Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

Has the Time Come at Last to Replace Your Boiler?


One of the biggest advantages of using a boiler to heat a house is that a boiler can last longer than most other heating systems. With proper care, a boiler can last from 20 to 30 years before it starts to suffer from excessive wear.

If you have an older boiler, you may wonder if this is the year to have it replaced. Or your younger boiler may have a malfunction that’s too expensive to fix. We’ll examine some of the ways you can determine if you should replace your home’s boiler system before winter deepens.

The Age Factor

We already mentioned the age range of boilers, but it is the best starting point for watching out for trouble signs. If you’ve remembered to schedule annual heating services in Frederick, MD to maintain the boiler, then it has a good chance of getting to the 30 year mark. However, the 20–30 year period is when you should pay special attention to the other indications of problems listed below. Something else to think about: if you inherited the boiler with the house, you don’t know how well the previous owner took care of it—and that’s another reason to give it attention.

High Heating Bills

A boiler can maintain 95% of its energy efficiency throughout its life—until the last one or two years. You shouldn’t see any large increase in your heating costs from year to year (except due to a rise in fuel costs). When you do, and basic repairs won’t stop the trend, the boiler is approaching the end of its service life.

Mounting Repair Costs

You shouldn’t need to schedule repairs for a malfunctioning boiler on a regular basis. In this case “regular” means annually. You’ll sink too much money into keeping the boiler running when that money is better spent on a replacement. The “50% Rule” is a good guideline: if a single repair costs more than 50% of the price of a new boiler, that’s too much. Also too much: cumulative repairs over a year that are more than $500.


Corrosion is the nemesis of a boiler system. Although boilers are designed to resist corrosion by keeping oxygen out of the system, long-term use can eventually lead to rust. When you see rust or other types of corrosion on the boiler tank, it almost certainly is time to replace it.

Poor Heat Distribution

A boiler is supposed to evenly radiate heat from the radiators and baseboard heaters throughout a room. When you find you are no longer receiving the even heating or heat levels you expect for comfort, the boiler may be dying. Call a technician to look at the system to see if it can be repaired, but if the boiler is old, be ready to hear that it’s time for a new system.

Let the Pros Help

We don’t recommend making a big decision about a replacement boiler on your own. Let our expert technicians advise you. They can tell you if it’s time for a new boiler and then help you select the right new unit to meet your heating needs and fit with your budget.

Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing serves Washington DC, Montgomery, and Frederick Counties. Schedule boiler service today.