Should you turn your gas boiler off this summer?

With the arrival of warmer, sunnier days, your first reflex may be to save energy by turning off your boiler and radiators.  Summer often entails going away on holiday and in this case, when the house is empty, it may seem unnecessary to leave your boiler on.  But is it a good idea to switch your boiler off this summer?

How does a gas boiler work?

The term gas boiler applies to several different boiler models. When choosing a boiler there are many factors to consider: the surface area and layout of your home and the price.

Condensing boiler: this type of boiler burns gas, using the energy from the water vapour produced to heat the home. Economic and environmentally friendly, these boilers also offer high performance.

Low temperature boiler: this boiler uses the same system as a classic gas boiler, the only difference being it works at a lower temperature.  In terms of energy, it is highly efficient.

Water heating technology

Storage combi boiler: these boilers are characterised by their ability to provide both heating and hot sanitary water (a traditional boiler is only capable of transmitting energy to heat the home). The water is stored in a tank where it is kept at a constant temperature. Capable of holding up to 30 litres of water, this heating system is ideal for those who require greater quantities of water.

Micro-boiler: this system uses a small hot water tank (no more than 10 litres) to provide hot water instantaneously.  This immediate reaction makes it a favourable option for saving energy. However, these boilers are slightly more expensive than other options.  Micro-boilers are considered a hybrid between an instantaneous boiler and a storage combi boiler.

Instantaneous boiler: unlike a storage combi boiler, an instantaneous boiler doesn’t store hot water. Instead, hot water is produced only when required by the user. This system is best suited to those with low energy consumption, for example a 2- or 3-person household.

No matter what boiler you choose, maintenance is essential and must be carried out once a year. A recommended option is taking out a boiler maintenance contract.  However, the cost can vary depending on the age of the boiler and the chosen supplier. The best season to carry out boiler maintenance is spring or summer.

Is turning your boiler off during the summer efficient? 

Turning your boiler off may seem a good way to protect your home, especially from a potential gas leak.

However, contrary to popular belief, there’s no need to turn your heating off during summer or when you are away on holiday. In fact, doing so can hinder its performance and encourage bacteria growth, making your boiler more difficult to maintain.  Re-lighting a boiler also consumes a large amount of energy – certainly not ideal!

When you start to notice warmer weather, you should activate “summer” mode instead. Boilers generally have two modes: “summer” and “winter”. Another possible solution is selecting the “hot water only” option.

It’s important to switch modes according to the season and temperature as this will maximise your heating, allowing you to benefit from increased comfort, reduced energy consumption and, most importantly, cheaper bills! If your boiler is relatively modern, it should have temperature sensors allowing it to automatically switch to summer mode.

Should you switch your boiler off at night?

The conclusion is the same as above, turning your boiler off at night isn’t the most efficient option. Doing so consumes a lot of energy as once “cold” even more energy is required to heat the water up again. For this reason, it’s better to keep your boiler at a constant temperature. The colder your home, the more energy the boiler will consume. Optimal thermal insulation is a particularly efficient solution to avoid heat loss.

The Netatmo Smart Thermostat allows you to control your heating remotely for maximum energy savings. The Netatmo thermostat also offers a heating program adapted specifically to your daily routine. The program takes account of the outside temperature and home insulation system to heat your home as accurately as possible.

Remember, the flame of the pilot light must remain lit at all times. If not, your boiler won’t work properly.

In summary, turning your boiler off at night or during the summer isn’t the most economical solution! Activating summer mode towards the end of spring and then switching back to winter mode once summer is over is a much smarter approach.  Finally, to achieve maximum home comfort consider the quality of your home insulation.