If you ask any homeowner when last they looked at their boiler, you would probably be met with a blank stare.
While boilers are responsible for the critical task of keeping our homes warm and toasty, we often neglect them, putting them out of our minds – until they stop working that is.
As with many things, boilers age and become unreliable as time passes, often costing homeowners a fortune with frequent breakdowns and sky-rocketing energy bills.
While replacing your boiler may seem like a considerable expense, you will save significantly on repair and inefficient running costs in the long run.
While we are not suggesting you rush to replace your boiler immediately, knowing how old it is will help you determine if a replacement is needed.
To do this, you need to locate the serial number, which can be found in different areas on the boiler, depending on the make or model you own.
Where is the serial number on my boiler?
Determining the age of your boiler can be done by simply looking at the serial number. This is a unique set of numbers and or letters usually located on the outside of the boiler.
Often this sequence of numbers and letters looks similar to a barcode. The manufacturer uses this serial number to identify the product; however, you can use it to determine the age of your boiler too.
If you struggle to locate the serial number on the boiler, check the installation or user manual as it should be noted in there.
Serial number information
Depending on the brand of boiler you own, the serial number will offer specific information needed to determine the age of your boiler.
Let’s review some familiar brands and the information their serial numbers provide.
How to know the age of your boiler
The serial number for an Ideal Boiler is usually located directly on top of the boiler. In addition, the user manual will also reflect the serial number if you still have access to this. There are three types of Ideal boilers, Classic, Logic, and Mini. Each boiler has a serial number you can use to check your boiler’s age.
The serial number is grouped into four sets of digits. It’s the third set of numbers that you require. This set should be four digits long and reflects the year and week of manufacture. For example, if the numbers are 0904, the boiler was manufactured in the fourth week of 2009.
For this boiler, the last six digits represent the date of manufacture. Note the date format is different for this boiler before 2015.
For boilers manufactured before 2015, the format is year/month/date, and after 2015 the date changes to date/month /year. For example, if the serial number’s last six digits are 10/12/19, the manufacture date was the 10th of December 2019.
You will need to identify the last four digits of the serial number, which indicate the month and year of manufacture. This can be located on the barcoded sticker found on top of the boiler.
You will find the serial number sticker either on the boiler or within the boiler’s front panel. This serial number simply indicates the year the boiler was manufactured but still gives you a clear indication of the boiler’s age.
Use the third and fourth digits of the serial number to work out the year. For example, if digits 3 and 4 are 19, then the boiler was made in 2019.
Worcester Bosch Boiler
Unfortunately, this boiler has a complex serial number not designed for the consumer’s use. As such, it’s impossible to decipher, and you will need to contact the manufacturer directly to find out in what year it was manufactured.
The serial number can be found in the boiler’s front panel, usually a drop-down panel. Once you have opened the panel, the serial number sticker should be easy to locate. Deciphering the Baxi serial number is relatively easy.
If you are looking for the product code, it’s the first three digits. Digits four and five are the year of manufacture. So, for example, if digits four and five are 06, the boiler was made in 2006.
The serial number contains a whole host of information, but this can sometimes be confusing. If you struggle to understand the number, contact the manufacture directly with the serial number, and they will provide an exact age for your boiler.
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Is your boiler energy efficient?
With adequate maintenance and regular services, a boiler can run efficiently for approximately ten to fifteen years. However, over time they will begin to age and may struggle to heat your home adequately.
This means their energy consumption becomes less efficient, and they begin to use more energy as they work to provide the heat with your home requirements. Thus, your energy bills increase while the heating decreases.
Here are some indications your old boiler might need to retire:
- Increased heating bills.
- Regular breakdowns requiring costly repairs.
- Radiator noise – usually gurgling or rattling.
- Heat does not travel to all radiators.
- Repairs become difficult due to unavailable parts.
Should you buy a new boiler?
First, check the age of your boiler using the serial number. Then consider the above indications, and if they seem to describe your boiler, it’s probably wise to start researching a replacement boiler.
Some additional considerations you should take into account when searching for a new boiler include:
- Check the warranty on the new system, look for extended warranties.
- Many new boilers come with maintenance packages; check what’s included?
- Research each brand and ensure it matches your budget and requirements.
- Check what installation costs will be incurred.
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- Central heating pump problems.
What will it cost?
The cost of a new boiler is determined by the type of boiler, the new location of the boiler (if required), and additional extras you may need, such as controls or filters.
However, this doesn’t consider the installation costs, which can be pricey as they are determined by the length of time it takes the engineer to complete the job.
A rough estimate for a one-day installation fee based on homes in the UK is around £200 – £500. However, this can increase should installation take longer due to complexities or should complications arise.
How Old is Your Boiler? Final Thoughts
Should you replace your old boiler, remember to have it serviced by a qualified Gas Safe registered engineer each year. This ensures your boiler remains energy efficient and the warranty remains valid.
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