One of the most common questions that people ask is how much it costs to install central heating in a home. This is one question that doesn’t have a very straight forward answer. The cost of a central heating system is dependent on many different factors, with each individual factor influencing the cost, sometimes significantly.
Firstly, the most important question is whether you are looking to install a brand new central heating system in a home that has never had it before or are you replacing or upgrading the existing setup. Most homes (in the UK at least) have central heating installed, but occasionally you will find older homes or flats may not. This can also be a consideration if you are planning on renovating, converting, or building your own property, as adding central heating will add value to a property.
In these situations, there is a lot to consider and the overall expense can increase due to the number of different things that need to be purchased. Equally as important is the consideration of installation, which will involve a professional and qualified central heating engineer.
Alternatively, perhaps you already have a central heating system and are just looking to replace one part of it, such as the boiler. In these instances, if all the pipework and other items are already in place then the cost can be reduced dramatically. Perhaps you are looking to upgrade your system to a more modern style of heating. Again, some items will need to be replaced, whilst other items can be retained from the existing system. All these different aspects can influence the cost of the central heating system.
Some of the main factors that influence the cost of a central heating system are broken down as follows. Determining which ones apply to your own situation can help guide you in the process of replacing or installing central heating.
For example, the following types of products and equipment may be all, or partly required in a central heating system:
The type of boiler, whether that is a combi boiler (also known as a combination boiler), condensing boiler, electric boiler, system boiler (or on an older conventional boiler that requires a water storage tank) all vary in cost. Older boilers can be replaced, but often are upgraded to a more modern system. When it comes to boiler replacements, the type of fuel that the new boiler uses can also have an influence on the cost of the boiler. In addition to the different boiler types, the size of your home or building is also a major factor in terms of the boiler cost. For instance, a small flat does not require the same-sized boiler as a five-bedroom home. This is why it is hard to estimate boiler installation costs without understanding all the different factors involved.
These are the radiators or even the underfloor heating, that supplies heat to individual rooms and locations around the building. Sometimes these are already installed and can be re-used, but on a new build, this is another factor that will significantly influence the cost of the heating system. Radiators will also need to factor in things like valves into the cost of the device too. Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) cost more than standard valves but are worth it in the long run. However, this does add to the initial cost too. Not only do the number of radiators have an obvious impact on the total cost, but adding additional new radiators to a central heating system may also impact the cost of the too, since a larger capacity system may be required.
This can cover water tanks, pumps, valves and all the other items that a central heating system needs to work correctly. Some boilers will require certain items, whilst others will require other items for correct functionality.
Again, if this is installed then this can normally be re-used, but if new pipework is required then the purchase and fitting can be expensive - especially if you’re looking to install the pipework under floors, or behind walls. This is another factor that should be considered.
A thermostat is the most obvious option. On Mr Central Heating we sell a huge range of simple to smart thermostats for a variety of budgets. For those who like modern-technology, Smart Home systems offer excellent control over the heating system, learning from you and needing little interference. Whether you want to upgrade the technology in your home as well as the boiler is another consideration. It is estimated that this year alone 45 million smart devices were installed in homes, so it's definitely the way to go.
Finally, one of the most expensive parts of a central heating system is the actual installation. Those that are handy at DIY may be able install radiators and pipework easily enough, but the central heating boiler system must be installed by a certified professional. In some cases, in the UK it is also worth checking whether planning permission is required (listing buildings, for example) which can lead to an added expense. Replacing a boiler with a similar system will require smaller installation costs when compared to having to change the type, or worst case to relocate it within a building.
When all the factors related to the cost of installing central heating are considered, it is clear it's really not a simple question. The best recommendation we can offer is if you are looking to find out the cost of either a new system or replacing an older system is to get a quote from a reputable company. We suggest discussing your requirements with a professional and then obtaining at least three quotes from three different companies to see what they offer. Ensure they provide you with a full breakdown of what is included in the installation and the cost and with this information to hand you can then work from there, in terms of overall cost and value.