Heatwave? You should still turn on the heating to stop a boiler breakdown

This weekend's sudden temperature changes can drive a rise in boiler breakdowns; here's what you can do to make sure yours is running properly

man fixing a boiler
(Image credit: iStock)

Ready for this weekend's heatwave? You've probably got your sun cream and shorts ready – but have you prepped your boiler to cope with the sudden temperature change?

Boiler emergency callout rates understandably spike during cold spells, when everyone cranks up the heating, only to find out that their boiler has packed in. In fact, data shows a 71 per cent increase in emergency call outs during the snowy period earlier this Spring (1st to 5th April) and a nearly three-fold increase during last year’s ‘Beast from the East’ weather event.* There are many reasons why people experience boiler emergencies during the winter (frozen pipes is by far the most common), but a lesser known reason is not maintaining your boiler during warmer weather. 

Say what now? Yes, when you leave your boiler switched off during warm spells and then crank it up high when it gets chilly again, you're putting excess pressure on system components, which makes your boiler more likely to break down. 

Princess aged gold vintage radiator

(Image credit: Castrads)

So, if you want to avoid a nasty surprise come autumn, it is advisable to turn your heating on at least once a month, even if it's hot. You only need to keep it on for a couple of minutes to check it's working, so don't worry about your house becoming unbearably hot.

And when the weather turns cold again? Bleed your radiators in early autumn to avoid air getting trapped in your central heating system, and increase the heating temperature gradually, which will ease your boiler back into heat mode. 

*Data compiled by theboilercompany.com.