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Central Heating Installation Cost

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Are you tired of your central heating system always running into issues and costing you lots of money in repairs? If so, you are probably thinking of overhauling the whole system, replacing everything from the boiler, radiators, and heating controls to the pipework. If the old system had no hot water storage cylinder, or it too has problems, you might also want to throw in a new one.

If you are sharp, a simple look at the number of components that need replacement and their prices will tell you that the replacement job will cost you several thousand pounds. Well, that estimate is actually correct. Currently, the average cost of replacing a central heating system for a 3-bedroom house in the UK ranges from £3,000 and £4,000.

On the other hand, if you have a one-bedroom bungalow, you will pay £2,500. For a 2-bedroom house, expect to spend as much as £3,000.  Similarly, replacing the central heating system of a 4-bedroom and 5-bedroom house will cost around £4,500 and £5,000 respectively.

Although this price is enough to get you a brand new central heating system, it is not conclusive. You can end up paying more or less depending on the size and type of central heating system you want as a replacement.

In this article, we will look at the cost of installing a replacement central heating system. We will break down this cost and analyse the cost of installing individual components, including the boiler, radiators, heating controls, and hot water cylinder if needed.

But before then, let’s have a look at some of the reasons why you are considering undertaking this expensive venture.

Why should I replace my central heating system?

As earlier said, having a central heating system that constantly breaks down will drain lots of pounds in repair costs. Over time, this amount of money spent on replacement costs will even exceed the cost of installing a brand new heating system.  To avoid the piling cost of repair, you can overhaul the system, thus eliminating the need for regular fixes.

Another reason you may be considering replacing your central heating system is if you recently bought a new house equipped with electric storage or solid fuel fire central heating system.  Being used to modern heating systems, you are probably not too satisfied with the performance of these old systems. As such, you are considering replacing it with an up-to-date central heating system.

Your old heating system might also be having a massive boiler that takes up space. And as we know, most old machines are noisy. So you are probably considering replacing it with a modern boiler that is both smaller and less noisy.

Lastly, you may consider replacing your old and worn central heating system with a modern one due to efficiency issues.  Given that old boiler models have a 60-70% efficiency, installing a modern central heating system will improve the efficiency to more than 92%.

The high efficiency of the new central heating system will mean less fuel consumption for your heating needs.  It also means that you only lose 8p for every £1 you spend heating your home. Therefore, the new system will be saving you hundreds of pounds in heating bills every year.

What is the cost of replacing a central heating system?

Now that you know that replacing the central heating system of your 3-bedroom house will cost you anywhere between £3,000 and £4,000, you want to see the breakdown of cost.

For practicality, we assume that you hire two heating engineers, on a combined £400 per day. On the side of materials, assuming it is a system overhaul, you will need:

  • A new boiler
  • Nine radiators
  • A water tank
  • New pipework
  • Miscellaneous parts

Here is how your total cost breakdown will look.

Parts supply and installation Potential cost
New boiler £900-£1,400
9 radiators £1,000-£1,200
Water tank £150-£200
New pipework £800-£1,000
Miscellaneous parts and labour £150-£200
Total cost £3,000-£4,000

 What to consider when replacing your central heating?

Well, the actual cost of replacing your central heating system will be unique to you. Some of the factors that will go into determining the final cost of the central heating include:

  • The fuel and type of boiler
  • The boiler model and manufacturer
  • The boiler size
  • Number of radiators
  • Pipework and associated costs
  • Central heating control costs
  • Hot water tank and related costs

The fuel and type of boiler

Before setting out to replace your central heating system, you have to decide on the fuel type your boiler will use. With natural gas being the most common fuel for boilers in the UK, it will probably be your top choice. However, if you are among the 15% of UK households not connected to the gas grid, you must consider alternative sources.

Your main alternatives would be oil and liquefied petroleum gas, both of which you can purchase and store in your home. An electric boiler can also be a viable alternative if you live in a small home having less than ten radiators.

The price of a boiler depends on its fuel type. And this price will reflect on the final cost of replacing your central heating system. For instance, an oil boiler is more expensive to buy compared to gas and electric boilers. So if you are going for a gas boiler in the new central heating system, the replacement cost would be slightly higher.

Also, the cost of the boiler will depend on the boiler type. A combi boiler will typically cost between £500 and £2,000. On the other hand, a system boiler will cost between £500 and £2,500, while a regular boiler will cost around £500 to £2,750.

The boiler model and manufacturer

The UK boiler market has several manufacturers, some considered high-end, while others are considered budget-friendly.  The top three boiler brands currently dominating the market are Worcester Bosch, Viessmann, and Vaillant.

Here is the estimated cost of purchasing a leading boiler range from these manufacturers.

Boiler Manufacturer Combi Boiler Prices System Boiler Prices Regular Boiler Prices
Worcester Bosch £777-£2,772 £971-£3,837 £814-£2,369
Viessmann £865-£2,975 £995-£1,480 £845-£1,200
Vaillant £907-£1,703 £894-£2,700 £792-£1,533

The boiler size

Boiler size reflects the amount of power the boiler can deliver. In other words, boiler size is a measure of the boiler’s output rating measured in kilowatts.  You would want to go with a boiler size that meets your home’s heating demands.

The boiler price is directly proportional to its output rating, meaning if you are going after a boiler with a bigger boiler size, you will pay more.

Consult a qualified heating engineer to accurately determine the boiler size that will meet your home’s heating and hot water demands.

Number of radiators

The cost of installing the new radiators comprises the purchasing and installation costs. The labour cost of installing the radiators will depend on the style and number of radiators involved. And the higher the number of radiators, the higher the labour cost.

Pipework and associated costs

The cost of pipework during the central heating system replacement process will depend on the size of the property.  As earlier stated, it will cost you between £800 and £1,000 to replace the pipework in a three-bedroom house. So logically, when the property is bigger, you’ll be paying more. Similarly, when replacing the central heating system of a two-bedroom house, expect to pay less than the stated figure.

Also, you have to carry out repairs plus serious cleaning after laying the new pipework is complete. Why? The process is disruptive and involves the plumber lifting carpets, floorboards, and even knocking holes on the wall.  At the end of the installation, the house will be in a mess, and you’ll have to do re-plastering and some decorations to return the house to its former condition.

Central heating control costs

To achieve maximum efficiency from your newly installed central heating system, you would want to install room thermostats that will help you regulate temperatures in your home. You can either opt to install thermostats with dials or go for programmable room thermostats.

On the other hand, if you want to ride the technology wave and explore unprecedented levels of control over your central heating system, you can opt to install smart thermostats. This way, you will be able to control heating via your mobile phone from wherever you are. Some models will also give you the option of adjusting temperatures for different rooms or floors in your home.

You can also install wireless sensors on your windows and doors that will detect when they are open. Once these sensors detect that the window or door is open, they will turn off the central heating system to prevent unnecessary heating.

Another form of central heating control you can implement on your new central heating system is radiator valves. These valves will regulate the temperatures of individual radiators in your home. There are currently three types of radiator valves; manual, thermostatic, and smart.

Although manual radiator valves are cheap and easy to use, they only offer basic control.  Smart radiator valves are installed alongside smart thermostats and provide greater control. However, they are more expensive. Thermostatic radiator valves, on the other hand, offer both of the two worlds. That is control and budget-friendliness.

In summary, here is how much installing the above heating controls is expected to cost you.

Heating Controls Potential Costs
Room thermostat with a dial £10-£40
Digital programmable room thermostat £40-£70
Smart thermostat £100-£250
Wireless sensors £30 (per sensor)
Manual radiator valves £5-£35
Thermostatic radiator valves £10-£120 (per valve)
Smart radiator valves £100-£200

Hot water tank and associated cost

Whether or not you will need a water tank for your replacement central heating system depends on the type of boiler you choose. If the new replacement system uses a system or regular boiler, you will need to buy a hot water cylinder costing around £200. And assuming you purchase a 1m x1m x 1m tank that’ll weigh over 1 tonne when full of water, you can’t put it on the loft as it is too heavy.

So you have to reinforce the load-bearing beams, install new pipework, and pay for the installation costs. In the end, you will have spent another £500, taking the cost of fitting in the new boiler to around £700.

On the other hand, if you opt to install a combi boiler, you won’t need a water storage tank, meaning you’ll strike off the £700 or so off your total cost.

How long does it take to install a new central heating system?

Of course, the heating system installation process will disrupt your schedule. The question is, how disruptive will it be? If we are talking about the number of days that installing the replacement system will take, we are looking at 3 to 5 days. And that is if two heating engineers are working on the job.

It would be best that you are not home during the replacement lest you get in the way of the engineers. Otherwise, the replacement job would potentially take more time than when done on an empty house.

Additionally, it is advisable to carry out the central heating replacement during the summer. The reason is simple. By the time winter kicks in, your central heating system will be ready and firing away, keeping you and your family warm during the chilly days.

If, you decide to do the replacement during winter, be prepared to suffer 3 to five days of the chilly indoor environment when the process will be underway. Moreover, you may end up paying higher labour rates since some heating engineers may hike their rates to profit from the massive demand.

How do I find a good central heating installer?

Now that you know the rough estimate of how much it will cost you to replace your central heating system, the next question in your mind is how to find the best heating installer for the job.

Regardless of the type of central heating system you want as the replacement, you would like the job to be done by a certified professional. So if you are installing a gas central heating system, you would want the installer registered with Gas Safe. Similarly, if it is an oil central heating system, the installer would ideally be a member of OFTEC. The same goes for an electric central heating system since the installer should have experience fitting electric boilers.

Naturally, you would want a central heating installer who will do an excellent job at an affordable price. So you would invite a potential installer to your property to assess the amount of work involved in the installation process. The installer will then work out the cost of the whole replacement process and give you a quote of how much the job will cost.

Of course, you wouldn’t know whether they are overcharging you or not. So the best thing to do would be to invite around three more central heating installers who have a checkable work history and listen to their quotes.

After comparing the different quotes, you can settle for the central heating installer that you feel can do an excellent job at minimum costs.

Finding the perfect central heating professional on your own is a tedious task. But lucky for you, this is our area of speciality.  By filling in a few details about the replacement work needed on our online form, we will match you with three of the best central heating installers in your area.

We will then share the job details with these reputable heating installers, and each one of them will contact you and provide you with a no-obligation free quote for the job. And just like that, all you have to do is accept the one you feel best comfortable with.

With us recommending the central heating installers, you have a guarantee of the following:

  • Free and no-obligation quotes which you can either choose to accept or reject
  • Chance to compare multiple quotes and save up to 40% in installation costs
  • Certified and vetted central heating installers, meaning nothing can go wrong during the replacement process
  • Local heating installers near you who have a good track record

Summary

Although the cost of replacing a central heating system is high, the benefits you’ll enjoy from the new central heating system are worth the investment.  Also, it is good to note that replacing a central heating system with a similar one will cost you less in terms of labour costs compared to having the heating engineer change the type of system.

Also, it would be more expensive to carry out replacements that require relocating the boiler, water tank, or copper pipework.

Lastly, the cost of replacing a central heating system is not a fixed value. Having read the article, you now understand why the question ‘how much does it cost to replace a central heating system?’ is considered a tricky one.

The cost can deviate from our estimates so you should never use them as the primary source of information as your plan to replace your central heating system. Instead, aim to get separate quotes from at least three different heating installers. From these quotes, you can then choose the one you feel best matches your replacement budget.

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