How to Stay Warm When Your Boiler Breaks Down

Last updated: June 2023

Your boiler’s just broken down – you’re cold and, chances are, miserable. But fear not: there are plenty of things you can do to keep yourself, your family, and your home warm while you wait for the engineer. While most of these won’t even cost you a dime, we’ve also shared some handy information on alternative heating solutions like electric heating that run little risk of a full break-down, so you’ll never be left in the cold again.

What to do immediately after your boiler breaks down

1. Layers. Lots of layers

Get those fluffy socks out from the bottom of your drawer and put on as many jumpers that’ll fit you. Wear a thin top as a base and then add as you go – outerwear including hats and gloves won’t go amiss either.

2. Settle down in one room

During your waking hours it’s best to hunker down in one spot. Keep doors closed and trap the air by putting a towel or blanket along the bottom. Cover windows with bubble wrap, cardboard, or blankets – preferably all three.

3. Boil some water & preheat your bed

Keeping the kettle boiled means plenty of hot drinks to keep your hands warm and a chance to fill up some hot water bottles. If you need to make a DIY one in a flash it’s super easy: microwave some damp dishcloths and safely transfer into an airtight bag, then wrap up in a spare towel. Voilà – more warm beds mean a better sleep for everyone.

4. Sort out any remaining draughts

You may think you’ve got everything, but what about the letterbox, or the skylight? Covering these, whether with what you’ve got around the house or draught excluder tape can make all the difference.

5. Buy a portable heater

Portable heaters are good because they work quickly and are cheap to run. There are plenty of types to choose from, including electric – an efficient option that requires no installation and can be comfortably moved from room to room. With a wealth of energy-saving features including smart WiFi control, the electric portable heater makes a perfect back-up heating solution.

6. Keep active

Get your blood pumping by going out for a brisk walk or jog – even a few star jumps will do. Resist the temptation to remove layers after exercising and your body temperature will stay warmer for longer.

What to do once your boiler is fixed

Plan for this to happen again

Your boiler’s fixed but now you’ve experienced first-hand one of the downsides of being dependent on gas heating. As the UK prepares to cut 100% of its fossil fuel emissions by 2050, more and more homeowners are looking at alternate ways of keeping their houses warm. Electric heating has led the way in recent years, with 2.2 million UK households having already made the switch.

Get ahead of the boiler ban

As part of the government’s Clean Growth Strategy, fossil fuel boiler installations will be banned in all new builds by 2025. This doesn’t mean you’ll be forced to change yours, but when the time comes for a replacement, you will need to find an alternative. Luckily, there’s never been a better time to make the switch to electric, with the government providing incentives and payment plans for people looking to go green.

Make the switch to electric heating

From electric radiators to infrared panels – there’s a multitude of ways to heat your home and be kinder to the planet, too. As 15% of the UK’s total carbon emissions come from the energy we use on central heating, the great news is that when electric heating is paired with a renewable energy source, it becomes carbon neutral. With the recent COP26 summit tackling climate change, there’s never been a bigger incentive to lower our carbon footprints.

The benefits of electric heating

Unlike gas, chances of a full break-down are slim with electric – each appliance acts as a standalone unit, so you’ll never again have to worry about your whole heating system failing if there’s a problem with one. Plus, many electric heaters offer superior controllability, allowing you to manage your heating through a compatible smart device, so you can adjust your heating from anywhere in the world – a more seamless system to integrate in your home.

DIY-friendly installation

100% efficient at point of use

Superior controllability

Zero mandatory maintenance

From fast-acting and effective warmth to zero maintenance, check out this video to learn why electric radiators are taking UK homes by storm.

Keep the cold at bay with electric

The main thing to remember if your boiler breaks down is to dress warmly and insulate all doors and windows. It’ll be a difficult wait, but by following these simple yet essential steps you should be able to get you and your family through the worst of it. Otherwise, you can always avoid this problem altogether by switching to an alternative heating system such as electric.

At Electric Radiators Direct, we are pioneering the way to greener homes by providing an array of electric heating solutions to suit any preference or budget. So don’t wait until the next time your boiler breaks down – get a free quote and make the switch today.

Key learnings

  • While you wait for the engineer, remember to wrap up warm and insulate all doors and windows.
  • A portable electric heater will provide you with on-demand, responsive warmth in the meantime.
  • After your boiler is fixed, it might be time to start thinking about alternatives. Electric heating requires zero maintenance, is 100% efficient at point of use and acts as a modular unit - this means if one breaks down it won't have a knock-on effect to the rest of your system.