How much does it cost to install central heating?
Renovating, upgrading or installing a central heating system from scratch? Here’s what it’s likely to cost you.
Installing a new central heating system will cost in the region of £3,000 to £4,000. It will need to include a boiler, radiators, pipes and controls. Depending on which type of boiler you opt for, you may also need a hot water storage cylinder and feeder and expansion tank. The price of each of these elements will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and you will also need to consider the labour / installation costs.
As a starting point, we’ve calculated some average costs relevant to a 3 bedroom, 2 storey house to give you an estimated figure. The installation cost is based on an engineer charging about £200 per day with £100 a day for an extra labourer.
|New boiler (supply & installation)||£900 – £1,400|
|9 Radiators (supply & installation)||£1,000 – £1,200|
|Water tank (supply & installation)||£150 – £200|
|Miscellaneous parts & labour||£150 – £200|
|Pipework (supply & installation)||£800 – £1,000|
|Total Cost||£3,000 – £4,000|
Note: There are some other factors that may affect the final cost of your central heating installation such as:
- Boiler brand, type and size
- Style and size of radiators
- Sophistication of heating controls
- Ease of installation e.g. an empty home will provide a quicker installation than a lived in one.
If this cost seems a little daunting, remember the savings you’re likely to see by swapping an electric or oil system for gas; the price of gas is lower than both and the savings will become quickly evident. Modern boilers that use condensing technology are generally more than 90% efficient which means for every £1 you spend on heating your house only 10p is lost through wasted heat.
You can further increase your energy savings by investing in effective insulation for your home and by introducing smart heating controls which track your real time energy usage. Some smart thermostats enable you to control your heating via your mobile phone wherever you are which gives you unprecedented control over your heating.
How To Install Central Heating
When starting anything from scratch it can be tricky to know what to tackle first. Here’s a step by step to give you a better sense of what to expect. Generally speaking, installing a heating system will take between 2-5 days with 2 people working on the job. The installation will take longer if the home is inhabited (as opposed to an empty house renovation) as the engineers will be working around you.
1. Decide on the right boiler (taking into consideration brand, type and size), the radiators you would like and how you would like to control the heating system e.g. wall thermostat, TRVs, smart thermostat. It’s at this point you’ll need to find a professional heating engineer as they will be able to help you make the right choice.
2. Working with the engineer, you’ll need to make a plan for the heating system layout. Where is the boiler going to be installed? How many radiators will there be and where will they be positioned?
3. When the exciting first day of installation comes around, it’s usually the radiators which are installed first.
4. Next comes the pipework which will be laid from the radiators to the boiler. The controls will then be put into place.
5. The boiler will be installed. The water and gas will be shut off at this point.
6. Finally, the system will be filled with water and the boiler turned on. The valves on the radiators (TRVs) will be adjusted to ensure the flow of hot water is appropriate.
Choosing the Right Boiler
It’s really important that you choose the right type of heating system for your home and lifestyle. They are separated into 3 main types:
Regular (also known as Conventional or Traditional): A Regular heating system includes a boiler, a hot water storage cylinder and a feed and expansion tank in the attic. They rely on gravity to feed the water downwards from the tank in the attic where it is heated by the boiler. The boiler then heats the water and supplies the radiators. Hot water for your taps needs to be stored in the hot water storage cylinder. A Regular system takes up a lot of space and as it relies on gravity the water flow isn’t always great, but is a very good option for homes that use a lot of hot water at once, i.e. homes with multiple bathrooms and bedrooms.
System: A System boiler takes its water supply directly from the mains so, unlike a Regular boiler, doesn’t require a feed tank in the attic. It heats this water for your radiators but requires a hot water cylinder to keep a store of hot water for use in taps. As they take their water from the mains the pressure is usually more impressive than a Regular system, but you will need to have space for the hot water cylinder.
Combi: A Combination boiler is the most recent innovation. Like the System, it takes water directly from the mains so has very good pressure, but unlike the System it doesn’t require a hot water cylinder. This is because it heats water on demand for both your heating and domestic use. This is a great option for smaller homes with limited space but not necessarily for homes with multiple bathrooms.
There are several brands on the market there all offering all these boiler types in lots of different sizes. Your engineer will be able to recommend the best solution based on your budget.
Looking for the right boiler? Compare the top brands now using our comparison tool
Which heating controls?
Almost every boiler manufacturer also offers a range of compatible controls such as room thermostats, TRVs and wireless sensors. These shouldn’t add too much onto the cost of the installation, but an option you may want to consider is a smart thermostat.
Many engineers recommend them as they enable you to more effectively track your home’s energy usage and give you unprecedented levels of control. For example, many enable you to control your heating via an app on your mobile phone wherever you have an internet connection. Some give you the ability to differ your heating temperature by zone so you can have different temperatures in different rooms or on different floors. For this you would need to purchase multiple thermostats.
The leading brands of smart thermostat are Nest which costs £279 including installation and Hive by British Gas which is £249 including installation.
Nest vs Hive Which is the Best Smart Thermostat?
Find the Right Installer
Boiler Guide can provide you free, no obligation quotes from Gas Safe registered, reputable installers in your area.