One of the big benefits of having a boiler to keep you and your family cozy through the winter is that it can last for more years than other types of heaters. For heating in Des Moines, IA, a boiler is a great option!
The day will come, however, when your boiler will cease to heat and need to be replaced. Professional boiler repair can keep an old system going for a few years, but predicting when a boiler is coming to the end of its service life is the best way to stop an emergency breakdown from leaving you in the cold.
You’re not a boiler mind-reader, however, and your boiler doesn’t even have a mind to read, so how can you know the boiler is about to permanently fail? Watch for these signs:
1. System age
This isn’t so much a sign as it is a general barometer of how much longer a boiler has left. Check on when your boiler was installed. The standard boiler can last for 15 years or more, although most have warranties covering 10 to 12 years. You can keep a boiler repaired to last beyond 15 years, the system will begin to suffer a decline in efficiency, and this makes it more expensive to keep than to replace. Look into a replacement after 15 years—and definitely replace if above 20.
2. Repairs are more frequent than before
A new boiler shouldn’t need any repairs during the first few years (with regular fall maintenance). After that, more than one repair during a year to keep the heater running is excessive. If the cumulative repairs for a year are $500 or greater, you are spending too much. If any single repair is more than half the cost of a new boiler, the new boiler is the superior choice.
“Wait, isn’t leaking only a repair issue?” Possibly. Leaking sections of a boiler can sometimes be replaced, such as decaying valves. But advanced leaking tends to mean a boiler that has deteriorated too far and should retire.
This is related to leaks: corrosion is a common cause for leaks, and vice-versa. Boilers are closed-loop systems designed to keep out the oxygen that promotes corrosion. If air starts to enter the boiler, corrosion will take rapid hold of the boiler and wreck it. As with leaks, some corroded sections can be replaced to rescue the boiler, such as the heat exchanger. But if you see corrosion along the tank, that’s probably the end of the line for the boiler.
5. Cold spots in the house
Your house no longer feels as warm as it once did, and certain rooms are turning frigid. This may mean the boiler can’t keep up anymore because of its age. The problem may be a smaller one, such as thermostat issues. Have professionals investigate the trouble. They’ll determine if the boiler is over the hill and ready to be upgraded.
You can trust our boiler experts to give you an honest assessment. It’s their job to ensure you have the right solution to meet your comfort and budget needs.