One of the questions we are often asked is ‘Should I switch off my boiler in the summer?’ There are several reasons to consider turning off your hot water system as well as your boiler in the summer.
Many of us are seeking ways to save our hard-earned money, and one of these ways is to reduce our energy bills. This is proving increasingly hard as fuel prices seem to be going up year-on-year.
Many residents are used to adjusting their thermostats in the summer and spring, but many don’t realize that actually turning off your boiler is a great way to further reduce energy costs. This is most certainly the case when it comes to homes with an inefficient older boiler.
With an older boiler, the pilot light is lit constantly even when the heating isn’t in use. The light may burn a small amount of fuel, but when it’s on 24 hours, day after day this adds up.
With more modern boilers this may still be the case, and therefore turning off the pilot light should still be turned off.
You may have an electric shower, and in the summer you don’t tend to have baths. If this is the case then again, you won’t need your boiler on and keep your pilot light constantly on. In fact if you don’t need hot water for washing only water used at the kitchen sink and in a bathroom hand-basin would need to be heated
Most modern dishwashers and laundry machines are able to heat up water as it enters a closed system. These are cold devices and therefore pre-heated water isn’t needed. In fact, even older machines will still be able to heat up cold water – so you won’t need pre-heated water to use these items in your home.
You can still turn off your boiler and turn it on occasionally to circulate hot water, this will prevent the mechanisms in your boiler from seizing up, namely the pump and diverter valve that circulates the fluid round the radiators to the hot water cistern. The other danger (albeit rare) is that the pilot light could become clogged with dust if it’s not lit for a period of time, so we certainly recommend occasional use.
Even if you have a more modern boiler, you may want to switch it off if the water cistern is not a modern one coated with polystyrene.
If you have an electric shower – and don’t take baths during the summer – and a dishwasher, only water used at the kitchen sink and in a bathroom hand-basin would need to be heated.
If you don’t, the pump and diverter valve that circulates the fluid round the radiators and to the hot water cistern can become seized up. If this happens, they could fail when you finally turn the heating back on in the autumn.
Contact us at Archway Plumbing for more boiler advice.