To Turn Off or Not: Managing Your Boiler While on Holiday

When planning a holiday, there are countless things to consider. From packing the right clothes to ensuring your home is secure, the checklist can be extensive. One question that often arises, especially in colder climates, is whether to turn off the property's boiler or leave it running. This decision can impact not only your energy bills but also the safety and maintenance of your home. Let's delve into the pros and cons of both options to help you make an informed choice.

The Case for Turning Off Your Boiler:

Energy Savings: The most apparent benefit of turning off your boiler is the potential for energy savings. If the boiler isn't running, it's not using energy. Over the span of a week or more, this can result in a noticeable reduction in your energy bill.

Safety: While modern boilers are designed with numerous safety features, any appliance that burns fuel inherently carries some risk. Turning off your boiler eliminates the chance of any malfunction while you're away.

Wear and Tear: Like any machine, the more a boiler runs, the more wear and tear it experiences. Turning it off for an extended period can extend its lifespan, albeit marginally.

The Case for Leaving Your Boiler On:

Preventing Frozen Pipes: In colder climates, one significant risk of turning off your boiler is the potential for pipes to freeze, especially if temperatures drop suddenly. A frozen pipe can burst, leading to significant water damage. Leaving your boiler on a low setting can keep the water circulating and prevent freezing.

Home Comfort: If you have plants, pets, or someone checking on your home, keeping the boiler on ensures the house remains at a comfortable temperature.

Quick Recovery: When you return from your holiday, having the boiler already on means you won't have to wait for your home to warm up. This can be especially comforting after a long journey.

Avoiding Potential Start-Up Issues: Sometimes, when appliances are turned off for extended periods, they can experience issues when restarted. Leaving your boiler on eliminates this risk.

Factors to Consider:

Duration of Your Holiday: If you're only away for a weekend, the energy savings from turning off your boiler might be minimal. However, for longer trips, the savings become more significant.

As mentioned, in colder regions, the risk of frozen pipes is a genuine concern. Check the weather forecast for the duration of your trip. If freezing temperatures are predicted, it might be safer to leave the boiler on at a low setting.

Boiler Age and Condition: Older boilers might be more prone to start-up issues after being turned off for extended periods. If your boiler is relatively new and well-maintained, this is less of a concern.

Presence of a Timer: Many modern boilers come with timers that allow you to set when the boiler should come on and off. This can be a middle-ground solution, allowing you to have the boiler run for a few hours each day to prevent freezing and maintain a base level of warmth.


For those living in milder climates or traveling during warmer months, turning off the boiler can be a good option. The energy savings, coupled with reduced wear and tear, make it a viable choice.

However, for those in colder regions or traveling during winter, the risks of frozen pipes and potential water damage might outweigh the benefits of energy savings. In such cases, it's recommended to leave the boiler on but at a lower setting. Using a timer can also be an effective compromise, ensuring the boiler runs just enough to keep things safe.

In conclusion, the decision to turn off or leave on your boiler while on holiday is not a one-size-fits-all answer. It requires a careful consideration of various factors, including the duration of your trip, the local climate, and the age and condition of your boiler. By weighing the pros and cons and considering the unique circumstances of your situation, you can make a decision that ensures both the safety of your home and potential energy savings. Safe travels!

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