How much does installing central heating cost?
Want to know the cost of installing central heating? Since every home is different, there are plenty of variables to take into account. But to give you the best idea of what you can expect to pay, we’ve broken down the various central heating costs that you’ll need to factor in. All costs are accurate as 2024.
House size. Boiler types. Variations of radiator. There’s a lot to take into account when you’re figuring out how much installing central heating costs. Before you get in touch with a heating engineer, it can be helpful to learn more about the ins and outs, to establish how much you might need to budget for.
Average central heating installation costs
A properly heated home is one of life’s real pleasures. When the winter nights draw in, a good central heating system will keep you comfortable and can make a house feel cosy and warm. Plus, good heating can be essential to the upkeep of your home, helping you to avoid problems like damp. That’s not forgetting the long-term economic benefits it can bring, helping you to save on energy costs.
The varying nature of each job means there’s no one-size-fits-all cost for central heating installations. It can depend on all sorts of things: the size of your home, the number of radiators you need installed or the type of boiler that you choose.
Below, we’ve provided a brief overview of some of the costs you can expect to face when getting central heating installed in your home. However, for a more comprehensive overview of a new central heating system cost, read on.
|Core central heating installation jobs
|Full central heating installation
|£3,500 to £7,000
|£1,000 to £2,500
|Water tank installation
|£600 to £700
|£40 to £500
|£500 to £2,500
|£800 to £1,000
|Moving a radiator
|£150 to £400
|£120 to £220
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How much do the different types of boilers cost?
One of the first things to establish when you are getting central heating installed is which boiler is right for you. There are many different boilers out there, both in terms of brands and the fuel they use. The three main types of boiler are combi, system and regular, and depending on which you choose can cost anything from £500 to upwards of £2,500.
A combi (short for combination) boiler is the most popular. Since it has all the components to heat and distribute water, it supplies heating and hot water from one place. As such, it’s also easy to install. A system boiler has all the same components as a combi but is often used in larger homes that may require high water pressure for more than one outlet (e.g., multiple bathrooms). They also have a cylinder unit for hot water, so can store hot water for use later on. A regular boiler also includes a hot water cylinder, and also needs a separate cold-water tank, which will cost around £200 to install on top of the boiler. This boiler is more effective for larger homes that may need to serve more than one outlet at the same time.
Below, we have outlined the average costs you might expect to pay for the three types of boiler, depending on the size of your home.
|Type of boiler
|£500 to £2,000
|£500 to £2,500
|£500 to £2,750
Average radiator costs
What about radiators? There’s plenty to consider when thinking about radiator prices. Not only do you need to optimise the efficient distribution of heat throughout your home, but you might want to think about their aesthetic aspect, too. You can buy radiators of all shapes and sizes, so it can be helpful to do some research to decide on which will be the best fit for your home. Below, we’ve outlined the individual supply cost range of each type of radiator.
|Type of radiator
|£40 to £100
|£120 to £300
|£200 to £400
|£150 to £500
Central heating radiators can come in both single and double panel form depending on the size of the room they need to heat. They offer the greatest heating efficiency, and the highest heat output. Column radiators, which originate from the Victorian era, might be your choice if you are looking for a more vintage aesthetic. Designer radiators are similarly chosen thanks to their looks, but their unique build can offer space-saving benefits too. Cast iron radiators, which are also suited to older homes, remain warm for longer after the heating has been switched off. They are also a good option for larger rooms with high ceilings, thanks to their high levels of heating output.
The number of radiators you get will naturally have an impact on the overall cost of your central heating installation. The more radiators you need, the more labour time that’ll be required.
How much does it cost to install a boiler?
You may know which type of boiler you want, but how much will it cost to install? Generally, the quote you receive from a heating engineer will incorporate both the boiler itself and the labour time required to fit it.
While the average cost to hire a heating engineer is anywhere between £150 and £270 per day, the installation of a boiler is considered larger than many other jobs and may take several days.
Generally, the boiler itself is what will cause the most significant fluctuation in price. The labour cost as part of the quote you receive is likely to be around £1,000. However, this can vary depending on the size of your home. If you have a large home that will require a lot of radiators, then a larger boiler will be needed. As a result, this may see the heating engineer call on a second pair of hands to support with the installation. If this is the case, you can expect your final bill to be higher.
Cost of pipework installation
Your boiler won’t be much use in heating your radiators unless the necessary pipework is installed throughout your home correctly. Water distribution pipes are what will carry the hot water to your radiators, so these will need to be fitted to serve all of your radiators.
Including both the supply of pipes and the labour, the cost of pipework installation for a new central heating system is likely to be between £800 and £1,600. This will naturally depend on the size of your home, and how many radiators you’re having fitted.
How much is a boiler repair?
The smooth running of your boiler is fundamental to your central heating working effectively and efficiently. If your boiler is faulty, you may end up wasting money unnecessarily on fuel. So, while there is an up-front cost to bear for a boiler repair, it will be a drop in the ocean compared to the money lost on inefficient fuel use.
Whether your boiler needs repairing or replacing will only be established once a heating engineer diagnoses the issue. If your boiler is under warranty, you may not need to pay anything for the repair or replacement. But the older a boiler gets, the more likely it is to start encountering problems. Generally, boilers have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years, so if yours is around this age, it’s more likely to require some maintenance.
Repair costs can range anywhere from £100 to £500, and they could be more if you require an emergency call-out. A standard service for a boiler is approximately £75.
How long does it take to install central heating?
The time it takes to install central heating in your home depends on the scale of the job. You may simply need to have your boiler replaced, or instead you may need an entirely new heating system fit, with new piping and radiators. It will also depend on the size of your home. The central heating installation of a two-bedroom house will take longer than the central heating installation of a one-bed flat, for example.
The replacing of a like-for-like boiler can be less than a day’s work, but factoring in potential complications you can reasonably expect it to take one to two days.
The installation of a new central heating system can take much longer. Factoring in the fitting of pipework throughout your house, as well as the installation of radiators, you can reasonably expect the entire project to take between one and two weeks, depending on the size of your home. If you are switching from one fuel type to another (e.g., oil to gas), then this will extend the timeframe further.
How to reduce central heating costs
The installation of a central heating system can be an extremely complex job. Much of it is best left to an expert, such as a heating engineer, who will have access to supplies and can safely complete the job from start to finish for you. In addition, there are certain rules about installing new boilers which are vital to take into account. For example, gas boilers must legally be installed by a Gas Safe-registered tradesperson.
If you are looking to save money on central heating though, there are considerations for you to factor in both before you start the project, and once it is finished.
- Choose the right boiler: Sometimes it can be tempting to opt for the cheapest boiler on the market. Or, on the other side of the spectrum, choosing the largest and most powerful boiler around. Instead, you should opt for a boiler that best suits the needs of your home. That way, you’ll be maximising the efficiency of your central heating system without breaking the bank.
- Time your project well: Heating engineers are at their busiest over the autumn and winter months, which is no surprise as this is when people are using their boilers the most. If you can instead proceed with your project during spring or summer, when they’re less in demand, then your quote for the job is likely to be lower.
- Compare quotes: Rather than going for the first tradesperson you speak to, it can help to pull a range of quotes together, which you can do by posting your job to MyBuilder. This way, you can compare your quotes, as well as the reviews of each tradesperson, before making a decision.
- Check your thermostat: Once your central heating is installed, make sure you’re using your thermostat as efficiently as possible. With each degree you turn your thermostat down, you can save approximately 10% on your energy bill.
Can I install central heating myself?
Installing a full central heating system is tricky job. Even with an expert, the various aspects of the project can take days, and even weeks. We don’t recommend installing a boiler yourself, as the work can be very dangerous. As mentioned, by law gas boilers must be installed by a tradesperson who is on the Gas Safe Register.
The installation of radiators and pipework can increase the time taken on your central heating installation to two weeks or more. If you were to do this yourself, and we don’t recommend this, you may double or triple the timeframe and make costly mistakes along the way. If you’re looking to save money on the project, you can instead compare quotes and reviews between tradespeople via MyBuilder and choose the price which best suits your budget.
What is the cost of a full central heating system?
When considering central heating installation cost, you should take into account all supplies and materials, including a new boiler, pipework and radiators, as well as the labour time. With all of these combined, you can expect to pay anywhere between £3,500 and £7,000 for the project. The size of your home will have an impact on this though, so the central heating installation cost of a three-bedroom house or larger may see your costs exceed the average.
Does it matter which boiler I get for my central heating?
There are different types of boilers for central heating systems. These include combi, system and regular. While the most common is the combi, the system and regular are considered more effective for larger homes. It can be valuable to get advice from an expert before deciding the size and type of your boiler, as this will ensure you purchase one that will optimise the energy efficiency for your home.
Your central heating checklist
To get your project off to a good start, you can undertake some due diligence to find the right person for the job. If you are using someone you trust, and who has the necessary licensing, your central heating installation is more likely to go smoothly.
- Start your search at the right time: Heating engineers are at their busiest over the winter period. As such, they’re likely to be more readily available and charging lower prices in the spring and summer.
- Find someone with the right experience: There are plenty of plumbers and heating engineers out there. But if they have experience with similar domestic projects like yours, then you can feel more confident in their approach. Our guide for hiring heating engineers has more information to help you in your search.
- Make sure they’re Gas Safe registered: When seeking out heating engineers, you’ll need to make sure they have the correct registration and licensing. This way, you’ll know they can be trusted on the job.
- Get a range of quotes: Getting a rounded view of what the cost might be is a good way to weigh it up against your budget. You can do this by requesting quotes from a number of tradespeople, before checking these quotes against one another.
- Read the reviews: The beauty of MyBuilder is you can check out the reviews of real people who have used the tradespeople you’re looking at. So, after you have received a quote, you can make sure they fit the bill by reading their reviews.
Use MyBuilder to find the right person to install your central heating. Simply post your job for free, then wait for responses from qualified and reliable tradespeople in your area.
Get a free quote
We can help you meet professional heating engineers near you to get real quotes today.