mix with iron oxide (otherwise known as rust) which develops inside pipes and radiators. This combination (which forms a gooey substance) can pass through the heat exchanger, depositing particles as it passes through and restricting the flow of water.
As a general rule of thumb, if your boiler is more than ten years old then it is definitely worth considering getting it replaced. If you have noticed that your house is not being heated properly or your boiler is taking an unusually long time to reach the correct temperature, it may be time for a new boiler installation. Older models of boilers are not as efficient as newer models and do not have the same advanced safety features, so it is worth investing in a brand new one to ensure that you can heat up your house quickly and efficiently.
Any work or servicing that is related to gas requires a Gas Safe engineer. Attempting to repair your boiler yourself can be very dangerous and, in the very worst case scenario, cause an explosion. DIY jobs on boilers can leave you with faulty repairs and lead to a number of problems including a carbon monoxide leak which can be fatal. You should always contact a professional company that has Gas Safe engineers, is insured and has good experience.
If you experience any of the above issues, then it may be time to get your boiler replaced. Here at West London Gas our team of Gas Safe registered engineers are on hand to manage all of your boiler maintenance, repair and installation needs. We also offer a reliable emergency service for gas boiler repair, meaning that you will never be left in the cold wondering what to do. Our experienced team works to the highest industry standards to bring you high quality boilers at low cost prices.
If you are having issues with your boiler and you live in West London, we can help get your home heated up again in no time. We understand the importance of a working boiler in the colder months, which is why we aim to reach you on the very same day. To discuss your boiler service requirements or to get a free estimate, simply get in touch with us today. We also offer various central heating installations and servicing.