How Long Does a Boiler Last: Signs That You Need a Boiler Replacement

A boiler is an expensive but crucial unit in increasing your indoor comfort. But just how long does a boiler last? It’s important to know so you can pay attention to the signs that you need a boiler replacement.

How Long Does a Boiler Last?

A boiler’s lifespan can range anywhere from 10-30 years, or even longer depending on several factors:

  • Boiler type: Steam boilers typically fall in the middle of this range, with a lifespan of around 20 years.
  • Boiler size: If your boiler is not the right size for your home, it will cause it to work too hard or not enough, increasing wear and tear on the internal parts.
  • Proper installation: Quality installation sets the standard for steady performance.
  • Stress of operation: Heating water to create steam eventually causes wear and tear. Steam boilers tend to develop leaks, resulting in excess strain on internal and external parts while heating your home.
  • Regular maintenance: Scheduled maintenance will help your boiler stay in its peak condition and help you avoid issues that warrant repairs.

Getting the appropriate maintenance and repairs for your boiler will help you get the most out of it as it gets older. Additionally, staying on top of regular inspection and noting significant performance changes can help you know when to call a professional for your steam boiler replacement.

Signs Your Steam Boiler Needs Replacing

After years of frequent use, boilers tend to fail when you need them most: during cold weather. To avoid steam boiler failure in winter temperatures, being proactive and paying attention to the signs that your boiler may need replacing is essential. Here are some signs to look for that indicate you might need to consider a steam boiler replacement.

  1. Your boiler is making noises: A steam boiler heats your home with little to no noise. If your boiler is suddenly making noises you’ve never heard before, you may have a blockage or a leak, indicating you need a replacement. 
  2. Your boiler requires frequent repairs: If you have to call an HVAC technician to make frequent repairs on your boiler due to loose parts or because it’s an older unit, it may save you a significant amount of money to replace the whole unit altogether. The cost of repairs adds up quickly and can easily surpass installation expenses. Replacing your boiler gets rid of the frustration an unreliable heating system creates.
  3. Your boiler doesn’t satisfy your heating requirements: If your boiler is too small or too large for your home, or if it doesn’t keep your home warm enough, it can be worthwhile to get a new unit that meets your needs. Dissatisfaction with your home’s heating system is more than enough of a reason to consider a replacement.
  4. You have high energy bills: While some of this comes down to the homeowner and those in the home, an old, worn-down steam boiler loses its efficiency over time. This results in very high energy bills, regardless of the fuel or power source you use. You should upgrade to a more efficient model to cut back on energy expenses.
  5. You see corrosion on your boiler: When corrosion appears on your boiler, it indicates that air or moisture is wearing away at your boiler’s valves and other parts. Once corrosion starts, your boiler creates the perfect conditions for it to worsen with hot temperatures and potentially acidic water.
  6. Your boiler is old: If your steam boiler is around 20 years old, its efficiency has likely decreased over time, especially if you don’t keep up with maintenance. The older a boiler is, the less efficient it is, even if it’s still in good condition otherwise.
  7. You notice unstable heating performance: Boilers are known for their ability to heat rooms evenly, whereas furnaces are less consistent. Inconsistent heating can lead to boiler failure later. If some rooms in your home are warm, while others are not, you should call an HVAC professional.
  8. Your boiler is emitting strange smells: Strange smells aren’t always a precursor to boiler replacement, but they do happen. An odor that smells like sulfur indicates a gas leak, which can also cause carbon monoxide poisoning or even an explosion if you don’t take action fast.

Benefits of a New Boiler

While a new steam boiler is expensive up-front, you will save more money with a heating unit that works properly than by repairing the same old unit. Other benefits of a newly replaced boiler include:

  • Increased comfort: Your new boiler will increase your comfort by providing even temperatures and heating rooms thoroughly. 
  • No surprises: A new steam boiler will provide consistent performance, so you can say goodbye to the days of worrying about whether your home will stay heated in cold weather.
  • Better performance: If it’s in brand-new condition, a boiler will respond to thermostat changes quickly, and you won’t have to run your heating system for as long.
  • Improved safety: Safety improves with a new boiler because of reduced risks of danger. A boiler in good working condition is less prone to cause carbon monoxide poisoning from gas leaks.
  • Better boiler efficiency: Aside from reduced heating bills, a new boiler is at its highest efficiency level. Greater efficiency means it takes less energy to get the temperature results you want.

Boiler Services

Answering the question “How long does a boiler last?” is easy with a professional at A Custom Services. When your steam boiler in Chicago starts to wear out, we are at your service to make repairs or replace your unit. Our dedicated maintenance and installation teams leave you feeling confident in your heating system, no matter the service you request.

When you need a new steam boiler in Chicago, IL, count on A Custom Service’s meticulous boiler services. Contact us any time at 773-819-6284.

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