Life & Design

5 common signs that your boiler needs replacing – don’t be left in the cold this winter

All set for hibernation season? Make sure you tick getting your boiler prepped and ready off your list

signs your boiler needs replacing
(Image credit: Future)

Christmas is one of the most wonderful times of the year, and the coldest. The weather forecast had predicted snow and freezing fog in the coming weeks. Your boiler is likely about to become your new best friend. However, if yours has been neglected during the long hot summer here are five signs that your boiler needs replacing.  

  • See more: House Design – our dedicated page on everything house-related.

A broken boiler means no hot radiators and definitely no hot showers, the last thing you want if your extended family is due at yours for Christmas. Thankfully the signs are easy to spot. Fantastic Services have shared the five signs that your boiler could be about to go on the blink.

Five signs your boiler needs replacing

signs your boiler needs replacing

(Image credit: Future)

1. Energy consumption

If your home is fitted with a meter, keep an eye on the energy readings. It is also worth keeping an eye on your energy bill. An unexpectedly high reading or bill could all point to a boiler acting up. This is because a boiler will use a lot more energy when it’s not working at full capacity, trying to reach its optimum operations. 

2. Strange noises 

If your boiler is whistling or sounds like an angry postman hammering at the door, that’s a clear sign that it needs some attention. Think of those sounds as the boiler crying out for help as it struggles to do its job. 

3. Appliances are taking longer to warm up

signs your boiler needs replacing

(Image credit: Future / Darren Chung)

This is one of the earliest tell-tale signs that your boiler isn’t working properly. If the hot water tap is taking a while to run warm, or the radiators aren’t heating up when you turn the heating on, get your boiler checked. Catching this early could make all the difference between a simple boiler repair, or forking out for an expensive new boiler.

4. Leaking water

signs your boiler needs replacing

(Image credit: Future)

Puddles near your boiler are a very bad sign. A water leak can mean only one thing - parts or the boiler are not working. They could be dysfunctional or simply wearing away.   

This is a worry not only for the damage the water can cause to the boilers surroundings. But it could lead to more serious problems such as a gas leakage in the future.

5. Nasty smells

If there’s a bad smell coming from your boiler, don’t just light a candle to cover it up. A bad smell needs urgent professional attention as it could be a deadly carbon monoxide lead. 

Can I fix a boiler without calling an engineer? 

signs your boiler needs replacing

(Image credit: Future)

You can perform basic checks on your own. These include turning on gas appliances and checking for a flame or seeing if a fuse has tripped.  

For anything more than this Assett Plumbing recommends bringing in a professional. Tinkering around with a boiler when you don’t know what you're doing could not only end up being expensive, but extremely dangerous.

How often should you check your boiler?

signs your boiler needs replacing

(Image credit: Future / Mel Yates)

Your boiler should be checked yearly by a professional ideally.  The engineer should check the flue (both inside and outside the house), operating pressure and heat output and all seals. A full safety check should be carried out, and they should provide a signed service report.  

The best time to check a boiler is in Summer when you’re not relying on it. ‘Don’t wait until it gets cold to inspect your gas-fired heating system and make sure it starts and runs properly,’ says Joe Forline, vice president of gas operations for PSE&G.   

‘If there is a problem starting the system -- even if it is just an unlit pilot -- it is better to fix it now, so it is ready to heat your home when you need it this fall.’

News Editor

Rebecca is the News Editor on Homes and Gardens. She has been working as a homes and interiors journalist for over four years. She first discovered her love of interiors while interning at Harper's Bazaar and Town & Country during my Masters in Magazine Journalism at City, University of London. After graduating she started out as a feature writer for Women's Weekly magazines, before shifting over to online journalism and joining the Ideal Home digital team covering news and features. She is passionate about shopping for well-crafted home decor and sourcing second-hand antique furniture where possible.