Should You Turn Off Your Heating During the Summer?

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Home owners and tenants may consider turning off their heating more than ever this year due to the escalating costs of energy.

Obviously considering switching off the heating would be more challenging in the winter months when the heating is needed and pipework could freeze however when the seasons turn, should homeowners consider turning off their heating completely in order to save energy?

We will be discussing if this is the correct approach and what considerations should be reviewed before switching off the heating during summer.

What Boiler Settings Should be Applied During Summer?

During the summer months, households may not be relying on the heating system in the same way as during the winter, however these months provide the time to undertake the maintenance needed and ensure that a boiler is ready for the winter ahead.

This is one reason why a boiler should not be switched off for long period of time as internal parts may become stuck and therefore may not work again when the boiler is turned back on.

Instead of turning the boiler off completely, either the thermostat be changed or the programmed settings editing to reduce the duration of time that a boiler is due to be running for.

Modern boilers also sometimes have a standby mode which provides a low energy option where the boiler is running only the essential functions in order to protect the internal parts. Refer to your boiler’s manufacturer instruction manual to discover if your model has this eco-setting.

Advice for Older Models

Older boilers are likely to have a pilot light which consumes a significant amount of energy to run and therefore switching off the heating may be the most economical option.

However, even during warmer months, the heating system should be turned on regularly to ensure that it runs effectively and there are no boiler faults.

Whereas this is not the case for more modern boilers whose internal parts should be tested regularly to ensure that they are running effectively and that all parts and components are working as planned.

Older boilers are unlikely to have the standby setting mentioned earlier, however they may have a summer setting where the functions such as heating water are reduced to just a few times a day. Please refer to your boiler’s instruction manual in order to discover if this setting is available on your boiler model.

Hot Water Needs During Summer

During the warmer months, when the heating is turned down low or ran only sparingly, there is still a need to generate hot water in order to wash.

Some households with electric showers do not need to heat hot water in order to wash if, for example baths are not also taken by other household members as well as the electric shower itself provides the source of the heat.

However if baths are taken or if a water tank is in situ for example, the homeowner or tenant would need to plan when to heat the water in order to achieve a warm bath or shower.

Other household electrical devices such as dishwashers and washing machines also do not require water to be heated, as these also heat the water directly from the mains in order to perform their jobs themselves.

If a combination boiler is installed within the property, the most economical way to heat hot water only is to keep the thermostat at zero as a short term solution.

Always remember to check that the boiler runs effectively by turning it on with a sensible thermostat setting, with plenty of time before the winter returns so that any issues can be resolved before the colder months return.

Summer Boiler Maintenance

As we have mentioned, the summer months are the ideal time to maintain a boiler as there is less demand for heating engineers then during winter and there is plenty of time to address any issues found before the return of winter.

The ideal time to book in a boiler service with a Gas Safe registered heating engineer is August or September, providing ample time for diagnosis of any issues, ordering parts and getting the boiler up and running again before winter.

Not only does a service provide peace of mind that the condition of the internal parts has been monitored and is acceptable for the coming seasons, but also the annual maintenance ensures that the boiler is operating safely. In addition heating engineers perform maintenance tasks ensuring that the boiler will run effectively and therefore saving money on energy bills.

Furthermore, if the property is rented this annual gas safety check is a legal requirement and a copy of the gas safety certificate should be issued to the tenants. Ensure that only a professional Gas Safe registered heating engineer undertakes the annual maintenance and service for safety and insurance purposes.

Boiler Replacement

During an annual service, a Gas Safe registered heating engineer may find faults that would be expensive to repair or may even condemn the boiler for continued use. In these scenarios a boiler replacement would be needed.

Shopping for a new boiler can be undertaken in a number of ways from obtaining quotes from the heating engineer, approaching large companies such as British Gas or, taking the modern route of ordering a new boiler online.

In order to check prices, it is recommended that a number of quotes are obtained before choosing a supplier, and reviewing the optional extras suggested such as a chemical flush and heating insurance.

Summary

We have been discussing the best approach to keeping energy costs low during the summer months whilst also protecting the boiler’s internal parts from a complete switch off.

We have also covered why summer is the time to undertake maintenance within the heating system, ensuring that the boiler will be safe and in good working order for the winter months.

Should you need any further advice, please contact a local Gas Safe registered heating engineer.

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