Whenever people have problems with their boiler, they have the dilemma of whether to repair it or replace it. The decision depends on a number of factors. You should consider each of these factors carefully before making your decision.
“It’s important to choose honest, experienced and fully qualified heating engineers” says Stuart of MP Plumbing, a Bristol based plumber “that way, they will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your boiler – whether that be repair or replacement. You don’t want to pay for repairs if they are going to cost more than replacement, it’s just not logical and will end up costing you more in the long run”.
Age of the Boiler
If your boiler has been running for 10 years or longer, then you should think about replacing it. If your boiler is not that old and you are having problems, you can usually get away with repairing it. It is common for manufacturer’s to include a warranty of up to two years when you buy a boiler, so if you have any problem with the boiler within this time frame, the manufacturer will repair it for you or replace any parts if needed.
A boiler that is more than 10 years old may also be unsafe. It may not meet the latest laws and guidelines concerning boilers and gas safety. Before repairing your boiler, you should ask a professional to inspect it to see whether it’s safe to continue using it. Boiler safety is very important because faulty boilers can release carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is very harmful to your health and can even cause death if you’re exposed to it for long periods.
The repair cost depends on the nature of the problem. It can be more expensive to repair old boilers, especially if they are more than 10 years old as it’s likely the manufacturer will have stopped production of the parts. Availability of parts will become less, so the prices for them will rise. If a newer boiler has a problem then you can find the parts easily and it will cost you less to fix. However, even with newer boilers, you may need to do expensive repairs. In such case, it may be better to replace your old boiler with a new one. If the problem with the boiler is minor and it can be fixed quite easily then you should repair it instead of replacing it. You should compare the cost of repairing and replacing the boiler, and then make your decision. As a rule of thumb, if your boiler has passed three-quarters of its lifespan and the cost of repairing it is one-third of the price needed to buy a new one, then you should replace the old boiler with a new one.
If you have maintained the boiler well then it is likely that your boiler is in good condition. In such case repairing it will be the best option. A well-maintained boiler shouldn’t cause any major problem for years, so you won’t have to think about replacing it.
A major part of your monthly utility bills comes from the boiler, so your boiler needs to be energy efficient. When you have an old boiler and the engineer tells you that it can be fixed, you should still consider the energy efficiency aspect of it. If you buy a new boiler that is more energy efficient, then you will be saving a lot of money in the long run. But if your boiler is new and is an energy efficient model then repairing will be a better option.
Frequency of Breakdowns
Does your boiler breakdown frequently? If so, it’s probably going to be more cost effective to replace it as the constant repair bills can mount up over time. Also, it can be very stressful to have to keep calling out an emergency engineer to repair the boiler, especially during the Winter. If the problems are infrequent and you have a fairly new boiler then it is better to repair it.
Keeping an old or inefficient boiler running for a number of years can be very costly. If you have a boiler that is heading towards its 10 years, you might want to think about replacing it sooner rather than later in order to save money. The cost of a new boiler may seem high, but if you’re experiencing frequent problems, it may not be as expensive as you think. Some modern boilers come with a 10-year warranty period, so buying a new one will eventually save you a lot of money as you won’t have to pay for the repair costs till the warranty period is over.
You should always hire someone experienced and suitably qualified. In some cases, just repairing the boiler may be cost effective and the best option; but in other cases replacing it might be a better decision. You should also check the efficiency of your central heating to ensure that a poorly working system isn’t costing you money while losing heat. A professional engineer will be able to fully check your system, advise you and help you to decide.
Whether you stick with your old boiler or opt for a new one, boiler insurance is a great option for making sure you are covered if the worst does happen. You should also make sure your boiler is checked annually to make sure that it’s in good condition, is safe and runs for several more years. If you are a tenant, your landlord has a legal responsibility to have the boiler checked each year.