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Last updated: 10th April, 2024


What to do with Your Boiler when You Go on Holiday

What to do with Your Boiler when You Go on Holiday

Key takeaways

  • Be proactive before you depart from your boiler, have it serviced bleed the radiators if need be and turn down the thermostat.
  • Programmable or smart thermostats can be an excellent way of adjusting and controlling your central heating.
  • Modern boilers are much more energy efficient than older boilers and many times they are designed with eco settings for holiday periods.

The last thing you want to be thinking about while you're enjoying your summer holidays, or a vacation at any time of the year for that matter, is your boiler costing you unnecessary bills.

In this blog we’ll be taking a look at some helpful and handy tips and tricks to minimise wasteful energy usage when you’re not at home for an extended period.

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Should you turn your boiler off?

Whether you should turn off your boiler when you go on holiday depends on factors such as:

  • Trip duration

  • What time of year it is

  • Boiler type

For example if you’re taking a short trip it may not be necessary to fully turn your boiler off, but for longer ones, adjusting settings or taking precautions is advisable.

Proactively prepare your boiler 

Turn Down the Thermostat

Lower your thermostat to a temperature that will prevent freezing but still conserve energy. Setting it to around 50°F (10°C) is usually sufficient to keep your home from becoming too cold while saving on heating costs.

Use a Timer or Programmable Thermostat

Consider using a timer or programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature in your home. Set it to a lower temperature during periods when you know you won't be home, such as during the day or overnight.


Bleed Radiators (If Needed)

If you notice any cold spots on your radiators, it's a good idea to bleed them before you leave. This process removes any trapped air, ensuring optimal heat distribution when the heating is turned on.

Water and Boiler Maintenance

Check for Leaks

Inspect your boiler and the surrounding pipes for any signs of leaks. Addressing leaks before you go on holiday can help prevent potential water damage or other issues while you're away.

Run a Maintenance Cycle

Consider running a maintenance cycle on your boiler before you leave. This process helps remove any debris or sludge that may have accumulated, improving the overall efficiency of your system.

Shut Off the Water Supply

To prevent any potential leaks or water damage, consider shutting off the water supply to your boiler. This step is especially crucial if you have an older boiler that may be more prone to leaks.

Consider a Boiler Service

If it's been a while since your last boiler service, scheduling one before your holiday is a smart move. A professional boiler service will ensure that your system is in good working order, minimising the risk of any unexpected issues while you're away.

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 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.

Advantages of Modern Boilers

In addition to taking the necessary steps to prepare your boiler for your holiday, consider the advantages of upgrading to a modern boiler. 

Modern boilers offer numerous benefits that can enhance energy efficiency and improve overall performance.

One significant advantage is improved energy efficiency. Modern boilers are designed with advanced technology that significantly reduces energy waste. 


They operate at higher levels of efficiency, meaning you save money on your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint. 

Upgrading to a modern boiler allows you to optimise energy usage even when you're away, leading to greater savings in the long run.

Another advantage of modern boilers is enhanced control and programmability. Many models come equipped with programmable thermostats and smart controls, allowing you to customise your heating schedule and remotely adjust settings. 

This flexibility ensures that you can optimise energy usage based on your specific needs, whether you're at home or on holiday. 

By leveraging the advanced control features of modern boilers, you can achieve optimal comfort while maximising energy savings.

Furthermore, modern boilers often incorporate condensing technology. This innovative feature allows the boiler to extract heat from the flue gases and recycle it back into the heating system. 

As a result, the boiler operates with higher efficiency by reducing wasted heat. This not only lowers your energy consumption but also minimises environmental impact. 

By upgrading to a modern boiler, you contribute to a greener future by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable living.

Lastly, modern boilers offer increased reliability and safety. They undergo rigorous testing and adhere to strict safety standards. With extended warranties provided by manufacturers, you can have peace of mind knowing that your boiler is backed by a reliable and trusted product.

This ensures that your home remains warm and comfortable, even in your absence.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Turn My Boiler Off When I Go on Holiday?

Turning your boiler off when going on holiday can save energy, especially during warmer months or if you'll be away for an extended period. However, in winter, it's advisable to leave your boiler on at a low setting or in a frost protection mode to prevent pipes from freezing.

What Temperature Should I Leave My Heating On When I Go on Holiday?

If you decide to leave your heating on during winter holidays, setting the thermostat to around 12-15°C (54-59°F) is often recommended. This temperature is typically low enough to save energy while providing sufficient warmth to prevent pipes from freezing.

How Do I Put My Boiler in Holiday Mode?

Many modern boilers and thermostats have a 'holiday mode' feature. To activate it, you'll usually need to access the boiler's control panel or your thermostat settings. Look for an option labeled "holiday mode" or similar and enter the dates you'll be away. Refer to your boiler's manual for specific instructions as procedures can vary between models.

Can I Turn My Boiler Off for a Week?

Yes, you can turn your boiler off for a week, particularly if it's during warmer months and there's no risk of freezing temperatures. Turning the boiler off can save energy. However, consider any needs for hot water or the risk of freezing during colder periods before deciding.

Will It Damage My Boiler If I Turn It Off?

Turning your boiler off temporarily, such as during a holiday, typically won't damage the boiler. Modern boilers are designed to be turned off and on as needed. However, if the boiler is off for an extended period during cold weather, there's a risk of pipes freezing and causing damage.

Is It OK to Turn Off Boiler in Summer?

Yes, it's generally okay to turn off your boiler in the summer, especially if you do not require hot water or if your hot water is heated by an alternative method. This can save energy. However, consider periodically running the boiler to prevent the system from seizing and to ensure it remains in good working condition.

Does a Combi Boiler Use Gas When Not in Use?

A combi boiler typically does not use gas when not actively heating your home or water. However, some boilers have a pilot light that burns gas continuously, though this is less common in modern combi boilers, which usually have electronic ignition. Also, boilers with a pre-heat function or those left in standby mode may use a small amount of gas to maintain internal temperatures, ready for immediate hot water supply.

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