Boiler systems provide us with the daily comforts that we often take for granted. In fact, the only time most property owners even give their boiler system a second thought is when something goes wrong and it needs to be repaired or replaced.
At a certain point, the cost of repairing the same boiler system over and over just gets to be too much and can even exceed the cost of simply getting a new boiler. How can you determine if replacing a boiler versus repairing it is the logical choice?
There are eight telltale signs that indicate whether it’s time to say out with the old and in with the new. Keep reading!
The Age of Your Boiler
If you’re boiler is more than 10-15 years old, then it’s most likely time to swap it out for a newer and younger model.
That’s the average age range for a standard boiler system. Of course, there are a number of factors that can impact the quality of its performance and longevity. Everything from the quality of the make, the brand, maintenance, and frequency of use can impact your boiler’s performance over time.
If you use your boiler frequently and it’s getting up there in age, be sure to keep a close eye on its performance quality and maintain it regularly.
The Time It Takes to Heat Water
A fully functional boiler system shouldn’t need more than a few seconds to heat up water. It should be reliable enough to provide you with consistently warm or hot water throughout your home.
If your boiler takes longer than a few seconds to heat up water in various parts of your home, then you need to assess its performance. A brand new boiler may need some maintenance work, but an older model that’s been fixed a few times over the years might be on its last legs.
It’s Making Strange Noises
Boiler systems are typically silent and don’t make noise unless there’s something wrong internally. To diagnose the issue, you need to identify the type of noise your boiler system is making.
Gurgling noises usually indicate that the water pressure being released may be too low. This is an easy fix that requires you to adjust the pressure gauge or manometer to the appropriate level until the noise stops.
A loud rumbling sound, on the other hand, most likely indicates that the boiler is kittling. This happens as a result of mineral deposit buildup caused by hard water running through the boiler over a number of years. Your best course of action is to shut the boiler off and schedule an appointment with an HVAC professional, so they can diagnose the problem and offer an appropriate solution.
Your Boiler Is Leaking
A leaking boiler can lead to a wide range of costly and potentially hazardous issues throughout your home. Water leaking from your boiler system can damage your flooring and surrounding fixtures, not to mention the fact that contact with electrical outlets can short circuit your property and even start a fire.
Carbon monoxide leaks, which can be fatal, are also commonly caused by malfunctioning leaky boiler systems. It’s important to identify the cause of the leak and deal with the situation immediately. Fixing a leaking boiler system can be expensive, so it’s usually a better idea to just replace it altogether. If you notice water leaking from your boiler system, call an HVAC specialist right away to examine your unit.
It’s Always Breaking Down and Needs Repairs
Boiler repair costs can quickly add up over time. Eventually the cost of repairing your boiler system will far exceed the cost of just replacing it with a newer and more advanced model.
Occasional repairs and part replacements are perfectly normal and to be expected throughout the lifespan of your boiler system. But if you’re forced to schedule servicing at least once a week, then your boiler system needs replacement immediately.
Your Energy Bills Have Skyrocketed
Have you noticed a large inexplicable increase in your energy bills lately? It may be time to check on your boiler system to see if it’s working properly. Naturally, your boiler system will exhibit some signs of wear and tear, but these should be easily manageable with routine maintenance and service checkups.
The functionality of your boiler system will decrease over time and you’ll start to notice that it takes a lot longer for water to heat up or that the heat distribution throughout your home is uneven. Newer boiler systems are far more energy-efficient than older units. Lower energy consumption will significantly reduce your monthly utility payments and end up saving you some money in the long run.
Uneven Heat Distribution Throughout Your Home
The older your home is, the harder it has to work to properly heat your home. If you’re starting to notice an increasing number of cold spots throughout your home or that the water in certain parts of the house doesn’t warm up fast enough, then this is a major sign that you need a boiler system replacement.
Uneven heat distribution throughout your home not only increases your utility bill every month, but it can also make you feel uncomfortable in your own home, which isn’t ideal since many of us are currently under lockdown due to COVID-19.
The Pilot Light Is Yellow Instead of Blue
Some boiler systems have pilot lights. Typically, the pilot light should burn blue to indicate that the unit is in good working condition and that it has a sufficient oxygen supply to heat up the water and air in your home.
A yellow pilot light, however, usually spells trouble. There are a few reasons why the pilot light could turn yellow. It could be that the intake valve is blocked by debris or dust in which case you simply need to clean it out or replace it. Once you do that, check again to see if the light turns back to blue.
If it stays yellow, then this means you mostly have a more serious issue like a carbon monoxide leak in your home. A telltale indication of this is if you find black soot around the unit. If this is the case, then turn the boiler system off immediately and contact an HVAC professional to take a look at it.
Trust the HVAC experts at MDM Mechanical for all of your boiler installation, repair, and maintenance needs in Toronto and the GTA. We’re a family-owned and operated business that takes pride in providing high-quality services for all of our clients. Contact us today to book a consultation.