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Spot the signs it may be time to consider a new boiler upgrade and plan for what happens next.
Understanding these red flags should save you from being out of pocket with large repair bills, keep your home safe and warm this winter and help your find a reputable installer when you upgrade your heating system.

Request an install quote here


Common Issues:


It’s breaking down a lot and costing a lot to repair 

When boilers break down they can be fixed at a cost, if you don’t have a boiler cover plan. Research has found that repairs costs can vary between £150 and £500, which can be a lot to fork out reactively whether you have a rainy-day fund or not.  

The more it breaks down and the costs accumulate in labour and parts, the less likely it is that it’s worth continuing to pay to get it fixed. Even if you do have cover, all providers have clauses for what’s called ‘beyond economic repair’, which is roughly defined as when the cost to repair (either singularly or overtime) is costing more than it’d cost to replace it, at that point your policy provider will normally trigger a cancellation clause and provide details about a new boiler. Also, some providers (not us!) increase your premium annually based on your breakdown history – just like a car insurance policy. 


It always breaks down in winter 


As around two-thirds of breakdowns happen through Autumn and Winter, if you find yourself in this position then, in short, you’ll have no heating or hot water when you need it most – so whilst it’s understandable to hold off replacing your boiler as long as possible given the investment, it’s wiser to give yourself time, be proactive and research installers before your current system comes to the end of its life. That way you won’t have to scramble to find someone who can help, and potentially not get the best supplier or solution for your needs, or maybe even pay a premium because you need it immediately.  


It has a high running cost


In our experience, alarm bells tend to start ringing when it’s costing a lot to run. Whilst energy companies try to forecast your future consumption, it can be questionable as to how accurate they actually are given there are so many variables to consider, so whilst there can often be an element of ‘bill-shock’, sometimes it feels like the costs are extra high. That could be because your boiler isn’t burning gas efficiently so there’s a lot of waste – up to 30p in every £1 in financial terms, so maybe it’s your boiler that’s the main issue. Upgrading it will bring down your bills. In other words, the cost of a modern A-rated condensing boiler could well be offset by reduced energy bills over time versus an older inefficient model. 


I’d like to be more environmentally friendly 


Boiler ratings come in A+++ to G-rating categories, A+++ being the most efficient and G being the least efficient.  A new A-rated boiler utilises around 92% of the energy it uses, while G-rated boilers operate at around 70%, showing how much energy is used versus how much is wasted.  

The lifespan of a boiler’s efficiency is typically between 12 and 15 years, so if yours is around that age or older, it’s likely to be running inefficiently even if it’s not breaking down – if it’s not simply just a low rated efficiency boiler in the first place.

By upgrading your heating system, you can improve your home efficiency rating and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas entering the environment, all the while saving yourself money on the energy you use every day. 


How to go about getting a new boiler upgrade


Once you have made the decision to switch, you’ll need to find a provider to remove your old boiler and install the new system in your home. Here are a few tips on finding a reputable supplier who is also value for money. 


Recommendations from friends, family members and colleagues count for a lot and can be a good place to start. At O’Neil Gas, we know that many of the installs we do are as a result of our customers talking about our services, which we’re really proud of. 

We recently installed a new boiler for a local legend, Miss Wilson, who has just celebrated her 109th birthday and holds the title of the oldest lady in Scotland. Miss Wilson and her daughter Mureal had great feedback about their new install and we are very pleased to keep delivering our high standards to our local community.   




Looking into your national and local suppliers is a logical next step – but do consider here that some of the larger suppliers, whilst being household names and perhaps perceived to be more trustworthy, carry high overheads so can often cost more than someone nearby. That said, online quote sites or sole traders may be cheaper, but perhaps don’t have the resources behind them should you need them afterwards. The happy medium could well be a well-reputable local SME with fair pricing, good reviews, robust experience and the ability to look after you long term. At O’Neil Gas, we prefer to work with our customers to make sure we’ve considered everything before providing a price, rather than online platforms taking the most basic of information to provide a price then adding costs on at a later stage after any technical visits have taken place. 

Next Steps: 

Make contact with your chosen providers, having reviewed their reviews and websites, to organise a quote. Consider the professionalism of the end-to-end process and how well any (covid-safe) visits go in terms of making you feel comfortable, and how the potential solutions are fitted to your needs now and in the future. It’s a big investment, so you need to feel confident and happy you’ve made the right decision before going ahead. Also consider the support on offer after the install has been completed – some providers just leave you with the warranty, whilst we also offer a year of O’Neil Care for free, giving you the peace of mind of 24/7 cover if there are any issues afterwards.   


When is the best time to upgrade my boiler? 

The best time of year to schedule an install for a new boiler is in the summer months when you are not as reliant on your home heating system. 

We know this is not always possible when you consider boiler breakdown rates are always higher in winter but you can get ahead of the curve by planning the replacement of an older/breakdown prone boiler. An upgrade to a modern A-rated boiler could save you over £100 per year on fuel. Give O’Neil Gas a call and we can answer any questions you may have about the install process – Call: 01292619799


At O’Neil Gas, we’ve been installing hundreds of boilers across Ayrshire for over 25 years. We’re a family-owned business and because of that, fully appreciate putting the customer first and providing a great service at a fair price. You can find out more about our Installs service here and our Boiler Cover.