Is turning the heating off in summer a good idea?

Is Turning the Heating off in Summer a Good Idea?

When the British summer finally begins, it’s a relief for many to switch off the heating and power up the air conditioning units instead. But could switching the heating off and leaving it for a few months actually be costing you more money than you think? Most of us aren’t aware of the fact that switching our heating systems off completely could provide the perfect temperature and environment for all sorts of bacteria to spend their summer growing inside to cause all sorts of problems.

Even if you are are aware that bacterial growth may be an issue with your heating system, often the first thought is that there is no risk as the heating system is a closed circuit – there is no way for any water to escape from the system and harm anyone or anything on the outside.

Why is bacteria a problem inside heating systems?

However, this isn’t really the problem. The real problem can be with the heating system itself becoming damaged from the bacteria growing within it.  If a closed water system is turned off and left filled and untreated, a layer of bacteria can quickly start to grow in the insides of the pipes to create a biofilm – a slimy coating made up of bacteria that is very difficult to remove. Bacteria can also grow on heat-exchangers a well as in the pipes, leading to your heating system working far less efficiently and potentially suffering from increased corrosion which can increase the frequency of breakdowns and the need to replace parts more frequently.

What about the chemicals used to protect heating systems?

In addition, bacteria love nothing better than to feed on nitrite, polymers and phosphates, which are chemicals used to make specialist water treatment chemicals such as corrosion inhibitors. If bacteria growth becomes a serious problem, this could make any corrosion inhibitors you’ve put in your closed system totally useless.

How to manage summer shut down of your heating system

One way of tackling the problem of what to do with closed cooling or heating systems in seasonal shut downs is by dosing the system with a biocide (chemicals designed to kill bacteria) before you shut off the system for the summer. Our water treatment experts would also recommend that the system is fired up and allowed to run for at least an hour a day simply to get the water moving around the system and so avoid stagnation.

Expert Management of Closed Heating & Cooling Systems

Water Treatment Services provide expert advice and support covering the management of closed heating and chilled water systems ncluding pre-commisson cleaning and flushing in accordance with BSRIA guidance (BG 29/2012) for all newly installed and refurbished closed water systems.

With offices in London serving the South and South East England, Manchester (North West), Birmingham (Midlands), Bristol (South East England and Wales), Leeds (North and North East) and Glasgow (Scotland), supported by regional teams of specially trained engineers, in-field water treatment service specialists and technicians we can offer cost effective management of closed circuit systems and engineering support services throughout the UK and Ireland.

Contact us today to learn how our expert engineering solutions can help you keep your water systems in optimum condition.

Further reading…

More information about biofilm … learn more here →

Is turning the heating off in summer a good idea?
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Is turning the heating off in summer a good idea?
Find out if turning your heating off in summer a is good idea or can it cost you more than you think? Learn more about closed heating systems, bacteria & how to tackle it.
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Water Treatment Services
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