There are very few topics Brits like discussing as much as the weather, and that’s because we put up with bitter winters, surprise showers, and prolonged cold spells.

With so much of our focus going on keeping the hot water flowing and the central heating going, it’s easy to overlook the necessary boiler maintenance and repairs when nature’s central heating is on.

Read on to find out if you should turn your boiler off completely when it’s warmer, what to consider when turning off the different types of boilers, and our top tips for boiler maintenance in warmer weather.

Is it OK to turn off my boiler in summer?

This depends on what type of boiler you have. Older homes might still use a traditional boiler with a pilot light.

If you have one of these, switching the boiler off completely for periods of time might be the best idea. This is because the pilot light would otherwise continue to burn gas and cost you the money you wouldn’t need to spend.

If you have a newer boiler or a combi boiler, you could have the option of setting it to standby mode. This would use a lot less energy, and also allow you to flick the heating back on if there’s an unexpected shower or chilly morning.

Combi vs conventional vs system boilers: what's the difference?

When should I turn my boiler on in summer?

Although you won’t need to use your boiler as much over the warmer months, you shouldn’t just turn it off for a few months and leave it until the next time the temperature drops.

If you're planning on turning off your boiler for an extended period, consider turning it on in occasional bursts. You only need to turn it on for a short period every few weeks or so. A complete lack of use can make many types of boilers seize up or run less efficiently.

When it comes to turning your boiler off completely, you also need to consider what other appliances might need your boiler to work properly.

During the summer months, you might still need to heat up water for baths, showers, and washing the dishes. If you have an electric shower (and don’t mind rinsing the dishes in cold water), you could still get away with turning the boiler off save for the occasional burst every few weeks.

If you have a combi boiler and still want hot water in your kitchen sink or bathroom, you could change the boiler settings to only provide hot water and not heating.

Should I service my boiler in summer?

Yes, getting your boiler serviced before you’ll really need it is one of the best maintenance tips.

Getting a Gas Safe registered engineer out at the tail end of summer will ensure that your boiler is working at its best right before the autumn and winter months. Even if your boiler hasn’t given you the reason for concern before, or if it’s still relatively new, it’s best practice to maintain regular servicing. It’s the best way to spot any small issues before they become bigger ones, and can help keep your heating bills down by checking everything is working to full efficiency.

It’s not just homeowners who should think about checking on their boilers during the warmer months. If you're a landlord, you're legally required to have a qualified Gas Safe engineer carry out an annual gas safety inspection on any rental properties you may own. You can't get the required certificate without doing so.

Ensuring the boiler is running smoothly before new tenants move in or current tenants complain during the winter months will make the renting process much smoother, saving you both money and effort in the long run.

Why you should book a boiler annual service and what to expect.

About the author

Ian Palmer-Smith

Ian is the Supplier and Heating Service Director at Domestic & General. He leads the operational delivery for ScottishPower, as well as managing operational relationships with heating manufacturers and our service network in the UK and Éire.

He’s an advocate for the prevention of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, becoming a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG) in 2020. He's worked in the heating sector for over 37 years and regularly contributes to our articles.

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