How long does a boiler last?

April 4th 2024


Whether you have recently bought a new boiler or are considering replacing your existing boiler, you are likely wondering how long your boiler will last.

It’s an important decision for any household as buying a new boiler is one of the largest investments you will make in your home. Knowing what value for money you’re getting for a boiler will help you make an important choice.

In this latest advice blog from Navien UK, we explore the average life span of a boiler, what you can do to keep your boiler maintained and prolong its lifespan, as well as the signs to look out for which might mean it’s time to switch.

What is the average lifespan of a boiler?

The typical lifespan of your boiler is between 10-15 years. This is the same whether you have a Combi boiler, a Combi Crossover boiler, an Oil boiler, a Regular boiler, or a System boiler. Naturally, the actual lifespan of your boiler will depend on how you look after it.

By keeping it regularly serviced and well-maintained your boiler will last longer and is more likely to reach the top end of its anticipated lifespan. A yearly service is a requirement of your Navien boiler warranty, which includes repairs and support of your boiler during your warranty period. With this regular maintenance in place, it will provide long-term gains.

If you have ever looked at the inside of a boiler, it is a very complicated piece of kit. There are so many moving parts such as pumps, valves, pipework, a burner, and various electronic components. As with any machine, no matter the quality of the components, each part will wear out at different stages.

It’s also important to factor in that your boiler regularly goes between hot and cool states, meaning it’s constantly expanding and contracting. This puts fatigue and stress on the pipework and joints.

Does limescale affect the lifespan of a boiler?

Limescale can reduce the efficiency of your boiler and heating system and will also reduce the life of your boiler. The inside of your boiler and other surfaces, including pipes, can be affected by limescale build-up. If it does happen, it can increase your heating bills and lead to issues with your central heating system.

Limescale occurs from calcium bicarbonate that occurs naturally in water in hard water areas. If you live in a hard water area, you could be affected by limescale build-up because of the chemical composition of your water supply.

With a constant supply of fresh water going through your boiler, heat speeds up the chemical reaction that causes limescale, leaving boilers prone to it. While some limescale can be cleaned away during servicing, the build-up of limescale will still have an impact on the lifespan of your boiler.

If you live in a soft water area or have a water-softening device installed, you can add a few years onto the expected life of a boiler.

How can I improve the longevity of my boiler?

Of course, you want your boiler to last for as long as possible. By following our tips below, you can help prolong the life of your boiler.

Annual boiler service

While an annual boiler service is a requirement of your boiler warranty, it is an important part of maintaining the lifespan of your boiler. During your annual service, typically an engineer will identify any faults and fix them there and then if parts aren’t required.

Find out more in our blog: How often should your boiler be serviced?

Bleed your radiators

Regular bleeding of your radiators keeps the circulation within your central heating system running smoothly. If your radiators are cold at the top but hot at the bottom, there is likely air trapped in the radiator. If you don’t bleed your radiators regularly, you will be wasting money and energy, whilst not heating your home as efficiently.

Install an inhibitor

Inhibitors help protect your system against corrosion build-up to ensure you have a cleaner system. This is a protective coating that forms around the metals, preventing limescale build-up and corrosion.

It should be noted that an inhibitor is not a solution to limescale build-up, but a preventative measure. If your system is suffering from corrosion, sludge and limescale, you’ll need an engineer to perform a powerflush.


Powerflushing involves a heating engineer using a pumping unit to distribute a cleaning solution through your heating system to remove sludge, rust, and other deposits.

This process helps treat noisy boilers and pumps, cold radiators and other symptoms of build-up in the system. Having a powerflush can be costly – usually starting from around £350 – but is worth doing to extend the life of your heating system.

Run your heating in the summer

In the warmer months, you will rarely use your heating system. However, turning off the heating for a long time can cause parts to seize up. If this happens, it won’t work when you finally give in to the cold and turn your boiler back on.

We recommend you briefly switch it on once or twice a month in the summer. This will allow you to detect problems with your boiler before winter. It’s much better to realise your boiler has issues in the summer than to find out in winter!

When should you replace your boiler?

As your boiler gets older, it likely will have more faults over time, unless you have maintained it well. However, as a boiler comes to the end of its lifecycle, it is time to consider replacing it.

Over time, it could end up being more cost-effective (and efficient) to choose a new boiler rather than frequently paying out for boiler repairs.

While the age of the boiler is one factor, others such as repeated leaks, odd noises, foul smells and sky-high bills could mean your boiler’s time is up.

As always, you should seek advice from a gas-safe engineer before making any decisions on replacing your boiler.

If your boiler has reached the end of its lifecycle, you can find a new boiler for your home with our helpful tool.

For more advice on boilers, servicing and central heating system care, read our blog or check out our FAQs.

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