Revealed – this boiler issue could be costing you €300 without you knowing it

With energy costs soaring we all need to be as vigilant as possible when it comes to our home heating, boilers are integral in most homes across the country but yours could be costing you hundreds per year without you even realizing.

Resident boiler expert Sean Richardson and the team at Complete Plumbing Solutions have compiled a list of boiler issues that may be seriously impacting your wallet.

Inefficient Boilers are one of the biggest drains we come across on a daily basis – In 99% of cases these older units consume more energy, resulting in higher energy bills. On average, an inefficient boiler can add €275-€300 per year to your energy bills. Improperly sized boilers, clogged air filters, and dirty burners are just a few of the factors that can affect performance.” Notes one of the leading plumbers in Cork, Sean Richardson.

Leaks can occur quite easily – these can cause significant damage and add a few extra digits onto your bills.

“Leaks in the boiler can cause water damage and waste energy, which can increase your energy bills by an average of around €200 per year. Leaks can be caused by corrosion, damage to pipes, or a faulty pressure release valve. There’s a number of tell-tale signs of a leak, obviously if you can spot signs of water damage on the walls or floor near your boiler, it could indicate a leak. If you can hear a gurgling or banging when the boiler is running, this could be a sign of water in the system that should not be there whereas a high whistling or hissing sound can also indicate a leak.”

Thermostats are prone to failure, when this happens you’ll have issues.

“Over time, the wires that connect the thermostat to the heating system can become damaged, leading to a fault. This can cause the boiler to work harder than necessary, consuming more energy and increasing your bills by up to €100 per year. A faulty thermostat can cause the boiler to turn on and off unnecessarily or not turn on at all.”

The good news is that most of these issues can be avoided with a regular maintenance routine:

Neglecting routine maintenance can result in a reduction in a massive drop-off in efficiency, which can increase energy bills by an average of €200 per year. Routine maintenance includes cleaning, checking for leaks, and making sure that all parts are functioning correctly. This is hugely important as broken parts, like a faulty pump or valve, can be surprisingly expensive, ranging anywhere from €300-€1,000 to repair, where as a gas boiler service can be completed in under an hour and only costs around €99, we’d recommend a service once every 12 months, if you have an older boiler, you’ll probably want to have an inspection at least twice a year.”

Richardson warns that homeowners with boilers over 15 years old need to be particularly vigilant as they are far more prone to failures and higher bills –

“As boilers age, they become less efficient due to wear and tear on the internal components, such as the heat exchanger. An older boiler may consume 5-10% more energy than a newer model, resulting in higher energy bills. Newer boilers use more advanced technology that is designed to improve efficiency. For example, condensing boilers are up to 97% efficient, whereas older boilers may be only 60-70% efficient. You also have to factor insulation into the mix, older boilers generally are not very well insulated whereas newer options on the market don’t allow heat to escape as easily, this can give you energy savings of around 20% in the long run. 

Upgrading or sanctioning a gas boiler replacement can be expensive but older units could be adding an extra €300 onto your bills per annum even when they are running without any issues, they just aren’t as efficient as modern units. With the older models you’re also running the risk of part failures, which can leave you with huge repair bills. If you’re unsure what’s best for you going forward, get in touch with your local commercial plumber or boiler expert”

As well as being relatively cost in-efficient, older boilers can also be quite dangerous if not regularly maintained –

“There’s also an element of danger there that shouldn’t be ignored when it comes to the older units. Older boilers that have not been properly maintained or have worn parts can emit dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. This is a toxic gas that can cause illness or even death if it is not detected and addressed promptly. As we touched on earlier, a lot of these older boilers aren’t properly insulated which causes them to be prone to overheating– this increases the risk of fire in the home and can be particularly dangerous if the boiler is located in a small, enclosed space.”

If you’re curious about whether or not its time to replace your boiler, get in touch with Sean and the CPS Team today – From boiler replacements, plumbing issues, power flushing for radiators or even a simple shower pump installation, Complete Plumbing Solutions has you covered.