Our boilers are essential all year round, but as the winter months draw in you may find that your boiler is more important than ever. Cold, dark nights mean that heating and hot water are especially necessary, so the last thing you want is to find that your boiler has broken, or not working as efficiently as it should.
If it’s looking like you might need a boiler replacement – don’t panic – the process is often quicker and more straightforward than you think. Most people will have to get a new boiler at least once in their lifetime, and a new gas boiler will ensure that your home stays cosy all year round. If you think you may need a new boiler but aren’t sure what to expect, read on for some common signs you need a replacement, and what to expect when the time comes.
Signs you need to replace your boiler
In most cases, a boiler will last around 15 years, but of course there are some circumstances where you may need to replace it earlier. From unusual noises to low water pressure, there are some common signs which indicate that your boiler may need replacing, which we will discuss in more detail below.
High energy bills
If you find your energy bills are higher than usual, then it could indicate that your boiler isn’t functioning as effectively as it should. While you may find that switching to a different energy provider can save money on bills, if costs have been steadily rising for no reason (say, if you haven’t had the heating on more than usual), then this is a good indication that your boiler isn’t working efficiently.
Boilers and radiators are prone to making the occasional noise, especially when firing up, but if you notice loud banging, gurgling or kettling noises coming from your boiler, then this is a sign that it isn’t in the best condition. Ignoring these noises can lead to damage or a breakdown over time, so it’s important to get your boiler looked at if it’s being noisier than usual.
A water leak from your boiler can cause significant damage; not only to the boiler itself but also to the surrounding area of your home. A leaking boiler indicates that an internal component like a valve or seal has been broken, and a leak can lead to corrosion and rust, or even cause electric components inside the boiler to short circuit. This can be very dangerous, so if you notice a boiler leak then repairs or a replacement should be carried out as soon as possible.
Carbon monoxide actually has no smell; but companies add an odour to it for safety, so people can identify if there’s been a leak. If you smell the distinctive sulphurous smell of gas in your home, then this is a sign that something is very wrong. For safety, vacate the premises as soon as possible and call a gas engineer immediately.
A yellow flame
A boiler functioning correctly should have a bright blue flame, so if your boiler’s pilot light has a yellow flame that’s a sign that something isn’t right. Yellow flames can indicate a carbon monoxide problem, which can be extremely serious if left untreated. Carbon monoxide is odourless and colourless, but it can cause severe poisoning, so if you see a yellow flame you should call an engineer as soon as possible.
Radiators take a long time to heat up
If you notice your radiators stay warm rather than hot, or f they take an unusually long time to heat up, then that’s usually a good sign that your boiler is on its way out. Sitting in a cold home can be unpleasant, and it also wastes money if you’re paying for the boiler to be on while not enjoying the benefits.
The installation process
If you’ve noticed one or more of the signs above and have decided it’s time for a boiler replacement, then you may be wondering what this actually entails. It sounds like a complicated job, but in most cases your old boiler can be removed, and a new one installed, on the same day. There are several different types of boiler to choose from; the combi boiler, system boiler, or conventional boiler, and the one that’s right for you will depend on how much space you have, whether you have a gas connection, and your hot water requirements. A gas engineer will be able to advise you about which type of boiler is right for you, so once you’ve chosen, they can get started on the installation process.
When should I get in installed?
If you’re replacing your boiler because of an emergency or a breakdown, then you won’t really have much choice about when it’s installed! However, if you’re replacing it because it’s simply become too old or inefficient, then the summer months are the best bet, as you’ll naturally be relying on less heating and hot water during this time.
A trusted gas engineer will do their best to make the installation process as quick and simple as possible, to reduce the amount of disruption in your home. They will bring all the materials required with them on the day, as well as dust sheets to cover carpets and surrounding surfaces. The first thing an engineer will need to know is how many radiators you have, the number of bathrooms in your home, what the water pressure is like, and where your current boiler is positioned.
As mentioned, in most cases your old boiler can be replaced with a new one on the same day, but the process may take longer if your boiler system is particularly old, or if you’re swapping one boiler type for another. Boiler installation costs can also vary depending on the make and model you choose, but expect to pay somewhere between £3,000 and £5,000.
The majority of boilers nowadays are wall mounted, but if you’re changing from a floor standing boiler, or moving the position of your existing model, then this may take longer to install and cost more money because of the additional pipework needed. A power flush may also be performed during the installation; this gets rid of any dirt or sludge still in the pipes, and ensures that your new boiler can function as efficiently as possible.
After the boiler has been installed, the engineer will perform some checks to ensure the boiler is working as it should, as well as clean up any dust and debris created by the installation. They’ll also talk you through the controls to make sure you can operate the new model, and you can request a follow up call or visit if there are any problems. Most boilers come with a five or ten year warranty too, although you’ll need to have your boiler serviced every year for the warranty to be valid.
If you’re looking for professional boiler installations for your home or business in West London, then get in touch with West London Gas. Our registered engineers can assist you with gas boiler replacement, boiler servicing, and a range of emergency repairs in the event of a breakdown. We also offer central heating servicing and installations, so you can be confident that your home will remain cosy all year round. For more information about any of our services, or to arrange an appointment, give us a call today or visit our website.