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How Long Should A Commercial Boiler Last

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  • 15-02-2022
How Long Should A Commercial Boiler Last

How long should a commercial boiler last? We look at the factors that effect the life of a commercial boiler and how regular servicing can help improve long lasting performance of your heating system.

How Long Should A Commercial Boiler Last?

In most cases, business owners or building managers will wait until the very last moment before they decide to have their commercial boiler inspected or repaired.

Unsurprisingly, running your commercial boiler into the ground is not the best way to care for your boiler system, and, frequently, these breakdowns occur when you need your boiler the most, typically in the winter months. 

Regular, annual inspections as part of a maintenance schedule are the best way to keep your commercial boiler in its best condition and provide the most energy-efficient heating for your business or property.

However, no boiler is immortal, and yours will inevitably pop its proverbial clogs one day. Replacing your ageing boiler before it completely breaks down is the best solution to prevent any catastrophes and unexpected and potentially expensive repairs. 

On average, your commercial boiler should last between 15 to 30 years. However, as you reach the higher end of this timescale, the efficiency of your commercial boiler will start to dwindle, so while it may still look like it's functioning from the outside, replacing it could be your best option. But how do you know when older boilers need replacing?

This article will go through some warning signs to look out for and other factors you might want to consider when considering replacing your commercial boiler. 

How Long Should A Commercial Boiler Last

Boiler breakdowns, especially for commercial boilers, are a nightmare. As with any malfunction of the appliances you rely on, there is never a good time for them to stop working suddenly.

Ironically, boilers tend to stop working just when you need them most. This is because they will usually be working hardest during the winter, putting added strain on your whole system. 

A broken commercial boiler ultimately leads to cold offices and unhappy employees, which is why regular annual commercial boiler servicing is the best way to spot any potential issues before they start causing you serious problems.

However, if you find yourself calling out your Gas Safe registered boiler engineer more frequently than usual, this is a sign that it's time to get a new model boiler.

As a general rule, a single breakdown in a year is no serious issue, however untimely it might be. However, if you are experienced two or three breakdowns in a year, there is probably something seriously wrong with your commercial boiler.

Alongside the inconvenience of having no heating, out of warranty repairs can quickly add up, costing your business a heap of money in the process. However, most commercial boiler manufacturers offer extended warranties if they are regularly maintained and undergo regular servicing.

Gas Safe registered boiler engineer

With boiler technology advancing all the time, you may find that the parts and components in your old commercial boiler start to become obsolete. While this can be annoying, with business owners having better things to be spending their time on, you must ensure that your commercial boiler is fitted with the most up-to-date parts. 

Newer commercial boiler parts and components typically improve the efficiency of your heating system, ultimately saving you money in the long run.

Once your particular model of commercial boiler has been discontinued, there is usually a window of around five years after this that you can buy spare parts for the same model. After this time, it will be practically impossible to get your hands on the same replacement parts.

This unavailability is common in many industries, with obsolescence alone being responsible for many boiler replacements. If you repeatedly need to replace the same part, and it is no longer available, all you can do is purchase a new boiler model.

Biting the bullet and purchasing a replacement will ultimately cost you less with the increased efficiency of a new boiler, simultaneously preventing any major downtime for your business.

commercial boiler parts and components

This is one of the main reasons you need to have your boiler regularly serviced. Inefficient boilers will not burn their fuel properly, meaning that some will escape into your property as carbon monoxide (CO). This is a serious risk to the health of your employees or customers.

Carbon monoxide is highly poisonous and will kill people if you don't prevent it.

You will need a carbon monoxide detector to discover if you have a leak, given that the gas does not give off any smell or taste. Additionally, by slowly working its way into your bloodstream and preventing it from carrying essential oxygen through your body, it could be days, months or years before you realise you have been poisoned. 

However, there are easy signs to spot whether your commercial boiler suffers from incomplete or inefficient combustion. The easiest to spot is simply the colour of your ignition flame. If it is burning yellow rather than blue, you have a problem.

This colour is caused by soot or debris blocking the intake of your boiler, creating a poor mix of fuel and air. Regular preventative maintenance will spot this issue, given that commercial boilers will constantly produce a lot of soot and waste while in use.

To make things worse, commercial boilers are not designed to contain carbon monoxide leaks, meaning that without regular maintenance and services, they present a serious risk to life. Roughly 25 people are killed every year due to carbon monoxide poisoning, according to NHS England, with many of these deaths being avoidable through regular annual boiler services by qualified heating engineers. 

commercial boiler suffers

Alongside obsolete parts, new boiler designs and technology is constantly evolving, endlessly improving the efficiency and safety of boilers.

Some of these improvements may be small, while others can provide great leaps forward in all areas of commercial boiler technology. Therefore, keeping up with these latest technological innovations makes sense to benefit your business or property. 

If your commercial boiler has fallen too far behind the times, it may be beneficial to get it replaced with one of these newer models.

Many newer boiler technologies allow you to exercise more effective control over your boiler and central heating system, with better diagnostic and monitoring tools to reveal any issues within the system that might pop up between your yearly services.

Commercial Boiler Maintenance

As with any other appliance or piece of machinery necessary for you to do your work, your boiler needs to be serviced at least once a year to ensure good maintenance and efficient running of your central heating system. 

During your annual service, your Gas Safe registered service engineer will conduct the following checks:

Conduct visual inspection

Replace the boiler air filters

Control error checks

Lubricate the moving parts

Clean the heat exchangers

Leak inspections

Check gas supply pipes, connections and pressure

When Should You Replace Your Commercial Boiler?

For those who manage properties with multiple tenants, businesses, schools, factories, and other locations requiring commercial boilers, it can be difficult to know exactly when to replace your current boiler.

Most of these properties use complicated HVAC air conditioning and heating equipment, making the decision-making process much more difficult. However, here we have listed a few things to consider when thinking about replacing your commercial boiler.

Age

Even the top-of-the-range commercial boilers aren't immune from natural wear and tear. The 15 to 30-year lifespan mentioned earlier applies to a couple of different types of boiler: condensing and cast iron. 

Condensing boilers will last up to 15 years of use, which may be fine for you if you are prepared to replace them when the time comes. Cast iron boilers will last much longer at 30 years, but they are far less efficient at keeping your property warm. 

If you are reaching the end of your boiler's lifespan, it may be time to replace it before any disasters occur.

Rising Energy Costs

If you notice that your energy bills are starting to creep up each month, it may be a sign that your commercial boiler is not burning fuel efficiently and that you should have it replaced.

You may be able to patch up any affected areas during your yearly service, but if issues persist, it is often better, and cheaper, to simply purchase a new boiler.

Commercial Boiler Maintenance

A Noisy Boiler

If you notice your boiler making any strange noises or worryingly loud noises, this is another sign that something is not right.

There are some noises that your boiler can make naturally as it runs, but things such as loud bangs or clanging are a warning sign, and you should have your boiler seen to as soon as possible.

A professional boiler engineer can check whether these noises are just blockages or low water pressure issues, and they may recommend remedies, repairs or replacements.

Leaks

If you notice your boiler developing leaks, fix them as soon as you can. For example, you might find that your commercial boiler requires extra makeup water, which is a good sign of a leak in the system somewhere.

These boiler leaks are often caused by corrosion and are potentially hazardous, as water damage could lead to greater structural damage to your property.

Most liquid leaks can be patched with minor repairs, meaning you might not have to replace your boiler just yet, but if they persist, you should think about getting a new commercial boiler.

Hot Or Cold Spots

Some areas of your commercial property may warm up better than others, suggesting that your boiler isn't operating at the optimal level. Finding hot or cold spots throughout your property where temperatures vary is a good sign that you might want to consider replacing your boiler. 


Do you require commercial boiler servicing in Retford, Nottinghamshire? If you find yourself struggling with any of the above problems or more, don't hesitate to contact our professional team. We offer a free quotation to you before conducting work, and our website has a full list of our plumbing services.