Have you recently purchased a home with old electric storage heating, and are thinking of converting the heating system to gas central heating? Or maybe you’re renovating your aged home, and want to replace the central heating system with a brand new boiler, pipework, radiators and heating controls.
Knowing what’s best for you and your property can be hard with different styles, energy efficiencies and outputs to consider – as well as what’s sympathetic in style to your property and your needs.
In this article, we will cover:
- How much a central heating system costs
- What affects the cost of central heating
- What’s involved in installing a central heating system
- How to find and hire a heating engineer
If you’re considering changing your heating system but aren’t sure where to begin, keep reading to find out the most cost-effective way of introducing a new central heating system into your home.
How Much Does a Central Heating System Cost?
The cost of installing central heating in a home typically ranges from £2,250 for a two-bedroom small bungalow, up to around £4,500 for a five-bedroom house. As with all the prices listed in this guide, it’s good to keep in mind that prices in London and the South East of England will be a little higher than average.
Below is a table outlining some estimated costs based on the size of the property, number of radiators and boiler size.
|HOUSE SIZE||NUMBER OF RADIATORS||BOILER SIZE||TIME REQUIRED||ESTIMATED TOTAL COST|
|Bungalow||5 to 6||24kw||1 to 2 days||£2,300 to £2,500|
|Terraced House||6 to 9||28kw||2 to 3 days||£3,000 to £4,000|
|Semi-detached House||10 to 12||33kw||3 to 4 days||£4,000 to £4,500|
|Detached House||12 to 15||33kw||5 to 7 days||£4,500 to £5,000|
To install central heating in a one-bed bungalow with five radiators and a 24kW boiler is estimated to cost £2,300 to £2,500, while a two-bed bungalow with six radiators and a 24kW boiler is estimated to cost £3,000 to to £3,500 to have central heating installed.
To install central heating in a three-bed house with nine radiators and a 28kW boiler is estimated to cost between £3,500 to £4,000.
Installing central heating in a four-bed property with 10 radiators and a 33kW boiler is estimated to cost between £4,000 to £4,500, while a five-bed house with 12 radiators and a 33kW boiler is estimated to cost between £4,500 to £5,000.
Are you ready to get started on your central heating project? HouseholdQuotes can help you find the right heating engineers.
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What Affects the Cost of Central Heating?
If you’re trying to upgrade your home’s heating on a tight budget, there are some things to watch out for which can drive your costs up.
Although there are some factors you can’t change – such as the number of storeys in your home, or the number of bedrooms – there are ways to make sure the project price stays manageable even while working on a large property.
Here are some of the main factors affecting the cost of central heating installation:
The Size of Your Home
Going hand-in-hand with the radiators you choose, the number of rooms in your property will be a direct hit on your budget. The more rooms you have, the more radiators you need, meaning more products and longer installation periods for your contractors.
If you have large rooms, you might need more than one radiator to sufficiently heat it up. Your contractors will be able to calculate the heat output required for each room in British Thermal Units (BTUs).
Your Choice of Boiler
Single-handedly raising or lowering your renovation costs is the boiler itself. Whether or not you choose a combi boiler, system boiler, LPG boiler or biomass boiler will impact your costs, as well as the output of heat in your home.
Let’s go through the choices:
Traditionally more popular than conventional boilers, combi boilers work by heating water from the mains supply instead of waiting on a hot water tank. This gives immediate hot water on demand, which is where the combi boiler gets its allure from with homeowners.
For installation, including the cost of moving any existing pipework and completing a mechanical flush before installation, combi boilers can set you back by around £1,260 to £1,625.
Conventional or Regular Boilers
For a standard boiler installation, you can expect to pay between £1,750 to £3,000. This will be dependent on the output of the boiler, as well as the size of the team working on installing it, together with regional factors that can raise or lower your costs based on your location.
Together with the cost of the boiler itself, you can look to spend on average £850 more (based on the cost of a 28 to 34kw boiler), to total an average of £2,292.50 for the boiler plus installation.
For more information about conventional boilers, including how much they cost to purchase and install, visit our dedicated guide.
System boilers are growing in popularity owing to their reduced carbon footprint as well as lower fuel prices in the long term. Most suited to large properties with two or more bathrooms, system boilers require a lot of room to be housed and require ample space to accommodate a hot water tank or cylinder.
Costing anywhere between £500 to £3,000 depending on the output you choose, system boilers give instant access to hot water and can be used in conjunction with solar panels if desired.
Our guide to system boilers covers everything you need to know, including how much they cost, what affects the cost of fitting a system boiler, how to save money, and much more.
Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) Boilers
Another boiler option comes in the form of the LPG boiler. These are commonly seen in properties off the national grid, without a mains source of gas to connect to.
LPG is a fossil fuel, and as such, releases carbon dioxide and other harmful gases, dispute it being billed as a ‘cleaner’ fuel than other fossil fuel options. The cost of fitting will be between £1,600 to £2,000, and you’ll need a tank fitted to store your gas which can cost upwards of £1,500.
If you’re considering an LPG boiler for your home, our in-depth guide explains everything that you need to know.
By far the most expensive option is the biomass boiler, topping the scales at £10,000 to £14,000 for fitting in a four-bedroom detached home, for example.
Something to consider is the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS) which potentially offers you a grant of £5,000 off the cost of supply and installation. Between 2022 and 2025, there is £450 million worth of funding available as part of this scheme.
Adding to the neutralities, the use of a biomass boiler itself is carbon-neutral, as the burning of biomass fuel emits the same amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the fuel while it was growing.
To learn more about these unique boilers—including how much biomass fuel costs—please visit our complete guide to biomass boilers.
How Many Radiators You Need
Further to the boiler you choose, the number of radiators you need will impact your project fees.
The more ornate the style, the higher the price, with some models coming in anywhere between £150 and £1,000, whereas standard central heating radiators range from £20 to £120 depending on their heat output.
To be cost-savvy, you can look to get hold of your chosen styles while they’re on offer, ahead of when your work is scheduled to start. This way, you still get the look you want but for much less than the RRP.
If you’re curious to learn more about the cost of adding radiators, read through our guide here.
Ease of Installation
Something to consider is whether or not you’ll be in the property while the new heating system is being installed. If you’re able to, going to stay somewhere else for a little while can help to expedite the process for the contractors as they’ll have fewer barriers while working.
Similarly, if you can move furniture or appliances out of the way before the contractors arrive this will help to streamline their process and keep them focused on the job at hand, instead of being an ad-hoc removals company, too.
Whether You Choose Traditional or Wireless Controls
Having intelligent controls installed as part of your central heating overhaul is vital to getting the most out of your system.
Installing thermostats in each room is the best way to achieve the ideal temperature in each space and maximise energy efficiency. When used in conjunction with TRVs, individual thermostats can save you money whilst keeping you comfortable.
A heating engineer will supply and install new wireless room thermostats for between £125 and £190 per room. You may be able to negotiate lower labour costs if you decide to install more than one thermostat. Installing thermostats takes around two hours per room.
Once complete, you should experience noticeable heat differences, as well as better environmental control.
The Size and Scope of Your Project
The time involved and the price will differ greatly on the size of your property, the number of radiators you want fitting and whether or not your home is a single or multi-storey residence.
To ensure your new central heating installation is as energy efficient as possible, the hot water cylinder will be insulated and fitted with a thermostat, and your contractor will install all radiators with thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) so that your radiators will work autonomously to keep your home at your desired temperature.
To illustrate these costs, here’s a sample costing strategy for installation for a four-bed, two-storey home, wanting 10 radiators and a 33kw boiler fitted:
- New condensing boiler including supply and labour – £1,250 to £1,850
- Nine radiators including supply and labour – £1,100
- Water tank supply and install – £200
- Miscellaneous extras parts and labour – £265
- Pipework supply and installation – £865
Whereas, the amount of work will be different for a smaller home, such as a two-bedroom house wanting a gas central heating installation of 6 radiators and a 24kw boiler:
- Gas boiler supply and installation – £1,100 to £1,700
- Radiators parts and labour – £830
- Pipework supply and installation – £230
- Extra parts and labour – £230.
This job will take about three days and will cost under £3,000, but again, the exact amount will depend on the boiler you choose and your location. For such a small building, a combination boiler should be enough to provide adequate heat and hot water to the property, whereas larger properties might want to look at alternatives to heat the bigger space.
How Can I Save Money on a New Central Heating System?
Comparing quotes is a great way to potentially reduce the cost of your central heating project. HouseholdQuotes can help you get quotes from multiple heating engineers near you, so that you can find someone that suits your budget.
Click the button below to get started:
Installing a new central heating system can be expensive, which is off-putting for many homeowners. But there are ways of being cost savvy to bring prices down, all while helping to reduce your energy bills once a new, efficient boiler is installed.
If you’re planning your boiler replacement and want to renovate your radiators at the same time, checking to see if any local stores are having sales or reductions can help to bring your project fees down.
By stockpiling items in advance, you reduce the risk of having to spend a premium on items unexpectedly when the work starts and you realise you’re one radiator short. Planning in advance can take more time and effort but will pay dividends in the long run.
For qualifying homeowners and private tenants, the UK’s ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers offer free replacement boilers.
Further to this, some homeowners and tenants can be eligible for other heat-saving schemes from the government, such as:
With the average cost of replacement coming in at around £2,300, it’s worth checking if you’re eligible for help before embarking on a solo renovation.
You can also consider zoning heating controls, which are essential for better energy efficiency, working by separating the different parts of your home into different heating zones.
For example, the system will treat each floor as a separate heating zone and will only supply heat to selected floors at certain times of the day. So, if you have children who are at university and only come home occasionally, the heating to their rooms or floor can be turned off when they are not at home, and back on when they’re back.
Zoning can help to cut energy costs considerably and is a great up-front cost to see a return on investment over time.
What’s Involved in Installing a Central Heating System?
Central heating installation is a relatively straightforward job for an expert installer. It is something that absolutely shouldn’t be tackled by a DIY enthusiast and should only be completed by a Gas Safe Registered engineer.
The only complication for fitting is how accessible your home is for laying the copper pipework for the heating system. As we’ve mentioned before, an empty house would make the installation easier and faster.
For a two-storey four-bedroom house, you can expect a team of two to take around five days to complete the installation.
Is Central Heating the Best Choice for My Home?
Deciding whether or not you want to install central heating in your home can feel like a big decision. We’ve put together a list of advantages and disadvantages to help you decide if installing central heating is the best decision for you.
|Economical compared to other systems||A lot of maintenance is required|
|Provides warmth to all areas of the home||Not as sustainable as other alternatives|
|Recent systems provide better control over heat||Some don’t provide air conditioning|
|Most come with built in safety devices||Time delay of heat output|
The key advantage to central heating is how economical it is compared to other systems. It can save you money on your bills due to new advances in the technology. It provides warmth to all areas of the home which is cost-efficient.
Recent systems provide better control over how the heat is dispersed which, again, is helpful for saving money. Most also come with built in safety devices now to keep your home protected – such as built-in automatic turn-off.
A disadvantage of central is a lot of maintenance is required to ensure the system runs smoothly and doesn’t break down. Central heating systems do have the potential to be not as sustainable as other alternatives, also, which can be a concern for homeowners concerned with green-energy.
How Do I Find and Hire a Heating Engineer?
Finding the right heating eningeer can be challenging. At HouseholdQuotes, we can connect you to heating engineers in your area.
Click the button below to tell us more about your project, and we’ll help you find someone quickly and easily:
When looking to hire a heating engineer for your project, you must get quotes from contractors with a checkable work history. As heating systems are complex, finding a reputable tradesperson is the first step in ensuring safety for you and your family.
If your friends, neighbours, or family have had boiler work done in their own home recently, ask them if they’d recommend their contractors. This is a great way of weeding out potential cowboy traders as your friends won’t recommend them to you if they’ve had a bad experience recently.
However, even if you are receiving a word-of-mouth recommendation, always check yourself to see if the trader is on the Gas Safe Register. This will ensure that the contractor is equipped to carry out your work safely, and without damage.
Searching online is also a great way of easily collecting quotes from the comfort of your own home from one simple search.
Ensuring the Professional Is the Right Fit
As with all home renovations, it’s best to get a written quote from your chosen contractor before agreeing to any work. While someone may say something verbally, there is no way of proving that – and if trouble arises while work is being carried out, it’s best to have something non-verbal to refer to.
If a contractor ever refuses to commit to a written quote, refuse to work with them.
As we’ve mentioned before, seeking out their experience and finding out their reference history is a great way of ensuring their work is as polished as they quote it to be. Finally, your contractor should always carry their own insurance for their work, so make sure this is in place before agreeing to any project proposal.
Installing a new heating system in your home is a surefire way of increasing the warmth while decreasing your energy bills as you get rid of an inefficient, old boiler.
Here’s our final checklist to make sure you’ve got everything you need to take on this project with confidence:
- Weigh up the pros and cons of the different types of boilers, and settle on the one that’s right for you and your home
- Get a written quote from your contractor, and double-check they have insurance and they are on the Gas Safe Register before agreeing to any work
- Try to buy your supplies in the sales to reduce costs on items such as radiators
- If possible, leave your home for the duration of their work to expedite the process and ensure a smooth working environment for your contractors
- Install digital heat controls to create a cost-effective home
Use HouseholdQuotes to find local heating engineers and potentially save money on your central heating project.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Do I Need to Service My Boiler?
Should I Get Boiler Cover, and Will It Cover My Central Heating System?
Boiler cover will give you peace of mind in the event something goes wrong with your heating and you need someone to fix it in a pinch.
Some policies include central heating cover for radiators, but others don’t – so it’s always best to assess things on a case-by-case basis and look at your own boiler cover plan to see if central heating systems are covered.
Can a Plumber Install a Central Heating System, or Do I Need a Heating Engineer?
Only Gas Safe Registered heating engineers can install central heating systems. The plumber can work on your radiators and pipework, but for anything involving gas, a Registered Engineer needs to be hired for the safety of your home and your family.
Is Central Heating Cheaper Than Electricity?
The simple answer is yes, as electricity costs three to four times more per unit than gas.
If you’d like to read more about the most effective heating systems, click here.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Radiator?
Depending on the style of the radiator in question, the price will vary from entry-level radiators at around £20 to £120, to ornate styles tipping the balance at £1,000 per radiator. For more information, see our dedicated radiator guide.
What Is The Most Environmentally-Friendly Heating Option?
Heat pumps are widely touted as the best environmentally-friendly option when it comes to heating your home. If you are suitable (such as those not living in listed buildings with restrictions), the installation of solar panels can also benefit you and the environment in a positive way.
To learn more about solar panels and their benefits, take a look at our dedicated page.
Are There Any Grants or Schemes to Help With Boiler Installation?
With the cost of living only rising, most households are looking at ways to cut down outgoings and keep their properties as economical as possible. Boiler grants can be a welcome addition to help with the cost of replacement or first-time installation.
There are certain criteria to meet to be eligible for this scheme, information which can be found on our dedicated boiler grants page.
Do I Need to Have Smart Boiler Controls?
While they are by no means essential for your boiler, smart controls do help to make your boiler more accessible and easy to operate. This gives you greater control of your home’s temperature and boiler schedules, which can help to reduce your bills and usage in the long run.
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