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How much does Central Heating Installation cost?

Average Price
£3,000 - £4,500

What is the price of Central Heating Installation?

Want to install or replace your central heating but not sure of the cost? Read our handy guide to find out how much your central heater installers will charge for their services.

What is Central Heating?

Central heating uses a fuel (usually natural gas) that burns within your boiler. The boiler then heats water which is supplied to your radiators, and also your hot water supply. The system pushes water through all of the pipes, heating them as it goes along which makes the room warm. The boiler is controlled by a thermostat, allowing you to control the temperature of your home. 

Various systems can be used to install or update your central heating. The method which you choose, combined with the existing system you have in place will determine the complexity, and therefore the cost of installing or replacing your central heating.

How much does Central Heating Installation Cost?

The cost of central heating installation ranges between £3,000 and £4,500 with an average cost of £4,000.

Average cost of Central Heating Installation
Average cost£4,000
Minimum cost£3,000
Maximum cost£4,500

No two properties are the same, as some will have no existing pipework meaning the job will be more complex. Plus, it depends on the size of the property since this will affect how many radiators you need to install. The choice of boiler will also greatly impact the cost too.

What changes the price of Central Heating Installation? 

The cost of central heating varies depending on several factors, including: 

  • Type of boiler

  • Installing a boiler in a new location

  • Existing pipework

  • Upgrading gas mains

  • Number of radiators

  • Labour

  • Time

  • Experience

  • Location

Type of boiler

Boilers vary dramatically in terms of their type as well as the brand that you opt for.

Conventional boilers are typically the cheapest, starting at just £400. They run on both gas and oil and are ideal for a mid-sized home. A huge plus is that conventional boilers maintain the water pressure when more than one tap is in use. 

A popular choice is a condensing boiler, which costs between £1,300 and £2,500 on average. There are a lot of government incentives behind this boiler type, meaning you could qualify for a grant to have one installed. The reason they are favoured is that they are highly efficient. 

Average cost of Central Heating Installation based on the type of boiler
Type of boilerHighest average priceLowest average price
Conventional£1,500£400
Combi£2,000£600
System£1,600£650
Condensing£2,500£1,300
Electric£2,600£1,500
Biomass£13,000£7,000

On the other end of the scale, electric boilers are the most expensive of the typical boiler varieties, costing between £1,500 and £2,600 on average. They are ideal for smaller homes, though electricity as fuel costs more than gas, so this may impact your energy bills.

Biomass boilers are the most expensive, costing anywhere up to £13,000 to install. They work by using wood pellets or logs to produce the energy needed to heat your water. Their expensive installation cost will eventually be offset against your energy bills, which will be 30%-50% cheaper on average.

It’s also good to note that it’s now illegal to install back boilers and these can only be replaced with a different style of the boiler such as a combi boiler. 

Installing a boiler in a new location

If you wish to move a boiler to a new location (i.e from the bathroom to the kitchen), then this is going to require a significant amount of work versus leaving it where it is. However, sometimes such work is necessary, especially if the boiler is in an inconvenient place.

Existing pipework

If the property doesn’t currently have any radiators, or if it uses electric heaters then there’s a high chance no pipework is in place for central heating. This is the main difference between central heating replacement which is cheaper, versus central heating installation which is much more expensive. 

Central heating installation jobs requiring pipework to be installed will average between £3,500 and £4,500, and can easily add up to £2,000 onto the total cost of the project. 

Keep in mind that such a job should also be done before any renovation takes place since it will require lifting floorboards, installing a boiler, radiators etc. All of which can be a messy job that will cost less to fix if you’re yet to decorate.

Upgrading gas mains

Upgrading the gas mains isn’t always necessary for a central heating installation or replacement, depending on whether the contractor deems the current setup safe or not

As an example, the current regulations state that a 22mm supply pipe must be fitted from the boiler to the meter. A lot of older boilers were fitted with a narrow 15mm supply pipe, as this was adequate at the time. However, this width is not up to modern standards, and so your contractor wouldn’t be able to leave this in place. 

If required, upgrading the gas mains can cost between £150 and £800, depending on the severity of the problem and how much work is involved to remedy it.

Number of radiators

It’s recommended to install a radiator for every 5m³ you wish to heat. Most properties have at least one radiator per room, with 6-10 being the standard number in a home. If no radiators exist in the property, you’ll need to factor in the cost of purchasing them as well. 

Radiators can cost as little as £40 for basic styles, up to £300 for designer styles. 

Labour

Central heating installers charge between £40 and £65 per hour. The job will typically be priced as a fixed fee, with those rates in mind. But for additional callouts in case of a problem, they may charge by the hour.

Time

While your new central heating system should run like clockwork, the actual time it takes to install everything doesn’t. Every job is different, therefore the labour will be priced according to how long your contractor expects it will take. If any problems are found during the installation, this could bump up the price since it will take longer to fix. 

An example is a previous installation that was not carried out to industry standards and is potentially dangerous, so everything has to be ripped out and re-installed. 

Experience

Only those who are trained and registered with a body such as The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) should attempt a central heating installation. Not only is installing central heating (or doing any work to your boiler) highly dangerous, it could invalidate your home insurance too, and make it difficult to sell your property. 

That being said, there will often be a price difference between central heating installers with decades of experience, versus those who are newly qualified. If the job is quite complex, you may wish to consider whether a more expensive contractor would work out as better value, since they will have had more experience dealing in such installations. 

Location

While the condition of the property (i.e if the pipework is already installed) and your boiler choice will impact the cost of central heating installation the most, your location will also play a part. 

Based on a typical central heating installation in a 3 bedroom property, the North East is the cheapest location, at £3,000 on average. This area has the lowest living costs across the UK, which is usually reflected in the cost of any services you wish to hire.

Average cost of Central Heating System installation based on the location
LocationAverage Central Heating Installation cost
Midlands£3,500
London£4,000
North East£3,000
North West£3,250
South West£3,700

The same installation in London would cost £4,000, due to the significantly higher costs of labour in the South East, versus any other part of the UK. 

As always, be sure to get at least 2-3 quotes so that you can make an informed choice, regardless of your location. 

Is it worth getting Central Heating Installation or replacement?

A working, energy-efficient central heating system makes all the difference to a property. Maintaining a warm room temperature is also essential for various health and safety regulations. Seen as central heating can only be installed by a qualified and registered professional, it’s always worth getting the experts in. If your property is feeling the chill, then consulting a central heating contractor is definitely worth it.

Find the best professional for the job on Bark today. 

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