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What temperature should my boiler be in winter?

Emma Spencer
Written by  Emma Spencer
Updated: 25 Mar 2024

Get your boiler temperature right and you can save money, as well as keep cosy in the cold weather. Here's how...

As the chill of winter sets in, the quest for a warm and inviting home becomes a top priority for many. With the right boiler temperature settings, you can strike a delicate balance between basking in cosy warmth and managing your energy costs effectively. Understanding the importance of correct boiler temperature is crucial for maintaining a comfortable and cost-efficient home environment throughout the colder months.

Adjusting Boiler Temperature

Adjusting your boiler temperature is a straightforward task, whether you have a combi boiler or a system with a hot water cylinder. A small tweak to the temperature settings can lead to significant savings on your energy bills while still keeping your home toasty. By finding the proper settings, you can positively influence both your finances and your comfort levels during winter.

boiler dial

Optimal Temperature Ranges

When it comes to setting your boiler temperature for the winter, the ideal range for the flow temperature lies between 60ºC (140ºF) and 70ºC (158ºF). At the lower end of this spectrum, most homes will be effectively heated, ensuring a warm living space. In milder weather conditions, you can afford to lower the flow temperature to between 50ºC and 55ºC without sacrificing comfort.

For your hot water needs, a safe and practical setting is around 50ºC. This temperature is adequate for domestic use, ensuring that the water is hot enough for baths and showers while also preventing the risk of scalding.

Balancing Comfort and Cost

The temperature of your boiler is a significant factor in your energy expenditure. It's important to distinguish this from the temperature you set on your room thermostats or radiator valves, which determines when your heating kicks in. Striking the right balance between comfort and cost is essential. Turning boiler temperatures down does save money, with the Energy Saving Trust suggesting savings of anywhere between 9% and 13%.

Comfort, however, should not be compromised, especially for those with health concerns that may require a warmer environment. Beyond adjusting your boiler, consider other methods to trim your energy bills, such as using timers, installing smart thermostats, and improving home insulation. For more detailed strategies, read our handy guide to find out more about saving on energy bills at home.

When to Adjust Boiler Temperature

It's prudent to adjust your boiler temperature before the cold really sets in. Ideally, you should start using your heating system when indoor temperatures begin to dip to uncomfortable levels, based on personal preference and concerns about energy costs. While alternatives such as electric blankets can provide some relief, a properly heated home is essential, particularly during extremely cold weather.

Moreover, to ensure your boiler operates at peak efficiency, consider having it serviced during the summer months. It’s always worth paying to have your boiler serviced when demand is lower, and you can ensure it's in top condition for when you need it most.

Special Considerations for Different Boiler Types

Different types of boilers require specific considerations when it comes to temperature adjustments:

  • Combi boilers: These systems have separate settings for hot water and heating. You should adjust the heating setting to control the radiator flow temperature

  • Cylinder boilers: Typically, these have a single control dial that regulates both heating and hot water flow temperature

  • High-efficiency condensing boilers: In homes that are well-insulated, the flow temperature can be set as low as 45ºC

  • Water temperature: Regardless of boiler type, hot water should be set at a maximum of 50ºC to prevent scalding and ensure safety

Conclusion

Navigating through winter with a well-adjusted boiler can make all the difference in your home's comfort and energy efficiency. By setting the correct temperatures, you can enjoy the beauty of winter from the comfort of your warm indoor space. Remember, a little adjustment goes a long way in creating a cosy and cost-effective environment during the coldest months of the year.