Should I Turn Off My Boiler Overnight Or When I Go On Holiday?

Going away on vacation? Not sure what to do with your boiler while you’re away? We have all been there at some point. 

You may be confused about whether you save energy by turning it off or just keeping it running low. In all likelihood, safety concerns are another thing on your mind when debating whether to switch your boiler off while on holiday. 

You don’t need to wonder anymore; we tell you all you need to know to answer the question, “to turn off or not to turn off?” Read on and lay to rest all your doubts about what to do with your boiler whilst on holiday.

Away For The Summer?

What affects the answer most is when exactly are you planning to go on vacation. More precisely, what is the weather you are preparing to be away for?

If it is during the summer you are planning to go for a holiday, you can safely turn off your boiler for that duration without worry. While many people don’t use their boilers during the hotter months, some just operate it on the “hot water only” mode.

Either way, you don’t need to have the boiler on at home while you are away, having the time of your life on a beach somewhere. This would not be the case in the colder times of the year, though.

In Colder Temperatures

If it is in the winter that you plan on being away, turning your boiler off might not be the best option. This is especially the case if the temperatures in your area plummet to sub-zero during the peak of winter.

It would be a good idea to leave your boiler on while you are away during the winter for more than one reason. First off, the working boiler would keep the pipes and plumbing in your house from freezing over. This can save you quite the hassle later.

A second great reason to leave it on with the thermostat set to low is you could come back to a house nice, warm, and welcoming. The feeling of a vacation ending need not be made worse by being greeted by a freezing house, does it?

Some boilers come with special settings for when you want to go vacationing. The “anti-freeze” or “holiday” setting is perfect for such cases. It will automatically turn the heat up once the temperatures drop below a certain point, keeping your pipes safe and the house warm.

What Saves Money And Energy?

When debating whether to leave your boiler on or not, you also need to be mindful of its age. In case it’s an old one and has occasional issues, it might be safer to turn it off when you go.

If that is not a concern and it is not too cold, you might be thinking of going with whichever option saves you energy. 

While it is common to hear people say boilers turn out to be costlier if turned on after a prolonged period of inactivity, there is not much to prove this is true. A working appliance is invariably an energy-consuming one. 

Turning it off will save you energy and money unless you do it in the dead of winter when it might lead to frozen pipes and repair bills!

The Safer Option

In the case of most boilers, you would also find the option to set a timer. With this selected, the boiler will turn on for the set time every day. If you set it to work for one of the colder hours of the night with the timer, it will switch on during that hour.

This will warm up the house enough to ensure the water doesn’t freeze in the plumbing while also saving energy by not working all day.

To Sum Up

In a nutshell, it is perfectly alright to leave your boiler off in the summer. During winter, however, it is best to leave it on, with the thermostat set to low.  If neither extreme is the case, a middle path can be found in settings like “anti-freeze” or pre-set timers. 

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Last Updated on May 3, 2021

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Turn The Boiler Off At Night?

While turning it off every night and on every morning may seem to be an energy-saving duty, it can turn out to be a less energy-efficient option in the long run.

The boiler will consume more energy to fire up every morning than if just left on through the night. The better option would be to leave it low while you sleep.

What Is The Ideal Temperature For Your Boiler?

The average temperature setting for most boilers is 180°F. This works for most cold weather temperatures.

For gas-powered hot water boilers, you should be careful to keep the temperature below 210°F. It is also the maximum limit for a lot of them. Even when you want to go for the warmer side, keep it at 190°F.

How Many Hours Should My Boiler Run Per Day?

It depends on the region and your needs, but as a rule, the sum of boiler on time and off time should not be below 10 minutes.

On average, boilers in most homes are kept on for eight hours during winter. Constantly switching them on and off is not very wise as the boiler will have to work to heat up the house again each time, which won’t be energy-efficient.

David Thompson

Author: David Thompson

Dave has been involved in the UK building sector for over 3 decades and has developed a particular interest in energy efficiency in the home.

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