Repair or Replace: The Tipping Point for Heating Systems

We all want to be warm and comfortable, so the central heating system is a key feature of any house. Like all technology, boilers can develop problems over time and there comes a point when you need to decide whether to continue repairing your old system or replace it with a new one.

Repair or Replace

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Boiler Repairs

In a conventional heating system with a boiler and radiators you can expect the boiler to last for 15 to 20 years. Wherever you live, for example Haslemere boilers are of modular construction so it’s likely that over a 20 year life most of the boiler will – like Trigger’s broom in Only Fools and Horses – have been replaced anyway.

Boiler parts are generally available for years after a model stops being manufactured, so provided it’s regularly maintained it’s possible to keep an old boiler going. Older boilers were often built to last and keeping them running may well be a greener option even if they use a little more fuel than a newer model.

New Boilers

If your old boiler has had its day and you’re looking for a replacement then you will need to get a condensing boiler. These were first introduced in the 1980s, though they didn’t come into widespread use until the late 90s and are able to capture some of the heat that would otherwise be lost via the flue gasses, using it to heat the water in the radiator circuit, thus saving fuel.

Many people assume that a condensing boiler has to be a combi, which heats hot water on demand rather than having a storage cylinder. This is not the case however, for example suppliers like and others fit condensing system boilers that provide normal functionality but retain the ability to store hot water. This type of system is often used in larger houses.

Decision Time

In choosing whether to repair or replace your boiler you need to weigh up the costs. A new energy efficient boiler will use less fuel – you could save up to £300 a year – but you have to weigh this against the cost of installation, which means a new boiler could take several years to pay for itself. You should also consider reliability and how much space the boiler takes up.

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