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When to Replace Boilers – The 6 Step Countdown

When to replace your boiler

Does a 20 year old boiler really need replacing? Does higher energy costs tell you to replace boilers?

You’ve searched around and found different answers as to when to replace boilers. Some say to replace your boiler after 14 years. Some claim 20 years, and yet others say 25 years.

We are still working with a client who has an old gravity fed 1911 boiler, right here in Edmonton! We do a basic inspection every few years, making sure that it still operates safely.

Not all boilers operate the same. There are boilers that only operate during heating season. There are boilers that run year round to heat your domestic water. And still others that operate both your heating and domestic water.

Our Techs advise to replace your boiler only when it shows the 6 step countdown.

6. Age of Boiler

At RBA Mechanical, the least of our concerns is the age of your boiler. If the boiler is running good and you’re not spending a fortune on energy costs, then why replace a good thing? Simply make sure you have proper maintenance performed by a professional annualy or semi-annualy. We offer good maintenance plans for both residential and commercial boilers. Click here to learn more.

Even though your boiler is still running good, If it is starting to hit the 30 / 35 year mark, then you should start to think about replacing your boiler. That doesn’t mean you have do it now, but you should start to budget for a good energy efficient replacement. Learn more about our boiler installations.

5. Maintenance Costs are Rising

As years go by, and your boiler gets older, it is natural for maintenance costs to start increasing.

In some cases, this is simply because the cost of parts have increased. But as your boiler ages, there may be additional services and maintenance tests that are performed. As long as your boiler is working good and you are not spending a fortune on energy costs or on repairs, there is usually no reason to replace a boiler because of maintenance costs.

4. Reduced Efficiency

You should start to be concerned when you are getting reduced efficiency and your energy costs are increasing.

But with any hydronic heating system, there is more then one culprit that causes energy costs to increase. There may be some simple fixes and system upgrades that can be done to improve your energy efficiency without the expensive boiler replacement.

When you find your energy costs are increasing, then it’s time to get a hydronic inspection done. Our experts can provide you with onsite consultation of any residential or commercial hydronic system. Learn more about our hydronic heating services.

3. Reduced Comfort

Signs of reduced comfort may include feeling too cold, too hot, or your not getting proper domestic hot water (depending on your boiler system).

But here, too, there is more then one possible culprit in a hydronic system. Before blaming the boiler, have your hydronic system checked by a professional. Reduced comfort is also a symptom of failing zone valves, a control issue, or a recirc pump failure. Learn more about our hydronic heating services.

2. Corrosion

Irregardless of the age of your boiler, if you start to see corrosion on, inside, or around your boiler, then it’s time for some drastic measures.

Corrosion is bad for metal. It breaks it down, thins the metal, and could cause pitting or small cracks. Corrosion can also get inside your piping system and can cause all sorts of failures with your hydronic system.

You need to deal with corrosion. Have it checked by a professional if it can be repaired. If not, then your boiler needs to be replaced. You can contact RBA Mechanical if you need your boiler checked for corrosion.

1. Leaks & Repairs

The ”mayday” sign that your boiler needs to be replaced.

When you start doing a lot of repairs often, or your boiler starts leaking, its usually time to dump it!

Repairs are costly, and your energy costs are huge because the boiler is no longer working properly. Depending on your boiler, there may be direct replacements available, or new high efficient options.

Learn more about our boiler installations


Make sure you have preventative maintenance done on your boiler once or twice a year, depending on it’s usage.

Check with your insurance company. Some insurance companys want maintenance logs as proof of maintnenance.

Consider your hydronic heating system as a whole. Upgrade your system to ensure top efficiency over time.

Replace your boiler when it starts to leak, shows sign of corrosion, or high repairs.

Don’t forget about energy efficiency. Cost guzzling equipment needs to be replaced with new high efficient energy saving options.

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