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Last updated: 13th May, 2024


Boiler Inactive Over Summer? How to Avoid Needing Repairs

Boiler Inactive Over Summer? How to Avoid Needing Repairs

Over the summer months, many of us tend to use our central heating much less and sometimes not at all.

Unfortunately, leaving boilers inactive for such long periods of time can lead to serious issues when it comes to turning it back on as the colder months approach.

In this guide, we’re going to take a look at some steps you can take over summer to avoid the need for repairs in winter.

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Get Your Boiler Serviced

Getting your boiler serviced is an absolute must in order to protect it and keep it running efficiently all year round.

Contrary to common misconception, the best time to have your boiler serviced is actually during the summer months as once winter approaches, so do the boiler breakdowns, meaning heating engineers across the country are fully booked by callouts.

Over summer, engineers are far less busy so you can schedule your service for a time and date that is best for you.

By getting your boiler serviced before the cold weather hits, you’re getting it prepared and reducing the risks of issues cropping up over winter, meaning you won’t have to wait in the cold for your boiler to be fixed.

What Does a Boiler Service Involve?

  • The boiler is fired to identify any faults

  • The main components including the burner, heat exchanger and the spark electrode are checked

  • Flue terminals and internal flue compartments are checked and sealed properly

  • Using a flue gas analyser, the burner is checked to make sure it’s burning efficiently

  • Boiler parts are cleaned if necessary

  • Gas tightness test is conducted to ensure there are no gas leaks

  • Boiler casing is checked to make sure it's sealed properly

Why is a Boiler Service Necessary?

A boiler service helps to make sure your boiler is running properly and can identify small issues early on before they become much more serious problems that could result in expensive repair costs or even replacement.

Having your boiler serviced also ensures that it is operating safely. This is incredibly important as each year around 60 people die from Carbon Monoxide poisoning each year due to its ability to go undetected in day-to-day life. A boiler service can help to identify a carbon monoxide leak and put a stop to it, keeping your family and home safe.

Your boiler warranty may also become invalid if you do not have it serviced annually by a Gas Safe registered engineer as many manufacturers state this as a requirement in their terms and conditions.

Here at iHeat we offer up to 10 Year warranties, so to ensure your warranty remains valid, you must have an annual service performed by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

Broken Boilers

Is your boiler not working? We have a great information on identifying if this is going to be a costly issue or not.

Give it a Run

Whilst you may feel like you don’t need to use your boiler over summer thanks to the warmer weather, it isn’t recommended to leave it inactive for such a long period of time as the system can become stagnant and develop buildups which lead to blockages and breakdowns.

This is why we would recommend running your boiler at least once during the summer just to ensure everything is still running smoothly and to reduce the risk of issues over winter that could require costly repairs or even replacement.

Use a Central Heating Inhibitor

A central heating inhibitor is a chemical liquid that is used to prevent sludge buildup in your heating system, prolonging its lifespan and helping to keep it running efficiently. Over time, dirt, rust, limescale and other debris can build up in your radiators and pipes, causing blockages, inefficiency and potentially breakdowns.

The chemicals in the inhibitor break down these minerals before they can become sludge, acting as a first defence.

Power Flush Your System

If your heating system has been somewhat neglected over the years and you find that your boiler is running less efficiently or that your radiators frequently need to be bled, your system likely has a buildup of sludge. Fortunately a powerflush can remedy this.

A power flush is a deep clean of your central heating system that works by pushing a powerful, low pressure flow of liquid through the system using a power flush machine.

On average, a power flush should be performed every five to six years in order to keep your boiler running effectively and efficiently, however there are some signs that you can look out for that indicate when you should get a power flush:

  • Cold spots around the home

  • Radiators need to be bled constantly

  • Leaking and noisy radiators when the heating is on

  • Frequent boiler breakdowns and issues in the system

  • It takes a long time for the heating to kick in

  • Hot pipes, despite the radiators being cold to the touch

  • The boiler needs to be restarted regularly

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Summer Mode on a Heater?

Summer mode on a heater, particularly on boilers, is a setting that disables the central heating function while allowing the boiler to continue providing hot water. This mode is useful during warmer months when heating isn't needed, but there is still a demand for domestic hot water for showers, washing dishes, and other uses.

Why Does My Boiler Turn On in the Summer?

Your boiler might turn on in the summer if it’s set to provide hot water or if the thermostat settings trigger the heating due to lower-than-expected indoor temperatures. Sometimes, boilers also perform short cycles to maintain operational efficiency and prevent issues related to long periods of inactivity.

What is Summer Mode?

Summer mode refers to a boiler setting used during the warmer months to reduce or turn off central heating while maintaining the hot water supply. This helps conserve energy by not heating the home unnecessarily during the summer.

What Temperature Should My Boiler Be Set at in the Summer?

In the summer, if you're using your boiler for hot water only, it's advisable to set the boiler temperature to around 60°C (140°F). This is hot enough to provide comfortable domestic hot water and to ensure the water is heated above 50°C (122°F), which helps to prevent the growth of legionella bacteria.

Should I Turn Boiler Down in Summer?

Yes, turning your boiler down in the summer can save energy and reduce utility bills. You can lower the thermostat for central heating to a minimal setting or switch it off entirely, ensuring the boiler only heats water for domestic use. Utilizing the summer mode feature (if available) is an effective way to manage this.

Should You Run Your Boiler in the Summer?

Running your boiler in the summer is advisable to maintain a steady supply of hot water. It’s also beneficial to turn it on periodically for short periods to keep the system in good working condition and prevent issues that may arise from prolonged inactivity, such as seized parts or system blockages.

What is the Most Efficient Temperature to Keep the Boiler at?

For heating, the most efficient temperature to set your boiler is typically between 65°C and 75°C (149°F and 167°F). For water heating, maintaining a temperature of around 60°C (140°F) is efficient enough for household use while being energy-conscious. Adjusting the boiler to operate at slightly lower temperatures during less demanding conditions (like in warmer months or when the house is empty) can further enhance efficiency and reduce heating costs.

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Article by
Stephen Day | Co-founder
Gas Safe registered and FGAS certified engineer with over 20 years experience in the heating and cooling industry.