Your boiler is nothing short of essential to your home. It can be thought of as an organ, supplying hot water for your central heating, washing and bathing on demand and at all hours. A boiler failure can be catastrophic to the running of your home, in relation to comfort and amenities but also with regard to your wallet. Emergency repairs and replacements are not friendly to monthly household budgets, and as such should be planned for as much as possible.
One key way to plan is to know what to look for in a failing boiler. This way, you can get ahead of any potential danger to your home, and cut costs in the process. If you notice any of the following things about your boiler or energy expenditure, now is the time to think about an upgrade:
Your Energy Bills are Rising
It is an unfortunate fact of the times that energy bills are rising for everyone, especially after the last energy price cap increase to £693 in April. However, careful observation of your bills can be a useful metric by which to measure the efficiency of your boiler. If your bills are rising beyond the expected increase to your bills, this could be a sign your boiler needs replacing. However, if you use a G-grade boiler, you might as well consider to replace it for an A-grade boiler: using a more energy efficient model will make a huge difference on your heating bills.
Breakdowns Are Increasing in Frequency
If you have an older boiler, you may have noticed that breakdowns and engineer callouts are taking place more frequently than before. Especially old conventional boilers may also see increased difficulty in repairs, as parts go obsolete and become harder to find. If this is the case, now is the best time for you to research new boilers on the market and commit to an upgrade.
Your Boiler’s Flame is Yellow
The flame in your boiler should be burning blue at all times, indicating complete combustion. If your boiler is producing a yellow flame, this indicates that the gas is not combusting completely. Incomplete combustion results in the increased production of carbon monoxide, as well as the presence of soot – which can block your boiler’s filters, and cause carbon monoxide to seep into your home. If you see a yellow flame, you should call an engineer immediately.
Your Boiler Smells
Last but certainly not least, it may be funny to imagine a boiler that smells bad – but smell can in fact be an urgent sign that something is wrong, and a dangerous portent for the overall safety of your home. Generally speaking, bad or ‘eggy’ smells emanating from around your boiler are a signifier of a gas leak; while the gas supplied to your home is usually odourless, gas suppliers add a scent compound called mercaptan to the mixture. Mercaptan smells eggy, enabling you to detect a gas leak should one occur.