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How Disruptive Is Installing Central Heating?


Several factors dictate how disruptive the process can be. For example, installing a new central heating system for the first time will be more disruptive than replacing an old one. Additionally, we also have other factors like size and system complexity.

It’s no easy task. The only way you can ensure the process is smoothly done is by hiring a certified engineer. Never attempt to install a heating system alone. The process is risky and sacred. One little mistake can have dire consequences.

How long does it take to install central heating?

Time is the most valuable resource.

Yes. Installing central heating will consume some of your time. To help you prepare, below are different installation circumstances and their expected timelines.

Depending on your circumstance, it will take anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks. Once again, size and complexity will heavily dictate the timeline.

Below is a simple breakdown of the central heating installation process:

  • Boiler fitting or replacement. The installers will determine the best place to fit your boiler.
  • Establishing the heat distribution system throughout the house. In this case, we’re referring to radiators and underfloor heating.
  • It’s responsible for connecting the heat distribution components with the central heating unit (Usually a boiler).
  • The heating controls. We’re talking about thermostats and other devices that allow you to operate the system.
  • Test runs. Finally, the engineers will run your system a couple of times and make sure everything works as it’s supposed to.

How many engineers are needed?

It will depend on the installation company. On average, expect around 2 to 3 engineers.

Installing a new central heating system for the first time

By far the most labour intensive and time-consuming installation. For the average household, it will take around 4 days.

First, you’ll have to book an appointment with an installation company and have them survey your property. They will then advise you on the best system that suits your household’s heating requirements.

Pipework and connection establishment will then eat a sizable chunk of the remaining time. They’ll have to lift carpets and flooring.

Finally, the installers will fit the radiators, thermostats, then take the entire system through a couple of test runs to ensure everything is in good working order.

Replacing or upgrading your central heating system

Replacements and upgrades are relatively easier and less time-intensive than installing a brand new system for the first time. Generally, it will take around 2 to 3 days to complete. The process is greatly simplified since the groundwork is already there.

Nonetheless, you have to be careful with system replacements and upgrades. If you plan on replacing your old system with a new one of the same model, it’s always a good idea to have your engineer check if other components need replacing. Most people make the mistake of only replacing or upgrading their boilers.

It can be frustrating. If other components are old or in bad condition, they can drag down or even spoil a new boiler.

Note: The boiler type also determines the disruptive levels of installing a central heating system.

Combi boiler systems are the easiest to install. They don’t require tanks or cylinders.

System boilers are fairly easy to install. However, you’ll have to set aside some space for the hot water cylinder.

Regular boilers are the hardest to install. In addition to the hot water cylinder, you’ll also need a cold water tank. Remember, all these vessels will occupy space in your home.

When to install central heating?

Indeed, there is a time and place for everything. Ideally, you’ll want to install your central heating system when you least need it. We advise you to initiate the procedure during the Summer months since it’s less likely you’ll need the heat during the steamy season. It will not affect your comfort levels.

Additionally, heating engineers are usually less busy during the summer and can complete the installation in good time. Do it right, and you might even save some money in the process. Yes. Central heating installations are cheaper during the Summer season.

The Winter season is the worst for central heating installation. Not only is there more demand for engineers, but also going without heat for long periods is unhealthy and uncomfortable. Without a central heating system, you’ll have to rely on electric heaters. They will add to the costs.

Another great time to schedule the installation of the new central heating system is when you are on holiday. As you will be away from your property, you won’t have to suffer from the disruption. You will also be giving the heating engineers the freedom to go about their tasks without the hindrance you’d have caused if you were home.

Who to install your new central heating system?

Once again, we’re reminding you to never install the central heating system without help from certified professionals known as heating engineers.

In case you didn’t know, there are different types of heating engineers. The type of system you wish to install will determine who to call.

Gas boilers are currently the most popular in the UK. For central heating systems with gas boilers, you should hire certified Gas Safe engineers. They are the only professionals qualified to handle all gas boiler repairs and installations.

For oil boilers, you should seek OFTEC technicians.

Finally, we understand that some wish to install renewable heating systems. In this scenario, we’re referring to central heating systems with heat pumps, biomass boilers, and solar thermal panels. Look for installers certified and registered with the Micro-generation Certification Scheme.

How to keep the disruption to a minimum

Yes. Central heating is disruptive. Nonetheless, there is still a lot you can do to maintain your comfort levels. Below are some of the things you can do to limit the disruption:

  • Electric heaters are almost a must if you plan on installing your central heating system during the Winter season.
  • Unfortunately, they can’t install a central heating system while the main water supply is on. Therefore, you’ll have to secure vessels that will stock the house with liquids for domestic use.
  • No gas cookers, for now. This is especially true if you plan to install a gas boiler. The engineers will have to turn off the gas supply as they incorporate the heating system. You, on the other hand, will have to plan your meals accordingly. You might want to consider electric stoves and cookers as the best alternatives.
  • Properly store your valuables. Specifically, you want to keep them away from the working area to prevent damage.
  • Speaking of damage, before you leave the rooms, cover all carpets and furniture with sheets. Fortunately, some installers can do this for you. They even come with their sheets and offer their electric heaters for the winter season.

What happens during the installation of new central heating?

To understand how big of a disruption installing new central heating is, we must first look at what actions are involved during the process. Although the volume of work varies from one job to another, here is the standard procedure the heating engineer will follow while installing a new central heating system.

  • The old boiler is removed and replaced by a more efficient model.
  • Construction of a new heat distribution system (either radiators or underfloor heating) through the suitable locations in your home.
  • Pipework is laid to connect all the radiators to the boiler.
  • Once all the radiators are in place, the installation of heating controls is done throughout the house.
  • The system is then filled with water, and the new boiler is fired up for the first time.
  • The engineer checks water flow and temperature before making any adjustments to increase system effectiveness and efficiency.

Is a new central heating system worth the distraction?

Yes. It’s worth the distraction. Installing or upgrading to a new central heating system opens a world of possibilities. Trust us. It will greatly improve your home’s comfort levels and save you money.

Save money

A little bit of money on the side will always come in handy. Modern central heating systems come with new technology that makes them more efficient. For example, the newer Combi boilers come with efficiency levels of up to 98%! Do it right, and you can even save up to £310 annually.

More convenience

You must have heard of them—Smart thermostats. Not only do they sound cool, but they can also save you lots of money if you use them correctly. With the help of AI, some thermostats can even learn and simulate your daily heating routines. They will automatically shut down when you do not require heating. We know it sounds simple, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Nowadays, most thermostats come with internet wireless functionality. Not only can you turn off the heater when you’re leaving the house, but you can also turn it on when you’re heading back. That way, you’ll not be welcomed by a chilly house.

New warranty

Boiler warranties are crucial. In the specified time, the manufacturer will cover the costs for repair should anything go wrong. Generally, most manufacturers offer between 5 to 10 years of warranty. With a new central heating system, you’ll not live in fear of system breakdowns.

Increased reliability

All boilers age with time. The older they get, the more repairs they demand. Unfortunately, they also lose some of their efficiency as a result of wearing out and sludge buildup. Not only do new and modern systems come with better technology, but you’ll also be at peace knowing years will pass before they crash.

Better control

With the advancement in central heating technology, you can now control your heating system like never before. You enjoy great features such as the TRVs – which allow you to control radiators individually, and smart thermostats that can automatically adapt to your heating routine.

Quieter heating mode

Going home to a noisy central heating system isn’t something to look forward to. But luckily, with the installation of a Quite Mark accredited unit, a loud central heating system will be a thing of the past.


Central heating installation is disruptive. The level of “disruptiveness” will vary depending on the size of the system and complexity. On average, as far as time is concerned, installing a new system will take anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks.

That said, there is still a lot you can do to significantly limit how much it will disrupt your daily life.

To get an estimate on how much new central heating would cost, check out our article on central heating installation cost.

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