Staying Up On Furnace Maintenance

Factors to Consider When Deciding Whether to Service or Replace an Aging Boiler

If you have an old boiler that is no longer functioning efficiently, do you replace it or repair it and hope for a few more years of use? The answer here, as you might have guessed, is that it depends on different factors. Here are some of those factors:

The Repair Costs

This is one of the most important factors here; it wouldn't make sense to replace a boiler that needs a few hundred dollars to fix. Therefore, ask for a quote of the repair cost and compare it with the cost of a new boiler. In most cases, it makes sense to go the repair route if the cost is an insignificant percentage of the cost of a new installation.

The Boiler's Age

All boilers age and have to be replaced at some point; you can't maintain your boiler forever. The useful life of your boiler depends on many factors, but some boilers can last as long as 30 years. Replace your boiler if it has reached the end of its useful life and repair it if it still has a few more years left. Assume you have a boiler that is expected to last for 25 years, and suffers a major breakdown at the age of 23 or 24. In this case, replacing the boiler would be much more cost-effective, in the long run, than repairing it.

The Frequency of Breakdowns

Your boiler may be telling you that it is time to let it go if it is frequently breaking down. Therefore, an old boiler that breaks down frequently needs to be repaired even if each repair isn't too costly. Maybe last month it was a leak, the month before that it was a pump problem, and this month the combustion is acting up. If you continue operating such a boiler, not only will it be expensive in the long run, but it will also deny you peace of mind since you will constantly be worrying about the next breakdown.

The Boiler's Efficiency

Lastly, you also need to consider the efficiency of the boiler; ditch it if its efficiency is terrible and keep it if it can still operate near-new efficiency. You should also compare its efficiency with the efficiency of the boiler you would use to replace it. For example, the fuel efficiency of modern all-electric boilers exceeds 95%. If your old boiler is operating at 70% efficiency, it makes sense to replace it even if it hasn't completely broken down.

To learn more about repairing or replacing a boiler, contact local heating system maintenance companies.