Helping UK homeowners save money on their heating

Central Heating Costs

Central Heating Costs

The cost of central heating typically falls between £3,000 and £4,000. However, prices will vary greatly depending on the size of your home, type of boiler and the rates charged by the installer.

So, let us give you a helping hand in working out the potential cost of a new central heating system for your home.

How much do central heating systems cost?

Most central heating systems are installed for between £3,000 and £4,000. If you live in a large property and plan to replace the entire central heating system then costs will soon rise above the £4,000 mark.

So, what exactly is it that you’re paying for when having central heating installed?

  • A new boiler
  • Radiators
  • Pipework
  • Heating controls
  • A trained installer to install the heating system (installer rates are likely to be between £100 and £200 per day but this could rise depending on the complexity of the installation)

The type of boiler being installed to suit the heating demands of your home (combi, system or regular) may also require the installation of a hot water cylinder and feed and expansion tank too.

Let’s breakdown the central heating costs of a 3 bedroom house.

Central Heating System Part Potential Cost
System boiler (plus installation) £900 – £1,400
9 radiators (plus installation) £1,000 – £1,200
Water tank (plus installation) £150 – £200
Pipework (plus installation) £800 – £1,000
Other parts & labour £150 – £200
Total cost £3,000 – £4,000

Boiler prices

The price of a new boiler (before installation) can range from £450 up to around £4,500. Boiler prices vary depending on a number of things including the manufacturer, model, fuel and boiler type.

Installing the right type of boiler for the heating and hot water demands of your home is vital. If your existing boiler has been able to meet demand effectively then a direct replacement may be all that’s needed.

However, if demand for heating and hot water has increased (more people are living in your property or you’ve had an extension since your last boiler was installed) then a different boiler type may be needed. Likewise, if fewer people live in your property now.

When it comes to boiler types, your options include combi, regular (heat-only) and system boilers. All three of these boilers work in very different ways and suit different types of properties.

Combi boilers

The combi is a modern cost effective and compact heating system. Everything a combi needs to provide heating and hot water is wrapped up into the boiler itself – removing the need for any additional tanks or cylinders.

This makes them a great option for properties where space is limited but does limit the amount of domestic hot water they can provide. For this reason, a combi isn’t the best option for larger homes with 2 or more bathrooms.


Heat-only boilers are the oldest boiler type and are typically found in more traditional homes built in the 1960s and 70s. In addition to the boiler itself, a hot water cylinder and feed and expansion tanks also need to be installed. This makes heat-only boilers the largest heating system in terms of how much space they take up.

A heat-only boiler should only really be considered as a direct replacement if you already have one installed in your property.

System boilers

A system boiler is a modern take on the heat-only boiler. They need to be installed alongside a hot water cylinder but there’s no need for any additional tanks as they take water directly from the mains.

Combi boilers are often the most affordable while heat-only boiler prices can stretch the furthest.

Type of Boiler Average Cost (Without Installation)
Combi £500 – £2,000
Heat-Only £500 – £2,750
System £500 – £2,500

These boiler prices are based on gas boilers – the most common fuel for boilers in the UK. If your property isn’t connected to the gas network then an oil or LPG boiler will be needed.

Alternatives to a boiler

A boiler isn’t the only option when replacing your central heating system. Instead, you could have a renewable heating system, such as a heat pump installed.

Renewable heating systems extract heat from sustainable sources – such as the air or ground – which means they don’t burn fossil fuels. This will reduce your heating costs as you won’t need to pay for gas, oil or LPG. By not burning fossil fuels, they don’t emit carbon into the atmosphere (a leading cause of climate change). So, you’ll be saving on your heating bills and shrinking your carbon footprint.

While there are many benefits to installing a heat pump, they will increase the cost of central heating. This is because they’re currently expensive to have installed in comparison to a boiler.

Renewable heating system Potential cost
Air source heat pump £4,000 – £11,000
Ground source heat pump £8,000 – £18,000

Find out more about air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps.

Central heating costs: Radiators & pipework

Radiators are an essential part of a new central heating system. You may want to remove radiators, replace them or have completely new ones fitted.

Type of radiator work Potential cost
Remove £80 – £120
Replace £150 – £250
New location £250 – £350

As an alternative to radiators, you may want to consider underfloor heating. This is a particularly good idea if you’re having a heat pump installed.

Then there’s the pipework. Central heating pipes transport hot liquid from the boiler to the radiator as well as domestic hot water to hot water outlets (and the hot water cylinder if one is installed). Should you be replacing your existing boiler with a different type (combi with a system, for example) then the existing pipework will need to be replaced. Additionally, very old or broken pipes will need to be replaced.

Many new central heating system can be installed without new pipework. However, it’s something to keep in mind when considering central heating costs.

Find out How to Get the Best Radiators for Your Home.

Central heating costs: Heating controls

Heating controls are a worthwhile investment as they will allow you to get the most out of your new central heating system. And there’s no shortage of options.

A smart thermostat could give you more control over your heating than you’ve ever experienced. This is good for a number of reasons, in particular helping to lower your heating bills.

Smart thermostats allow you to take control of the heating from your phone (even when you’re out and about) and can even learn your heating habits. Plus, geolocation technology means the thermostat will know if you’re heating an empty home and turn the heating off to save you money.

As well as a smart thermostat, you should consider Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) too. These aren’t in direct communication with the boiler but will help keep the room at your desired temperature. They’re found on individual radiators and allow you to set the temperature so you’ll need one per radiator if desired. Smart TRVs are now available which allow you to control individual radiators from a smartphone.

By investing in heating controls, smart heating controls in particular, you could benefit from:

  • Reduced energy bills
  • Smaller carbon footprint
  • The ability to only heat rooms that need warming at that point in time rather than the entire property
  • Set the heating to automatically come on when you need it

Compare the Best Smart Thermostats.

A new central heating system could save you money

We’ve discussed central heating prices in terms of the upfront installation but there are long term costs to consider too.

A new central heating system will be far more efficient and effective at heating your home. And this could help your heating bills to go down. Plus, a new central heating system will be far more reliable, greatly reducing the risk of any repairs being needed.

So, while a new central heating system can be a significant investment, it’s very much worthwhile.

Additional central heating costs

There may be other costs to consider when replacing your heating system. For example, it’s a very good idea to carry out additional services like a Powerflush or chemical cleaning when changing a heating system which can add amounts of between £200 – £500.

Keep central heating costs to a minimum

As there are so many variables that can affect the cost of central heating, we highly recommend comparing quotes. Getting quotes from at least 3 central heating installers, will increase your chances of finding the most competitive price.

With Boiler Guide, you can get free quotes from up to 3 local installers. All you have to do is complete a simple online form – which should only take a few moments.

Get FREE Central Heating Quotes Now

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