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Witten by Bernard Morgan (Engineer) & Adam Apperley (Marketing).
Published: February 16, 2024. Updated: February 16, 2024

Is It Cheaper To Leave Heating On All The Time?

The debate over whether it’s more cost-effective to leave heating on all the time or to use it selectively is a common one. Whether you have a new boiler or an old boiler doesn’t always matter.

We’ll look at debunking myths and offering practical advice to optimise your heating usage.

Common Misconceptions and Efficient Practices

Many believe maintaining a constant low heat controlled by a thermostat is more economical than turning heating on and off as needed. However, this approach is not universally beneficial. It can lead to unnecessary energy consumption and higher bills.

Understanding the Myth

The idea that it’s cheaper to keep the heating on stems from the belief that it requires more energy to heat a cold home than to maintain a warm one. Yet, this isn’t true for most households. Continuous low heating means your boiler is operational when there’s no real demand, leading to wasted energy.

What to do instead

Instead of leaving your heating on all the time, it is best practice to set your heating to come on whilst you are at home. You can set it to come on 30 minutes before you get home to ensure comfort.

Smart thermostats can also help with this. They can geo-locate you and your home to ensure your boiler doesn’t come on unless you are home.

Weather compensation is a method of adjusting your heating based on external temperatures. It offers a smarter way to manage energy use compared to leaving your heating on a low setting continuously.

Energy Saving Trust’s Stance

The Energy Saving Trust advises against keeping the heating on constantly. They highlight that constant heating leads to significant energy loss, especially in homes lacking proper insulation.

Tips for Cost-Efficient Heating

To use central heating without incurring high costs, consider the following strategies:

  • Heat Only Necessary Rooms: Use Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) to heat specific areas as needed.
  • Employ Timers and Smart Controls: Use timers to heat your home only when necessary. Smart systems, like Tado, offer precise control over your heating needs. Read our guide on which is better, Nest vs Hive vs Tado >
  • Upgrade Insulation: Improving your home’s insulation can reduce heat loss and the need for extended heating periods.
  • Switch Energy Providers: Compare energy suppliers to ensure you get the best rates.

Evaluating Boiler Efficiency

Older boilers can be less efficient, making upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient model a wise investment. Modern combi boilers, system boilers, and conventional boilers offer varying levels of efficiency suited to different home sizes and hot water demands.

Boiler Types and Their Efficiency

  • Combi Boilers: Ideal for smaller homes, offering significant savings on energy bills. More on combi boilers.
  • Regular Boilers: Best for large homes with high hot water usage, though may heat more water than necessary.
  • System Boilers: Efficient for homes needing stored hot water but with a direct mains supply, avoiding the need for a cold water tank. More on system boilers.

Holiday Heating Tips

During winter, it’s advisable not to turn off your boiler completely to prevent freezing pipes. In summer, it may be safe to turn off the system if heating isn’t required.


Employing strategic heating practices, considering efficient boiler options, and making informed choices about insulation and energy providers can lead to large savings and a more comfortable home environment.

Time to upgrade your boiler?

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  • Next day boiler installation.
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  • Finance options available for new boilers and central heating installation.
  • 10 to 12-year warranty on boilers.
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  • Fixed prices. No hidden extras.
  • Get up to three quotes for different-tier boilers.

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