With summer well and truly here, the last thing you will be thinking about is your gas central heating. However, there are some actions you should take.
These actions will help ensure you’re not paying for gas unnecessarily, feeling too cold early in the morning or late at night, or even creating problems for when you switch your heating back on once summer has passed.
Our wonderful but unpredictable Scottish weather isn’t reliable enough to guarantee wall-to-wall sunshine from May through September. And our nights and early mornings tend to be on the cold side, even in summer. So you probably can’t simply switch off your gas heating entirely. But there are some ways you can save money on your gas heating when you need it.
In this article, we’ll show you how you can save money on your gas heating over the summer and ensure everything will work again when autumn comes around once more.
Save money during the summer months
Set the correct temperatures for the season
Adjust your thermostat so your heating won’t come on unnecessarily. The exact temperature to set will depend on your personal preference, the quality of insulation in your property, and the kind of summer we have (who knows what we’ll get!).
Early in the morning and overnight, the temperatures can drop to uncomfortable levels, even in summer. If you are an early riser, you may wish to keep the temperatures fairly generous (around a comfortable 20 degrees, for example). But by mid-morning, temperatures should have picked up, so no heating is necessary.
Should you switch your boiler off in summer?
If your property has an older boiler with a pilot light, it would probably be a good idea to turn it off entirely as the pilot light will continue to burn gas. However, you may also need the boiler for hot showers and washing dishes. Unless you have an electric shower and a dishwasher, you may wish to keep your boiler on.
Newer and more efficient boilers tend to use barely any energy when put on standby. So there's not much point in switching your boiler off in this case. And some combi boilers have a summer and winter mode, so all it takes is the switch of a button.
You could also leave your central heating on but turn off each of your radiators individually, except for those in particular rooms which may require a little extra heat, such as to dry wet towels in the bathroom.
Prevent issues in autumn
Although you are unlikely to need to turn on the heating over the summer months, we always recommended that if you are planning on turning off your boiler for an extended period, you should turn it on every so often to prevent the internal workings seizing through lack of use.
One of the main culprits where seizing occurs is with the water pump valves. If your central heating system isn’t used for an extended time, then these valves can stick. A ceased circulating pump will cost a lot more to fix or replace than leaving your central heating on or switching it on occasionally in the summer.
Limescale build-up can also be a problem. This can happen when the central heating system is not switched on for long periods.
Ideally, you should turn your gas heating on for a short burst every few weeks. Or set up a summer heating schedule using your heating controls so you can forget about it altogether.
This doesn't take a lot of effort and can potentially save you a lot of stress and money compared to the alternative – a boiler that breaks the first time you go to use it in the autumn.
Service your gas central heating in summer
Summer is one of the best times to get your heating serviced. Not only is this just before autumn when you will start to use your heating more, but it’s also just before the busy period for central heating engineers like us.
We usually recommend that you arrange for your annual service to take place in July, August or early September to ensure that your boiler is ready for the winter. This may sound early, but you can imagine how busy gas engineers are in the autumn. Boilers across the country are being switched on or used for hours on end for the first time in months, and, as a result, breakdowns are pretty common.
Even if you are confident that the boiler in your property is ready for the colder seasons, a full service will help it run as efficiently as possible. This will help you save money on your annual heating costs.
Summer is the best time to replace your boiler
If your property needs a new boiler, summer is a great time to arrange for a replacement. Not only are you less likely to need the boiler while it is being replaced – especially if you have an electric shower – but there will be less demand for central heating engineers like us during this period, allowing you to get the replacement boiler fitted fast.
Looking for experienced central heating engineers you can rely on?
We supply, service, repair and install gas boilers and central heating systems for social housing associations and councils right across the East Coast of Scotland.
Contact us about gas safety inspections, annual servicing, repair agreements or whatever else you might need to keep your tenants safe and warm.
Call our friendly team on 0800 3899 463 (Mon to Fri, 9am to 5pm) for a free quote, or use our easy online form to get a free quote.