If you want to keep your showers hot and your rooms nice and cosy, a central heating system will do the job.
As you’ll be aware, most homes have central heating systems already installed. Sometimes though, it’s necessary to look for an upgrade to maximise efficiency or if your boiler starts breaking down regularly.
The prices of central heating systems can vary greatly depending on several factors – including the central heating system you already have, the type you want to upgrade to, and the parts you’ll need to buy for the upgrade.
There are hundreds of companies across the UK who will supply, fit, and offer service plans for your central heating system. However, if you want to compare the cost of a central heating system installation, you can use the Tradesmen Prices form just below.
We provide you with 3-4 quotes from reputable companies, local to you, who will be able to carry out your central heating installation. You can compare their quotes with others you may already have received which will give you a broader range of tradesmen to choose from.
Central heating systems come in three types: wet systems, warm air systems, and storage heaters. However, you’ll more commonly hear the first two referred to as gas, and the latter as electric.
In a wet system, a gas-fired boiler heats water, which is piped to radiators and taps around the property, providing heat.
Warm Air Systems
Warm air systems were popular during the 60s and 70s in the UK and consist of a network of ducts which open into rooms around the house. Air is heated by a gas-fuelled boiler and distributed through the ducts.
A storage heater system utilises ‘off-peak’ electricity (Economy 7/Economy 10 electricity used overnight) to heat bricks capable of storing large amounts of heat. This heat is gradually released during the day. Storage heaters are typically single installations and do not feature a circulation method for diverting heat around the home – the heater distributes warmth in whichever room it is installed.
Often, your central heating system will benefit simply from replacing your boiler or radiators or perhaps by having new pipework installed.
However, if you’re a homeowner wishing to upgrade from electric storage or warm air heating to a wet system, you can save hundreds in heating bills each year even after the cost of investment in your new central heating system.
Example 1 – Cost of new central heating system installation
Let’s say that you own a four bedroom, two-storey house, and you want a low-budget gas central heating system installed. You’ll need to consider these factors in your decision:
- New condensing boiler installation, including supply and labour – (£1,150 average)
- Nine radiators, including supply and labour – (£1,100 average)
- Water tank, including supply and installation – (£200 average)
- Miscellaneous extra parts, including supply and labour – (£265 average)
- Pipework, including supply and installation – (£865 average)
In this case, the total comes to just under £4,000. The cost of new central heating systems will vary depending on:
- Your choice of boiler,
- The sizes and style of radiators you choose to install, and,
- How easily the central heating system can be installed – consider how long it will take to move your furniture and you belongings around so that the fitters can install your pipework.
Example 2 – Cost of new central heating system installation
Let’s say that you own a small, two-bedroom bungalow, and you want a gas central heating system installed. In this case, the job will likely take about 3 days and the cost of your central heating installation will round out at around £2,500 if you choose to install a combination (combi) boiler.
The price can be broken down into the following parts:
- Gas combi boiler, including supply and installation – £1,060
- Radiators, including supply and labour – £830
- Pipework, including supply and installation – £230
- Extra parts, including supply and labour – £230
Of course, this estimate is purely hypothetical. To get a quote through Tradesmen Prices for central heating installation tailored to you, fill in the form at the top of this page.
Why would someone want central heating?
Central heating systems provide warmth to the whole of a property.
In the past, most buildings required an individual source of heat in each room to keep them warm which was costly and inefficient. Often, this was a wood or coal-burning fire that contributed to pollution as well as being dirty and distributing heat around your home unevenly.
These days, most homes are fitted with a central heating system, the most popular being gas-fuelled ‘wet systems.’
Gas central heating systems consist of a network of pipes which stem from a single heating element (a boiler, usually). The pipes spread throughout the home delivering heat carried by water to radiators and taps. The temperatures can be controlled either individually or from a main thermostat.
What are the disadvantages of central heating?
Depending on which type of central heating you want to install, you may find one will work better for you than another.
The most common comparison is whether gas or electric central heating is better for you. Put simply, electric heating is going to cost you around three or four times more than gas and it’s also a little more complicated to manage.
Electric central heating systems will cost you around £2,000 per year for a house consuming 13,500kWh annually.
Compare this to an average gas central heating bill of around £500 per year and you’ll see that electric central heating systems aren’t as cost-effective.
However, gas central heating systems require regular maintenance and can suffer from malfunctions in their individual parts, whereas electric central heating systems need little servicing and won’t require the installation of pipework.
Are there alternatives to central heating?
If you aren’t connected to mains electricity or gas, there are two main options for providing your home with central heating: traditional central heating systems fuelled by oil or Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), or new, renewable heating systems.
In the UK, the type of off-grid central heating that’s installed the most here in the UK runs on oil or LPG. Why? Because an oil boiler costs the least to run. They’re designed to be efficient in their energy use and you can expect to get many years’ usage from them.
If you had your oil-fired boiler installed seven years ago or more, installing a brand new one which features the most up-to-date heating controllers can reduce your energy costs by up to 30% a year.
LPG is more expensive than oil, but costs around half as much annually as electric storage heating.
If you’re looking at renewable energy to power your central heating system, you may want to consider heat pumps or biomass (typically wood) fuelled central heating systems. How much you’ll pay to run the system is similar to oil heating however installation costs can be higher. For more specific information on this subject you can click here to visit the OFTEC website.
What are the main benefits of central heating?
Central heating systems are effective in distributing heat around your home in an efficient way. Rather than having to heat each room individually, more modern systems benefit from automated temperature control in order to save you money.
Central heating systems also provide you with hot water and the individual parts which make up the system can be personalised depending on your needs.
Who can I buy central heating from?
Across the UK, there are thousands of companies who will be able to install your central heating system.
The cost of the central heating system will vary depending on who you choose. Larger companies have much bigger overheads and they pay their reps sales commissions. Smaller companies operating without those costs meaning that a lot of homeowners actually save money by going small and local.
Fill in the Tradesmen Prices form at the top of this page for 3-4 quotes from local companies who can install or upgrade your central heating system.
Should my central heating installer be a member of anything (trade body, government registration scheme, etc?)
When your central heating system is installed, it’s important to make sure the engineer is Gas Safe accredited. You can check their status on the Gas Safe Register.
You may also want to check for a Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Engineering (CIPHE) registration. You can visit their site to see a list of their members.
How long does it take to install central heating?
If your home doesn’t have a central heating system yet, the cost to install one into an average three-bedroom property will cost between £2,235-£4,200. This is based on a tradesperson’s rate of around £200 per day, plus £100 per day for a labourer if they’re needed.
The process itself typically takes around 3-5 days.
Before I get my central heating system installed, what should I ask a potential installer?
The engineers who install your central heating system should be able to answer your questions so that you can have all the information you need to make the decision that’s right for you.
You could ask them:
- How long will the installation take?
- Are you Gas Safe Register certified?
- Are you qualified to work with this particular boiler/fuel type?
- Is there a maintenance or cover plan available for my central heating system?
Additionally, once the central heating system is installed, you may wish to ask your engineer:
- How do I use the controls on my new boiler?
- How do I maintain efficiency of my central heating system?
- What number do I call if there is an urgent problem?
Why should I get quotes for a new boiler from Tradesmen Prices?
When you apply for quotes through Tradesman Prices, you will be given 3-4 quotes from local central heating system installers. We check their history and credentials so you can have peace of mind that they’re Gas Safe accredited and experienced in their field.
Having several quotes to compare means you can normally secure a discount on the price you pay as there will be a few companies competing for your custom.
You can also compare quotes you’ve already received with the ones that Tradesmen Prices will give you. Fill in the form above to start your quote application.