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​What’s the Average Lifespan of a Boiler?

Feb. 01, 2021
Typically, boilers in New Jersey last anywhere from 15 to 30 years.

That said, the lifespan of your boiler will depend on the following factors:
  • The type of boiler you have
  • Whether or not the boiler was sized correctly
  • Whether or not the boiler has been maintained regularly
We’ll explain each of these factors in more detail to give you a better understanding of the factors that could cause the lifespan of your boiler to increase or decrease.

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Lifespan factor #1: The type of boiler you have

The lifespan of your boiler will depend on whether the boiler is...
  • A high-efficiency or standard-efficiency system
  • A steam or hot water unit
Let’s look at both of these points in more detail below.
 

High-efficiency vs. standard efficiency boiler

Standard gas boilers generally last a few years longer than high-efficiency (condensing) systems. This is because high-efficiency systems recycle acidic flue gases to extract extra heat, which can wear out equipment faster. That said, high-efficiency boilers cost less to operate, which can save you money in the long run.
 

Steam vs hot water boiler

Steam boilers are more prone to form leaks in the piping and valves, which can cause the boiler to work harder to heat your home. Eventually, this extra wear and tear leads to shorter equipment lifespan. In general, hot water (hydronic) boilers last anywhere from 1 to 5 years longer than a steam boiler.
 

Lifespan factor #2: Whether or not the boiler was sized correctly

Boilers are sized according to their BTU (British Thermal Unit) output, which essentially measures how much heat the system can provide in one hour. Systems with a higher BTU output will provide more heat.

That said, you don’t always want to have the biggest boiler available. In fact, if your boiler is too big for your home, it will cycle ON and OFF frequently, which leads to more wear and tear on system components and ultimately shortens the lifespan of your boiler.

On the other hand, if your boiler is too small, your boiler will run longer to heat your home, which wastes energy and also reduces the boiler’s lifespan.

Here’s the bottom line: If your boiler is the wrong size for your home, it will have a shorter lifespan.
 

Signs your boiler is not correctly sized for your home

Your boiler may be too big or too small for your home if you notice the following signs:
  • Frequent repairs
  • Higher-than-normal energy bills
  • Fluctuations in indoor room temperature
  • Boiler runs non-stop on cold days
 

Why your boiler is the wrong size

If your boiler is incorrectly sized, it means that the professional who installed the system did not perform a heat load calculation.

A heat load calculation takes into account several factors specific to your home, such as:
  • The square footage
  • The number of doors and windows
  • The quality of the insulation
  • The layout of your home
  • And more
After measuring all of these factors, an HVAC professional inputs the data into computer software to determine the correct size boiler for your home. 

If you need to replace your boiler, we recommend verifying that the professional you hire will perform a heat load calculation before installation begins. That way, you’ll know that your new boiler will be the correct size for your home.
 

Lifespan factor #3: Whether or not the boiler has been maintained regularly

If you never (or rarely) maintain your boiler, it will inevitably start having problems and likely break down sooner than it’s supposed to.

To prevent problems that can lead to a premature breakdown, we recommend having a professional maintain your boiler at least once per year. A certified HVAC professional can make sure internal components are working properly and they can catch problems early before they turn into expensive repairs.

Besides prolonging the lifespan of your boiler, regular maintenance offers benefits such as:
  • Increased energy efficiency
  • Decreased heating bills
  • Less frequent repairs
  • A valid manufacturer warranty
Learn more about the importance of boiler maintenance by visiting our heating maintenance service page.
 

Think it’s time for a new boiler? Let Air Experts help

Schedule an appointment today

Our highly-trained and honest heating experts can give you a free quote on the cost to replace your boiler.

Unsure if you really need a new boiler? Check out our boiler replacement guide

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