Every boiler sold over the last 20 years has come with a warranty that ranges from 10 to 15 to 20 years. This period denoted the manufacturer’s confidence that their equipment would perform, at least marginally, for that amount of time. The actual lifespan of the equipment was, and is, ultimately determined by the care or negligence of the homeowner and the amount of use that the boiler underwent. With that said, the lifespan of a modern boiler is, on average, between 15 and 18 years.

This last fact seems to imply that manufacturers are understandably confident in the ability of their product to supply a passable and adequate supply of hot water for that length of time. Though these boilers, indeed, do so, but at what cost?

A whole host of factors can lengthen or shorten the average life of a boiler. Of course, a boiler repair, routine maintenance and regular winterization will play an essential role in keeping old boilers working at peak efficiency. Nevertheless, a time comes when every boiler has seen better days.

When it comes to replacing a boiler, the essential question is, “Will a new boiler pay for itself in lower heating bills in a reasonably short period of time?”  The answer, of course, depends on a wide variety of factors including…

  • Where you live.
  • The number of people in the household.
  • The efficiency of your old boiler.
  • The efficiency of your new boiler.

Older boilers, that is, ones manufactured more than ten years ago, were constructed under much less stringent codes. Modern boilers routinely achieve AFUE ratings of 85 percent and some more expensive models reach above 90 percent. Boilers with these efficiencies produce significant savings on any fuel bill and can be expected, under ordinary circumstances, to repay their cost in three to four years.

The prudent homeowner, who knows that their boiler is failing or under performing, should make a careful comparison of the costs between installing a new, high efficiency boiler and the continued use of their antiquated heating equipment. In the end, eventually, the age and condition of the equipment will make the choice for you. It won’t hurt to call your local heating company to come out to give you an estimate on a new heating system.