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Cost to Install Central Heating in the UK: Full Breakdown

Becky Mckay
By: Becky Mckay
Updated: 23rd October 2023

How much does central heating cost

A new central heating system cost in the UK generally falls between £3,500 and £7,000. But this can vary depending on a number of factors. From labour to boiler type and size, let’s go over the many variables that impact new boiler and central heating installation costs.

This price will get you a full central heating system that includes a boiler, radiators, heating controls and pipework. You could end up spending more or less, depending on the size and type of central heating system.

This article covers the cost of installing central heating (boiler, radiators, heating controls, pipework, and possibly a hot water cylinder). If you are currently only looking to have your boiler replaced then visit our guide to boiler replacement.

Whether you're eager to know the cost of central heating for your home or deciding between gas or electric central heating installation, it's best to ask an expert. Yet finding a trusted and certified heating engineer isn't always a piece of cake and requires lots of time and effort if done alone. This can take days of research and stressful price comparisons so we understand the frustration.

Thankfully, Boiler Guide has got your back in these stressful searches. Simply fill out our 30-second form and we'll connect you with up to 3 thoroughly vetted local heating engineers. Compare their heating quotes with no obligation to accept any offers. Our service is free and non-binding. Just click the button below to begin!

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Costs to install central heating

The average cost of installing central heating is between £3,500 and £7,000.

Central heating installation costs can include a boiler, radiators, pipework and heating controls. Depending on which type of boiler you opt for, you may also need a hot water storage cylinder as well as feed and expansion tanks in the loft. However, a quote for a new central heating system is unlikely to include all of this as standard. So, make sure you get each quote in writing and check what's included.

The price of each of these elements will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and you will also need to consider the labour and installation rates set by the engineer.

Having said this, no two central heating installations are the same, and many variables could have an impact on the final cost. These include:

Factors Affecting Central Heating Cost

All of this should be included in the quote you receive from a central heating engineer.

It's worth knowing that it's rare for some heating engineers to fit new radiators when replacing a central heating system. If they were going to fit new radiators, it would likely cost no less than £3,000, unless you were purchasing the new radiators separately yourself.

Central heating installation: Cost for 3 bedroom house

We’ve calculated some average central heating installation costs relevant to a 3 bedroom, 2 storey house.

These installation costs are based on an engineer charging about £200 per day with £100 a day for an extra labourer.

Parts Potential cost
New boiler (supply & installation) £1,000 - £2,500
9 radiators (supply & installation) £3,000 - £3,500
Water tank (supply & installation) £600 - £700
Miscellaneous parts & labour £150 - £200
Pipework (supply & installation) £800 - £1,000
Total Cost £5,650 - £7,900

These costs are estimates and will vary based on the work involved and daily rates set by the engineer.

Central heating costs: Influencing factors

Factors influencing cost of boilers

Total central heating installation costs can be wide-ranging because there are so many variables.

The central heating installation cost can be impacted by all of the following:

  • Fuel
  • Type of boiler
  • Boiler manufacturer
  • Boiler size
  • Pipework and radiators
  • Heating controls
  • Complexity of the installation
  • Labour costs

Fuel

First and foremost, you need to decide on a suitable fuel type. The most common and popular fuel for boilers in the UK is natural gas, delivered directly through the gas network. Therefore, the cost of gas central heating will depend on the current gas prices.

However, not all properties are connected to the gas network. Alternative fuels include oil and LPG heating (liquefied petroleum gas) options which can be stored at the property.

Storing fuel in this way requires ample outdoor space for a storage tank to be installed. Unfortunately, while all of these fuels are effective for home heating, they are fossil fuels. When burned they emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere - a leading cause of climate change. Fortunately, there’s a ‘greener’ alternative in the form of biomass.

Biomass boilers burning organic materials offer a greener alternative but are more expensive. Electric boilers are a simple option for smaller homes, operating without burning fuel and using electricity for heating and hot water production.

Type of boiler

Central Heating Cost Boiler Type diagrams
Combi boilers are the latest innovation in boiler technology, heating water on demand without the need for a hot water cylinder. They are ideal for small homes with 1-2 bathrooms and limited space but may not be suitable for larger homes with multiple bathrooms.

System boilers heat central heating directly and store domestic hot water in a cylinder, providing strong pressure for various outlets, making them suitable for homes with 2 or more bathrooms.

Conventional heating systems include a regular boiler, hot water storage cylinder, and a loft tank, relying on gravity to feed water and are a good choice for homes with high hot water usage.

There are several brands on the market offering a range of boiler types in lots of different sizes. The cost of all these boiler models will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Find out potential costs, before installation in the table below.

Boiler type Average cost (excluding installation)
Combi £500 - £2,000
System £500 - £2,500
Conventional £500 - £2,750

Do you want professional advice on the best boiler type or size for your home? But research and reviews are taking hours away from time spent with family? Then let us help! Boiler Guide is here to take away the strain of finding trusted, qualified professionals with more competitive prices.

Using our simple form, we can find you up to 3 FREE quotes from heating engineers near you. They can quote for precisely the right boiler or central heating for your home which you can compare to ensure you're getting the best deal. Our service is completely free and there's no obligation to accept any quotes - why not give it a try? Click the link below to find out more.

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Boiler size

Boiler size is essential when calculating the cost of new central heating in the UK. Boiler size is the measure of power the boiler is capable of delivering and is otherwise known as the output rating.

Measured in kilowatts (kW), all boiler types have a central heating output rating while combi boilers also have a domestic hot water output rating. This is because all boiler types are directly connected to the central heating but only combi boilers heat domestic hot water on demand and deliver it straight to the taps, bath or shower.

Boiler sizing is so important because if it’s too low then the boiler won’t be able to meet demand. Don’t go too high though because that will see your energy bills increase unnecessarily.

Using the table below, you can find out a suitable output rating based on the number of radiators in your property. You’ll notice that combi boilers need more power as they heat the water on demand in a shorter time span.

Number of radiators Combi boiler recommended central heating output rating System boiler recommended central heating output rating Conventional boiler recommended central heating output rating
Up to 10 24-27 kW 9-18 kW 9-18 kW
10-15 28-34 kW 18-26 kW 18-26 kW
15-20 35-42 kW 27-40 kW 27-40 kW

You can find out even more about boiler sizing from What Size Boiler Do I Need?

For accurate boiler sizing, you can contact a heating installer. Or, you can also contact a manufacturer, and they’ll be happy to help you. This is a free service where they’ll ask you questions about your home, and recommend the correct output for your needs.

Radiator sizing

As well as boiler sizing, getting radiators that are the right size is important too.

Radiator sizing is worked out using a radiator size chart. You can either contact a radiator manufacturer to find out the right size radiators for your home or speak to your engineer.

Boiler manufacturers

In the UK, there are many boiler manufacturers to choose from. Some are considered high-end while others are more budget-friendly. A selection of the best boiler manufacturers includes (clickable):

gas boiler ATAG gas boiler BAXI gas boiler Ideal
gas boiler vaillant gas boiler veissman gas boiler worcester bosch

We’ve highlighted the potential cost of a boiler (without installation) manufactured by each of the leading boiler brands.

Boiler manufacturer Combi boiler prices System boiler prices Conventional boiler prices
Baxi £610 - £1,307 £740 - £1,032 £695 - £991
Ideal £968 - £1,354 £874 - £1,400 £732 - £2,769
Vaillant £907 - £1,800 £894 - £2,700 £792 - £1,533
Viessmann £916 - £3,520 £995 - £1,650 £845 - £1,200
Worcester Bosch £730 - £2,475 £899 - £3,837 £814 - £2,300

You can compare all of the key information you need to find the right boiler for your home by using our tool for boiler comparison .

Hot water cylinder costs

A heating system that includes a system or conventional boiler needs a hot water cylinder. This is where the domestic hot water is stored and heated before being delivered to hot water outlets.

If you’re having a system or conventional boiler installed from scratch then a new hot water cylinder is essential. Combi boilers provide hot water directly and don’t need a hot water cylinder.

A new hot water cylinder will typically cost between £300 and £1,000.

It’s normally cheaper to replace a cylinder than have a new system installed. This is because the pipework is already set up when replacing a cylinder. However, having a cylinder installed from scratch will require new pipework and increase installation costs as a result. Before the installation costs are taken into account, a hot water cylinder is likely to cost between £300 and £1,000.

There are two types of hot water cylinders: vented and unvented hot water cylinders.

vented and unvented hot water system

The right cylinder for your system will depend on whether a system or conventional boiler is being installed. Vented cylinders need to be fed with cold water from a tank in the loft so it needs to be installed alongside a conventional boiler.

Unvented cylinders, on the other hand, are directly connected to the mains water supply. This removes the need for a cold water tank in the loft.

Room thermostats come in dial, digital programmable, and smart types. Dial thermostats are easy to use, while smart thermostats offer remote control and energy monitoring.

Wireless sensors detect open doors/windows and automatically turn off central heating, enhancing energy efficiency and home safety. Radiator valves come in manual, thermostatic, and smart variants, providing varying levels of temperature control for individual radiators.

Central heating control costs

Having greater control of your central heating through smart technology comes at a higher price than manual controls. However, smart thermostats and smart radiator valves will allow you to run your central heating more efficiently and potentially lower your heating bills as a result.

Heating controls Potential cost
Room thermostat with dial £10 – £40
Digital programmable room thermostat £35 – £70
Smart thermostat £70 – £250
Wireless sensors £20 – £35 (per sensor)
Manual radiator valves £5 – £35
Thermostatic radiator valves £5 – £120 (per valve)
Smart radiator valves £50 – £200+ (must be installed alongside a smart thermostat)

How much can you save when installing a new central heating system?

If the potential £3,500-£7,000 cost of installing central heating feels daunting then consider the savings you’ll be making.

You could apply for grants like Boiler Upgrade Scheme or ECO Scheme that can help you reduce the initial central heating spending.

Modern boilers are highly efficient as they use less fuel to deliver the same level of heat as older boilers. This is all thanks to condensing boiler technology which is able to achieve efficiencies of over ~92%. So for every £1 spent on heating your home, only 8p is lost through wasted heat. That could add up to considerable savings on your energy bills when you consider that older boilers are 60-70% efficient.

Insulation is key to an efficient home. A well-insulated home will stop heat from escaping outside. There’s no point in spending 20p to get your home up to 30°C if you need to do it all over again 5 minutes later. If this was the case, you could end up paying £50+ per day to keep your home warm.

As a result, you can have peace of mind that you and your family are safe and save some money on your central heating cost in the long term.

If you're considering a new central heating system, but you're unsure what you need or where to begin, we're here to help! Our team is on hand to connect you with trusted professional engineers, who can give you the very best advice for your circumstances and provide you with competitive quotes.

With Boiler Guide, we only work with the very best, so you can be sure the advice and quotes you get will be the best around! Plus - getting quotes is completely free and there is no obligation to accept any of them, so you get the best offers at no risk!

If you want to get started and find the best central heating quotes for your home, with no hassle and no cost - then simply click the link below.

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What does central heating installation involve?

What Does Central Heating Installation Involve

Central heating installation processes can vary, impacting the work and completion time. The process involves draining the system, removing old boilers and radiators, fitting new ones, and installing pipes. On the final day, the new radiator system is commissioned, tested, and balanced.

To minimise disruption, planning is crucial, including choosing a suitable boiler based on brand, model, type, and output rating. Decisions on heating options like radiators or underfloor heating should also be made.

You will then need a way to control the central heating and there is no shortage of options.

Most homeowners are familiar with wall thermostats but the efficiency of the central heating can be increased with new radiator valves or the best smart thermostats.

It’s at this point you’ll need to find a professional heating engineer. They'll be able to help you make the right choice. Yet, finding the right engineer on your own, is no simple task.

Luckily, at Boiler Guide we have a large network of trusted and vetted heating engineers that can help provide you with up to 3 quotes so that you can find the best deal.

Using our network removes the time-consuming need of calling multiple engineers to vet them yourself. All you need to do is click the button below and answer some questions about the installation you want completed and we’ll take it from there. Click the button below to get started.

How long does installing central heating take?

Generally speaking, installing a heating system will take between 2-5 days. That's if 2 heating engineers are working on the job.

The installation will take longer if you're home at the time (as opposed to an empty house renovation) as the engineers will be working around you.

For these reasons, it’s a good idea to plan the installation of a new central heating system during the summer. That way, your central heating will be ready to keep you warm during the winter months. It can also help to keep the initial costs down.

Arranging the installation of a new central heating system for the summer months can reduce disruption and save you money.

Find a central heating installer

You now know how much it can cost to install central heating. The final part of the puzzle is finding an engineer. To keep costs at a minimum, we highly recommend comparing quotes.

Typically, a heating engineer will assess the work required during a property visit and provide a quote accordingly. It’s advisable to gather at least three quotes from different companies and evaluate their offerings beyond just the cost.

Prioritise expertise and knowledge in addition to the price. The cheapest option may not always be the best choice if it compromises the quality of the job. Opting for a more comprehensive service, even if it costs a bit more, can be a smarter investment in the long run.

Simplify the process of finding a trusted heating engineer by using our online form to receive free quotes from trusted local experts. This way, you can easily compare and make an informed decision without any obligations.

All you have to do is complete our simple online boiler quotes form, letting us know a few details about the work you need completed.

Once done, we’ll get to work matching you with up to 3 local central heating engineers. Each of them will then be in touch to provide you with a free quote that you’re under no obligation to accept. Click below to get started.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to put in a new heating system?
The cost to install a new central heating system will, on average, range anywhere between £3,500 and £7,000. The range is so large because there are many factors specific to your home that you need to consider.

How much does it cost to heat a 3-bedroom house in the UK?
Once you've installed a new central heating system, you can expect the average annual gas bill of a 3-bedroom house to be £2,073.69 (based on gas rates from 1 July 2023). However, the cost will depend on what type of central heating system you install.

How much does it cost to install a boiler heating system?
The average cost to install a boiler heating system will range between £3,500 and £7,000. But it will ultimately depend on what type of boiler you install. Typically, a combi boiler installation is the cheapest.

How messy is installing central heating?
Installing a new central heating system can be disruptive if you're switching to a new heating type that requires a more complex installation. Typically combi boilers are the least messy to install and regular boilers are the most messy.

Can I get a government grant to install central heating?

Yes, it is possible to get a government grant to install central heating in the UK. The UK government offers several grants and schemes like Boiler Upgrade Scheme and ECO Scheme to help families with their heating needs.

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Becky Mckay

About the author

Becky Mckay

Becky has been a writer at Boiler Guide since 2021. Her vast boiler knowledge means she’s ready to help with any home heating query, big or small!

approved by engineer This article has been checked and approved by a Gas Safe registered engineer.

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