Summer doesn’t officially start until 21st June, but we’re already seeing temperatures soar in the UK. As the weather begins to warm up, it can be easy to forget the looming costs of winter- but now’s the perfect time to make a few changes that could save you huge amounts of money by the end of the year.
Small tweaks made well in advance can mean considerable savings by the time we switch the heating back on. And yes, we know it sounds crazy to be thinking about heating bills while the Met Office is warning of sweltering temperatures all over the country, but thinking ahead really will pay off.
Let’s not forget what’s happened over the last year. April 2022 saw energy bills rise by a massive 54%. Just a few months later, in October 2022, prices were set to rise another 80%, but the Energy Price Guarantee meant that this was limited to 27% – still a significant increase on typical energy bills for homeowners up and down the UK.
This winter, it’s safe to assume that pressure on bills will remain high, especially as the cost of living continues to rise and stretch household finances.
Whilst there’s not much that any of us can do to halt the increases in energy prices, there are ways to make a difference to the price you’ll pay to heat and power your home. So, read on as our expert engineers are here to unveil five summer boiler secrets that could potentially save you around £1,830 a year.
Switch on summer mode
Potential saving: Up to £150
If you have a relatively new combination boiler, it likely has an in-built summer mode. Check your unit to see whether you have this function, and if you do – make sure you use it.
In simple terms, summer mode turns off the central heating system and provides hot water on demand. It is designed to keep boilers in full working order throughout the warmer months, when they typically aren’t used as much as they would be in winter.
Not only is summer mode great for the health of your boiler, but it’ll also help to save money by cutting energy waste during the hottest part of the year. We estimate that this will save a maximum of £150 over the coming months, which will help to take the pressure off during the winter.
Turn your heating on from time to time
Potential saving: Up to £750
Every Autumn we see a huge rise in calls about boilers that simply won’t switch on and this is usually down to inactivity over the summer. These periods can spell disaster for boilers as hydraulic components are prone to seizing up if they haven’t moved for a long time. Fixing this could mean getting a chemical clean or even a powerflush (prices for which start at around £750).
Powerflushing will help unblock the dirty, sludged system and improve the circulation of water within the system. In the future it will reduce the risk of breakdowns, cold radiators and noisy boilers.
However to avoid this, we always recommend switching your heating on a few times during the summer months.
It might sound bizarre to be switching your heating on when you definitely don’t want your house to be any warmer, but it’s a great way to save money and keep your boiler in good working order. This doesn’t need to be done very frequently, around once a month should be sufficient to keep those parts moving and prevent future breakdowns.
Don’t switch the boiler off completely
Potential saving: £90 or more
Switching a boiler off for the summer isn’t quite the money-saving hack that it sounds. In fact, doing so could cost you serious amounts of money as some boilers are designed to be left on permanently. This means turning them off for long periods of time can actually cause damage.
Don’t be tempted to switch the boiler off, even when those heat waves start to hit. Keeping water flowing through the system will prevent a buildup of debris over the summer, and could well save you huge amounts of money in repairs – which start at £90 – during the Autumn.
Book your annual service
Potential saving: £90 or more
Boilers should be serviced annually to keep them in good working order. It’s easy to overlook your boiler when you’re less reliant on it, but this is a mistake we see all too often.
The warmer months are the ideal time to book a boiler service. Having your boiler serviced while you’re not using it is far more convenient, particularly as according to Google, searches for ‘emergency boiler repair’ increased by 945% from August to December 2022. So if any problems are found during the service you’ll have plenty of time to book a repair or choose a replacement without having to go without heating.
Don’t forget about getting your boiler serviced. Doing so in good time could save you hundreds in potential repair bills. These start at around £90 and can rise quite considerably depending on how much work needs to be done.
Upgrade your boiler
Potential saving: Average of £750
Upgrading your boiler might not seem like a great way to save money, but this is an investment that will pay off in the long run. Older boilers are less efficient so switching to a more modern option could save you hundreds of pounds in future heating bills.
The size of your boiler will also have an impact on efficiency, and therefore the cost of heating your home. Think about how you use your boiler and whether your requirements have changed since the boiler was installed. If, for example, you’ve extended your home or your family is larger now, the amount of work your boiler has to do might have grown too.
Of course, it does depend on the previous make and capabilities of your original boiler, however we estimate that replacing a model for something more energy efficient can save around/average of £750 a year in energy bills.
Speak to an engineer about your typical requirements for advice on how to maximise efficiency and cut fuel bills.
Summer is the perfect time to make savings on your future heating bills. By thinking about your heating now, you could avoid some nasty surprises once the temperature starts to cool off.
We always recommend planning ahead where boiler maintenance is concerned, so keep your boiler running throughout the year and prioritise routine servicing wherever you can. That way, you’ll avoid pricey repairs and prolong the life of your boiler.
If you’d like to find out more about boiler servicing, repairs and maintenance get in touch with the team at JF Heating.