Whilst we’re enjoying the warmer temperatures and the sun has come out to play – our heating is off and forgotten about for the time being as we instead look for ways to cool our houses with opened windows and cross breezes. Working from home without air-con can also make a sticky work situation as the unpredictable Scottish weather has our homes heating up like an oven.
This summer, Scotland is currently experiencing some of the highest recorded temperatures – areas like Glasgow and Ayrshire are expected to hit close to 30°C. On 20th July, Renfrewshire reached 28°C, the warmest weather of the year so far.
However, just because it’s summer it doesn’t mean that you should just turn off your boiler in an attempt to save money. There are a few things you should be doing in the summer to keep your boiler healthy for the likely freezing-cold winter that we will be entering in a few months.
Don’t turn it off
Many people are under the misconception that you should turn your boiler off to save energy and subsequently money. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. You should keep your boiler on and working in optimum condition, as when it is completely inactive, it could break down.
Boiler emergencies surge during cold weather. This is because, after months of disuse, a boiler is suddenly turned on and cranked to maximum, only to break down. This happens because you’re putting excessive pressure on your boiler, which makes it susceptible to packing in. Turning your boiler completely off for a long period of time can cause your valves and pump to seize up. Even if you’re not using your boiler, keep it on – especially if you don’t have a combi boiler.
To avoid an annoying start to autumn, you should ease your boiler back into action and turn your heating on once a month for a few minutes throughout summer to check it is still in good health. You should also avoid any air getting trapped in your radiators and bleed them in early autumn. As it gets colder, gradually turn your heating temperature up so it gets used to it after months of inactivity.
Mark Glasgow, Managing Director at The Edinburgh Boiler Company, winner of the Outstanding Customer Service Initiative category at the 2021 Global Business Excellence Awards, commented: “When it comes to boiler maintenance, prevention is better than a cure. Boilers which are regularly warmed up will run smoothly and have less chance of breaking down and less chance of costing you more money in repairs, total replacement, or more money wasted on running inefficiently.”
Much of the winter this year in Scotland was struck by sub-zero temperatures. Heavy snow and hazardous ice resulted in weather and travel warnings. Extreme weather is going to become a regular occurrence as the planet warms and weather patterns change. It is expected that this winter will be just as cold. As the average global temperature increases, which is expected to increase1.5°C in the next five years, Scotland is expected to face more extreme weather.
Don’t run the risk of continuing with a faulty or old boiler for a cold winter. Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf hasn’t ruled out the possibility of further lockdown restrictions in the winter if COVID-19 deaths begin to increase. Tight restrictions could be placed on home visits and repairs, so make sure your boiler is in the best possible condition.
Replacing your boiler
Replacing a boiler might be at the back of many of our minds in summer – heating is often our last consideration. The summer months are naturally the better time to consider a new boiler installation, as it is quieter around this time. As there are more breakdowns during the winter, avoid the queues and get in early. If you do notice any issues now but think you should deal with it when you need to use it, get it fixed before it gets more problematic.
Keep your boiler running efficiently for an easy transition into winter. Remember to spot any issues early so these can be quashed before you’ll be relying on your boiler for warmth.