Is it cheaper to leave the central heating on all the time or to switch it on and off so it’s used only when you most need it? Ultimately, you want your home central heating system to consume less energy so that your gas bill isn’t too high.

Table of Contents:

This article is for all of you who: 

  • want to become more energy-efficient;
  • save more than a few pounds on bills;
  • help the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.

“So, should I keep my heating on all the time or not?”

You could leave your central heating on all day, controlled by the thermostat. Or you could set your central heating to come on at certain times of the day with a timer. But which one is better? Well, this depends on a few factors that we will explore here.

Leaving the central heating on all day means that your boiler has to constantly burn gas to keep the temperature of your house at the required level that you have set.

By setting your central heating to come on only at certain times of the day, although your boiler won’t be constantly burning gas, it will have to work harder to heat your home when it does come on as heating up a cold house requires more energy.

There are a couple of factors that will determine which home heating option might be best for you and your family.

Home insulation

If you have double glazing, carpeted floors throughout your home, loft insulation and wall insulation, then we can safely say that your home is very well insulated.

Your home may be more energy efficient by keeping the central heating on constantly at a reasonable temperature setting. Only a small amount of heat will be lost throughout the day so the overall monthly cost might not be as much as heating a house from the cold state once or twice a day.

Older buildings and houses may not have double glazing, unused open fires, gaps and cracks and generally not capable to retain heat very well.

If this is the case, then you may be more energy-efficient if you only heat your home at certain times of the day. Most people are away from home during the day so heating an empty house just doesn’t make sense. Your boiler will have to work harder than in a well-insulated property to keep your home warm. This alone will impact energy consumption.

Gas central heating boiler model

If your home has an older model boiler, your energy consumption is going to be even higher. Modern boilers are very efficient whereas older models are likely to be much less efficient. Some reach as low as 65% compared to a modern condensing boiler that’s around 90% efficient.

If you are considering to upgrade or replace your old boiler, it is definitely worth contacting us to find out more about what type of boiler will best suit your needs.

As a starting point, you can read our boiler section, but it’s definitely worthwhile to speak to one of our Gas Safe registered boiler engineers who can perform a thorough analysis of your home and your requirements, and provide you with a free no-obligation quote for your new boiler installation.

If you do have a poorly insulated and/or an older boiler, it could be much more cost-effective if you only heat your home only at the times when you most need it. For most of us, that would be the early morning and throughout the evening during the week. If you set the timer for your heating to come on about half an hour before you are back from school or work, you shouldn’t even notice that the house has been cold.

Test your energy consumption

The best way to test your energy consumption is to take regular readings from your gas meter. Smart meters make it even easier to monitor energy consumption in your home so you might consider investing in one.

Why not test both methods to see which suits you best and which uses less energy? Heat your home constantly for a week by setting the thermostat. Next week simply monitor heating your home by setting the timer and compare the results to determine what works best for you.


  • Energy efficiency depends a lot on your home insulation;
  • Investing in a newer boiler would help you with saving energy;
  • If you’re not well insulated and you have an older boiler, it’s not recommended to leave your heating on at all times.

In our day and age, energy efficiency is important not just for your wallet, but also for the environment. You could reduce your carbon footprint and save some money on heating bills if you use your central heating system intelligently. And if you need to insulate, or replace your boiler, the Fantastic Services team is here for you.

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Do you keep your heating on at all times? Tell us in the comments!

  • Last update: August 28, 2019

Posted in Plumbing Tips

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