Do I have to switch off my central heating boiler when I go on holiday?
Switching off your central heating boiler, a question of safety?
Many people worry that a leak may occur while they are away and so they turn off the gas. A superfluous precaution, it appears. The experts at the KVBG/ARGB – the Royal Association of Belgian Gas Professionals - point out once again that appliances built after 1996 are fitted with a safety device. What’s more, a gas leak always causes a specific smell that the neighbours would notice straight away.
Gas boilers also have to be serviced every three years and are fitted with overheating and reverse safety devices which switch off the appliance should problems arise.
Switching off your boiler to save?
If you are away from home, it is better to lower the thermostat. There’s no point in heating the living room to 20 decrees while you are on the beach … but that does not mean you have to switch off the heating completely! Setting the temperature at 16 °C will save you between 10 and 15 %. Modern central heating boilers do not use any energy when there is no need for additional warmth.
Do you have an older boiler with a pilot light? Bear in mind that the light uses gas. In this case you may decide to turn off the boiler. Boilers will call upon your heating system in the same way, even when you are away from home.
To stop everything freezing up, you should not switch off the boiler in the winter under any circumstances. It’s better to set your boiler to antifreeze mode if you have that option.
And what about comfort in all this?
Of course, it is nice to come home to a warm house. The insulation of your home determines how much warmth you lose.
Modern thermostats that you can use to programme the temperature are the handiest way of guaranteeing the best possible comfort. Certain models can even be set so that the heating comes on again the day before you return home. But then, of course, you have to leave it on!