Is It Time to Replace Your Central Heating Before Winter?

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With the winter just a couple of months away, it’s a good time to consider whether you should replace your central heating. 

Boilers tend to last 10-15 years, and whether or not yours is this far along in its lifespan, boilers see their efficiency decline with time and, for economic and safety reasons, should be replaced when required. Is it time to replace yours? Let’s take a look!

When to Replace a Boiler

As touched on, boilers usually last between 10 and 15 years. However, they should be replaced as soon as needed or/and when they become beyond economical repair.

Signs that your boiler needs replacing include:

  • Breaking down frequently.
  • Your bills are increasing for no logical reason. *
  • Your heating system has become noisier with time.

*This can result from your boiler’s energy efficiency declining with time.

Note: If more serious issues arise, faster action will be required. For instance, if you smell gas, this is an emergency. You and everyone else on the property should evacuate your property, and from the safety of outside with sufficient distance between you and the property, call the gas emergency number. 

This number is 0800 111 999 for those in England, Scotland, and Wales, or 0800 002 001 if you live in Northern Ireland.

When to Replace Your Radiators

As for your radiators, these will need replacing, on average, once every 15 to 20 years. However, as with a boiler, radiators should be replaced when needed, or once they become beyond economical repair.

Here are some of the key signs that your radiators need replacing:

  • Your radiators are old and have lost a good chunk of their efficiency
  • Expensive issues have arisen, and your radiators are around the age when they should be replaced anyway

When it’s time to replace radiators in your home, there are steps you can take to prolong the lifespan of your new radiators and maintain their high efficiency for as long as possible.

These steps include bleeding your radiators at least once a year (or whenever deemed necessary) and having your heating system power flushed by a professional once every 5 to 6 years. If in doubt, you should leave bleeding your radiators to a professional, too.

Types of Heating Systems and Replacement Costs

If it’s time to replace your central heating system, you’ll want to spend a good time considering what replacement to use.

In general, it makes sense to swap out a heating system for a like-for-like replacement (e.g., replacing a combi boiler with a combi boiler, replacing a system boiler with a system boiler, etc.). However, if it’s time to switch up, consider asking a heating engineer for advice.

Of course, even if you know what type of heating system you’d like to opt for, it’s important to spend a reasonable amount of time looking at the various types of boilers on the market. The same applies if you’re instead or additionally looking to have your radiators replaced.

Here are the average costs of different types of heating system installations:

  • Combi boiler – £1,500 to £3,500
  • Regular boiler – £1,500 to £3,000
  • System boiler – £1,600 to £3,600
  • Air source heat pump – £7,000 to £15,000
  • Ground source heat pump – £17,000 to £35,000
  • Underfloor heating * – £4,000 to £11,000

*You may be interested in having your radiators replaced with underfloor heating. This makes sense, especially if you had a heat pump installed. However, adding underfloor heating is possible even if you opt for a replacement boiler.

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