Steps to be taken when your boiler breaks down during winter

Most of the boiler repairs are simple and can be solved by a Gas Safe certified engineer but in some rare cases, they tend to break down completely. Boilers have a higher probability of breaking down during cold winter as it may develop faults over summer. This is the worst time for the boiler to break down and leaving you cold and helpless. It is not affordable for everyone to replace the boiler immediately when it breaks down so we are listing out some emergency measures which will help you stay warm when your boiler breaks down.


As mentioned above your boiler has a higher chance of breakdown during winters and is a known fact. As a safety measure book a pre-winter boiler service with a Gas Safe service engineer. He will be able to service the boiler and look for any faults that might have been developed during the summer.

First things first

Call your boiler engineer as soon as your boiler breaks down. Do not delay or try to fix it on your during winters, instead book a service immediately. If it’s a small issue the engineer will fix it immediately or he might suggest you some safety measures.


Keep your curtains closed during the daytime. A lot of heat escapes through the glass windows and this can be reduced by closing the curtains. If possible buy a set of thermal curtains which retains the heat inside the home.

Close the draught

Most of the warmth escapes through the draught in the windows and doors. Curtains are not good enough to prevent this. You need to fill all the possible gaps in the windows and doors using a draught excluder which will patch things up. It is easy to install and make sure it sits tightly.

Insulate your home

Air can escape easily through the bottom of your door. You need to seal this gap to prevent heat loss. This can be achieved by sliding in a spare foam pipe in the gap. This will prevent any heat that escapes through this gap. Look for holes in your walls and cupboards and seal them too.

Alternate sources of heat

When your boiler breaks down, try to find heat from other sources without spending much.

  • Most people tend to close the oven door after cooking, instead leave it open, this will allow heat to spread in the room and will keep you warm. As a safety measure don’t let your kids near the oven when it’s open.
  • Stock up on hot water bottles and keep it near you for temporary warm.
  • An electric blanket is another way to keep you warm during nights without a boiler.
  • Fill up a sock with rice and lavender and microwave it for generating warmth.

Selective heating

If you can afford an alternative heating source, then heat only those rooms where you spend most of your time. For example, you can heat only your bedroom during the night and heat only the living room during the day. This will save you a lot of the energy cost.

Insulate your floors

Floors mainly the wooden floors tend to escape heat easily. You can insulate this by applying a layer of the warm rug. This will not only seal any gaps in the wooden floor but also keep your feet toasty.

These are some of the basic tips to keep you warm in case your boiler breaks down during a cold winter. You can avoid boiler breakdowns by regularly servicing the boiler.