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Atlantic Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

How Long Can I Expect My Boiler to Last?


A big benefit homes get from having a boiler as their heating system is boiler longevity. Compared to furnaces (both gas and electric) and heat pumps, boilers will go for years longer delivering energy-efficient heating. The reason for their longer service lives is that boilers do not use as many mechanical parts that will wear down from use. Boilers still have to deal with the stress of circulating water, but the protections against corrosion designed into boilers helps them keep functioning as long as they receive regular care.

You want to know some specifics about your boiler. If it can enjoy a longer life than a furnace, how much longer is that? We’ll get into some details below.

Boiler Life-Expectancy

We can’t give an exact number for your boiler’s service life because too many different factors are involved, and no two boilers receive the exact same amount of work or run into the same circumstances. But we can provide some generalizations.

You may have heard that boilers can last more than 50 years, but this only applies to the massive cast iron boilers of yesteryear, and even those could rarely get to half a century of operation. A more realistic estimate for the standard modern hot water boiler, probably the type in your house, is 20 years or more. The “and more” is vague, we know, but once your boiler is older than 20 years, we suggest keeping a close watch for signs that it’s starting to decline. Be cautious about what you pay for repairs once your boiler is this old, since you’re now in the zone where a replacement boiler might be more cost effective. Ask our repair technicians for their professional opinion on whether to repair or replace.

High-efficiency condensing boilers often have a shorter service life, averaging 15 years or more, because the high-efficiency components will wear out faster. However, the amount of money saved over those 15 years compared to paying to run a standard boiler for 20 years can make it a worthwhile investment. 

Keep Maintenance in Mind

There is a big asterisk to all these lifespan estimates we urge customers to keep in mind, and that is these life expectancies only apply if the boiler is receiving regular maintenance from professionals. Without maintenance, any boiler system will begin to decline rapidly. Each year, a boiler must receive careful cleaning and inspections to keep away problems like corrosion on the heat exchanger or leaks at connections. This stops declines in energy efficiency that also cause an increase in stress and wear and tear on the unit. You do not want corrosion to get any sort of hold on the boiler, since this can mean a need for an early replacement.  

We’re Here to Keep Your Boiler Running

You can always count on our HVAC team for the boiler service necessary to give it a long and energy-saving service life. From boiler repairs in Maryland to routine maintenance to that (eventual) replacement, we’re the pros to trust!

At Atlantic Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Inc. “We Take Pride in Your Comfort”! Call us for heating service in Delaware and the Maryland Eastern Shore.

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