Central Heating Installation Costs: Full Guide On What To Expect

Central Heating Installation Costs: Full Guide On What To Expect

Written by  John Davies
Last updated: January 16, 2024

If you just bought a home with an old heating system or you need to update it then your central heating is probably the first job on the list, if it isn’t, it should be!

If you are looking to change or replace the whole system, it isn’t too cheap. Buying a new boiler (by far the most expensive part), radiator, pipes as well as accounting for labour will cost you, so you need to have a good chunk of money saved.

Tip: With everything, you should be getting multiple quotes whenever you consider a big project.

How Much Does It Cost to Install a New Central Heating System?

The cost of installing central heating is £3,500 to £7,000, depending on the type and size of the system. We will explore how much each type and size of central heating costs later. For now, just know that £3,500-£7,000 should be enough to complete the installation.

That means it will cover the purchase and installation of every element, including the boilers, pipework, radiators, heating control and water tank (if needed). Most of the money will go to supply. The labour cost of installing central heating is just £300-£1500. Gas Safe registered engineers charge £200 to £300 daily, but they won’t do the job alone. They will probably work with a labourer who charges £100 to £150 daily.

Combi Boiler Heating System Cost

The most popular method.

Currently, combi boilers are the most popular since they are more efficient than many of the other options and are more affordable. If you choose a combi system, then you should expect to pay between £2,200 and £5,000, depending on a few things. Such as the spec of boiler you go for, or if you need the plumber to make good of the walls etc.

One thing that you should remember is that water may take some time to heat if you don’t have the tank. You will also experience less pressure if more than one tap is opened, but in most households, this really isn’t an issue. Unless you want to run 2 baths, and a shower whilst washing dishes at the same time, which if you are, then maybe it is, but I doubt it!

 Relatively straight forward to install (although you cannot and should never try this yourself, always a certified gas engineer), most jobs are completed within 1 week of starting.

Type of HouseNumber of RadiatorsTotal Cost
2-bed house6£3,000
3-bed house9£3,750
4-bed house10£4,300
5-bed house12£5,000

System Boiler Cost

The system option is by far the most expensive out of the three options that you have for your new installation since it is a bit more complicated. There are two types of system boilers, namely vented low pressure and the unvented high-pressure systems.

The vented low pressure is the cheaper and faster option, but it does require the use of a storage tank although this is the only extra that you may need. It is quicker to warm water using the system boiler as it goes through the system, to the radiators and hot water chamber resulting in you getting hot water faster.

The unvented system is pretty much the same, although there is no use of a storage tank; it uses a pressure relief gauge. The following are the expected costs for installing this system.

Type of HouseNumber of RadiatorsTotal Cost
2-bed house6£5,000
3-bed house9£5,750
4-bed house10£6,700
5-bed house12£7,000

Conventional Heating System Cost

It is also known as the regular heating system, but it is not as common since there are a few issues that make it less efficient. The big thing to note about this boiler is that it uses two tanks, one with cold water and the second one is the feed. It also needs a hot water chamber that holds a lot of hot water which is released from the feed.

One of the most significant disadvantages of this type of system is the fact that once the water in the storage chamber is finished, hot water doesn’t get released immediately. It takes up to an hour to heat up again, which can be a pain! There is also too much heat loss through the pipes and the hot water chamber so it can quickly skyrocket your bills. However, if you are considering getting this boiler, here are the estimated costs:

Type of HouseNumber of RadiatorsTotal Cost
2-bed house6£4,200
3-bed house9£4,800
4-bed house10£5,800
5-bed house12£6,000
radiator on wall

Factors That Affect the Cost of Installing a Central Heating System

Other than the most obvious reasons for a price increase such as brand, size, and location, there are a few other points you should consider before calculating the final cost. Some of them include:

Heating Controls

This is becoming less of an issue, you can get a smart thermostat now from around £150.

Ease of Installation

Is your house going to be a pain for the installer? Consider having a quick tidy up of the area before your plumber/gas engineer comes out to quote. Typically they will charge you more if you make their job difficult.

Type of Floors

It is always better to install the pipes under floorboards, but if you don’t have that choice, it may increase the price. If you have tiles or stone floors the cutting and removal may damage them, meaning that you may need to get replacements. Buying the required materials is one cost but also getting a mason to install will cost you some more. However, this option is better since it gives you a better-integrated system.

Editors Note: Make sure the pipes under floorboards are insulated, you don’t want a burst pipe in the winter.

Choice of Radiators

White pressed steel radiators are the most common option for most people as they are durable, affordable and look good. This is the type that the plumber will quote using unless you specify a different design/style.

If you want designer radiators that will obviously increase the price.

Choice of Contractor

It’s obvious different companies will give you different prices, but it isn’t always best to go with the cheapest option, this isn’t something you want ‘bodged’. But you should always be getting multiple quotes regardless.

Boiler Manufacturers Prices

This affects the cost of installing central heating systems because the boiler is the most expensive material in this project. We all want the best or most cost-efficient brand, so it always helps to see price comparisons. So, here are the prices of combi, conventional and system boilers from five manufacturers in the United Kingdom. 

Boiler brandCombi boiler costConventional boiler costSystem boiler cost
Worcester Bosch£750-£2,500£820-£2,400£990-£1,700

The Cost of Installing Central Heating Control Functions

Central heating systems need two main control elements. These are the thermometer and the radiator valve. However, you can also add a wireless sensor to improve energy efficiency. Each of these control elements comes in various ranges of sophistication and budget. So, your choices here will affect the cost of installing the central heating system. Let’s look at each control element individually.    

Heating control elementCost
Radiator valves£5-£120
Wireless sensor£20-£35


A thermostat allows you to measure and regulate temperature. The cheapest option is a manual thermostat that costs £10 to £40. However, other options like a smart thermostat (£70-£250 and a digital programmable thermostat (£70-£250) allow more control functions.  

Radiator valve

A radiator valve allows you to control heat production by controlling the rate at which water flows in and out of a radiator. Radiator valves also come in various budget ranges and sophistication. A manual radiator valve costs £5 to £35, while smart ones cost £50 to £200. There are also thermostatic radiator valves. They cost £5 to £120.

Wireless sensors

Wireless sensors automatically turn off the heating system when they sense that doors and windows are open. They cost £20 to £35. Once again, all these affect the cost of installing central heating. 

How Long Does It Take To Install Central Heating?

Central heating installation usually takes around 2 to 5 days. However, the project’s time frame depends on the type and size of the central heating system. So, sometimes, it could take weeks to install central heating.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair Central Heating?

It depends on the scale of the repair. However, compared to the cost of installing central heating, repair and replacement are significantly cheaper. In cases of boiler replacement, like-for-like replacements are cheaper than system changes.

Here is a table showing the cost of replacing every part of a central heating system. These estimates included both supply and labour costs.

Central heating replacement job typeCost
Water cylinder£600-1,400

How to Get the Most out of Your Heating System

A central heating system requires some care and good practices so that you can get the most out of it. There are some additional features you can add to improve efficiency or the ease of use. If you are planning on installing your system soon, these tips should help you.

Frequent Maintenance Checks

Many people do not believe in getting their system checked until they notice a problem or it stops functioning. This is quite dangerous for your home since you may end up staying a couple of days without heat which can be uncomfortable. Consult with your installer how long you should take to get maintenance, and he will recommend something based on the type of installation and your home. Find a reliable professional, preferably one that lives close to you who can have a look and make sure that everything is functioning optimally.

Update Your Thermostat

One of the biggest reasons why your home may not be warm enough, or you can’t attain the perfect temperature is the thermostat. If your thermostat is old or not functioning as it should, no matter how efficient your system is, you will always have a problem. Update your thermostat when you notice issues and consult your installer on the best thermostats to use with your central heating.

Check for Leaks In Your Home

If you can never maintain your room temperature and both the thermostat and heating is in perfect condition, you should check if heat is escaping. The goal is to heat inside your home, not outside, so if some of the warmth is escaping, you will end up with a cold house and expensive bills. Do frequent checks for cracks and spaces that may allow heat to escape and have them sealed permanently.

Check and Change the Filters and Bleed the Radiators

A filter problem can be a huge issue if not addressed on time, and that is why you should learn how to change the filters yourself. You may need to do this at least every three months, and it helps if you don’t need to pay someone for such a simple task. If your filters are clogged, they can reduce the quality of air in your home which can also spike an allergy problem.

Your heating system will overwork to compensate for the problem, which means that you should expect astronomical bills. If you have radiators, remember that you have to bleed them before you start using them in the new season. All you need to do is to open the valve until water starts coming out instead of air.

Address Problems Quickly

With your central heating, a small problem can soon turn into a huge one if you don’t check it as quickly as possible. If you start noticing some issues with the system such as unusual sounds, low temperatures or leaks, you should call an expert as soon as possible. Ignoring these issues will have you paying huge bills and having to replace parts that would have otherwise benefitted from an easy fix.


Installing a new central heating system can be quite costly but don’t opt for cheap materials and labour since you may regret it later. The good news is that getting funding for such a project is not too difficult as many manufacturers offer various payment options. You can also get bank financing to assist you so you can have an excellent system in place. Remember that all the quotes that you get from different suppliers should be all-inclusive. This not only helps you to plan adequately, but it protects you from any surprises by the installers.

Take your time in choosing the best option and get recommendations from people who have had similar work done in their homes. This shouldn’t be a rush project if you want quality central heating that won’t cause you problems as time goes by.

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