Do you switch your boiler off at the mains when you're away from home or before you go to sleep? It might seem like a way of saving money on energy, but this isn't always the case.
In fact, unless you're going away for more than one night, you don’t really need to switch off your boiler. Especially if it has timers and you’re using a thermostat. Read on to find out why.
Should I turn off my boiler while I’m away on holiday?
When away from your home on holiday, it can be worth it to switch off your boiler completely. You won't need hot water and not having it on might keep your home safe when you’ll be away for a while.
But, if it’s winter or the weather is cold, we’d suggest keeping it on. If your boiler isn’t running for a while, your pipes might freeze. It’s always a good idea to insulate your pipes, too, so that you don’t come home to a faulty boiler or frozen pipe.
If you're away for a long time, leave the boiler on but have the room thermostat set at a lower temperature. This’ll keep things running smoothly while you're away, without wasting too much energy or heat. With a smart thermostat, you could even set your timer so that the boiler comes on once a day to keep things ticking over.
Why do people turn off their boilers during the night?
It's not uncommon for people to turn off their boilers completely at night time. When you're tucked up in bed, you’ll probably be warm enough without the help of your boiler – especially if your home’s well insulated.
Also, when you're sleeping, you won't need any hot water from the tap. Appliances like your dishwasher or washing machine usually have their own hot water on demand.
Should you switch your boiler off overnight?
There are pros and cons to switching your boiler off at night though, so weigh these up before you decide to switch off your boiler completely at night.
Is your home well insulated?
How well insulated is your home? Although you might feel warm enough in your bedroom during the night, it’s worth considering the impact turning your boiler off will have on the rest of your home.
If you've got good loft and wall insulation, as well as double or triple glazed windows, then you may be able to keep enough warmth inside your home without the boiler. A well-insulated home should hold a good amount of heat for hours.
On the other hand, small gaps in your home insulation could lead to warm air escaping or cold air entering your house. In the colder months, your pipes could even freeze overnight.
Firing up your boiler each morning could use more energy
It’s worth working out whether the cost of switching your boiler back on each morning will outweigh the cost of switching it off at night.
We know it’s no fun waking up to a cold home. But turning it off and then firing it up again in the morning could also mean your boiler needs to work harder – and use more energy. You won’t necessarily lose money from doing this each night and morning, but it’s unlikely that you’ll save money either.
That’s why it could be more efficient to keep the boiler on, with the thermostat set at a lower temperature.
Use your thermostat and timer instead
You might want to avoid using your boiler at night, but without switching it off completely. Instead, you could set your thermostat and timer. Here's how:
Instead of switching off your boiler, you could turn your thermostat down in the evening. Set the temperature as low as possible, and then your heating will only come on if the temperature falls significantly. Most smart thermostats will let you set a minimum temperature for the heating to come back on via their apps, too.
You might want to turn this up slightly for colder nights during the winter and set your thermostat in its mid-range, rather than minimum. This is a way of protecting your home from things like frozen pipes or damp walls.
Modern boilers will come with a timer so you can set it on and off at different times and days of the week. This means that you could, for example, set the heating to go off in the night and on in the early morning, as opposed to switching your boiler off entirely.
Keeping a consistent boiler and heating schedule can help to keep your system in good condition. Get reliable boiler cover for extra peace of mind throughout the year. All our plans come with an annual service as standard and a 24/7 helpline, so our engineers can sort any issues before they get worse.