How much does it cost to install central heating?

cost to install central heating
Credit: Worcester Bosch

Generally speaking it will usually cost anywhere between £2,300 to £4,500 to install central heating.

This covers the costs of the central heating system itself, and the installation costs.

  • Variations due to the type of central heating system (£550-£4,500)
  • Alternative estimation (£500+ per room)
  • Optional central heating tools (£125-£279 per room)

All of this we cover below, alongside:

  • Saving on energy costs by using gas
  • Alternative central heating system installation costs

Cost to install central heating systems – £550 to £4,500

A central heating system consists of central heating units, combined with several heat outlets.

Simply put, this would usually mean a boiler, radiators and any additional water storage units.

With newer boiler technology, this could also be renewable heating as well. 

The system you have, and the system you want to go for, can vary the costs considerably.

Central heating systems fall into the three following categories: 

  1. Conventional central heating: £550-£4,500
  2. Combi boiler systems: £850-£1,800
  3. System boilers: £600-£3,500

1. Conventional central heating – cost of £550-£4,500

This is a regular heating system that includes a boiler and a storage cylinder for hot water.

The storage cylinder is usually situated in the attic.

If you’re just replacing the boiler unit, or the storage cylinder, it could be very cheap – as little as £550.

However, if you’re needing to replace both of these units with top-of-the-range modern upgrades, plus you have a lot of pipework that needs fixing (the cost for which could be further increased if your attic is far away from the boiler itself) then the cost could skyrocket to around £4,500.

This should include a significant labour cost.

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2. Combi boiler systems – cost of £850-£1,800

These are the most recent heating type and are seeing rapid growth in popularity.

This is due to its compact sizing, efficiency and strong water pressure as it takes water from the mains. 

All of the heating is done within the boiler unit on demand.

This means replacing or upgrading your combi boiler system is generally a much cheaper and easier job than upgrading a conventional central heating system.

They can cost more to upgrade on the lower-end of the cost scale however, as the basic boiler unit is more expensive (as it does two jobs instead of one like a system or conventional boiler unit).

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3. System/high-pressure boilers – cost of £600-£3,500

These systems also use water from the mains.

This can be a high supply of water maintained at good pressure. 

The difference from the combi boiler; the water is heated via a water cylinder, as opposed to through the boiler.

There is a need for space to house the hot water cylinder, though usually, this is compact enough to fit in an airing cupboard.

This need for an additional unit, beyond just a combi boiler unit, can mean costs are much higher due to materials and labour.

It’s usually not as expensive as the most complex conventional central heating system upgrades however.

Here at HomeSage, we’d always recommend a combi boiler.

They are much more energy efficient, and usually cheaper to install and maintain.

Fill in the form below to get a quote on installing a new combi boiler – you could save up to 54%!

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Alternative rough guide –  £500+ per room

We can give you an overall estimate of a cost of around £500+ per room.

This can vary based on the kind of system you’re installing, as explained above, but the below should give you a rough guide.

Aside from the cost of the heating system itself, we also need to consider:

  • Labour costs.
  • Heating controls.
  • Quantity and size of new radiators.

As far as a rough guide goes, have a look at this one:

Size of PropertyNumber of RadiatorsBoiler SizeTotal Cost
1 Bed Bungalow 524kW£2,300
2 Bed House624kW£3,000
3 Bed House928kW£3,500
4 Bed House1033kW£4,000
5 Bed House1233kW£4,500

To install central heating into an average 3 bedroom house will be set to cost you around £3,235-£4,200.

This would be assuming the house has no heating system.

This estimate is based on a three to a five-day job. 

How much it costs to install central heating obviously will vary widely from installers to current home factors.

You will almost certainly find that a big name like British Gas is significantly more expensive than a local firm.

Any reputable company or engineer should be able to make a plan for the right system to install.

London and the South-East of England will likely have higher prices. 

Looking at some average figures from Home Guides, here are costs to install central heating for varying factors.

This is assuming the house is again three bedrooms.

Labour £300-£500
Water Tank£200-£300
Radiators (9 for this)£1200-£1600
New Boiler £950-£2000

Central Heating Tools – £125 to £279

There are a wide range of compatible house heating tools.

Room thermostats, thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) and wireless sensors are all options.

These will affect how much it costs to install central heating.

As the table shows, the larger the property (the more rooms), the more expensive the overall cost.

For better energy efficiency, you will need zoning heating controls.

The controls allow you to separate your house into different heating zones.

In essence, heating controls can allow you to treat each floor as a different area.

This is so you can heat different parts of the house across the day at certain times.

This can be used for several different purposes. For instance, if someone is away, you can turn off the heating to their room/floor until they’re back. 

These will also allow you to effectively track your heating usage.

In turn, this helps you measure your bills.

Some heating systems can be connected to a mobile phone as well. An application can help you control the heating from a remote location if necessary. 

There are several different brands of smart heating tools. The price of these range between £125-£279 per room. The installation time is usually two hours per room.

Get a quote from one of our Gas Safe Registered local installers – they can give you plenty of advice on the best central heating tools for your needs!

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Gas heating – save £200-£800 per year

Although popular, electric heating is far from efficient.

The cost of electric heating can be up to three or four times more, per unit, than gas. 

According to The Green Age, you could save anywhere from £200 to £800 a year by switching to gas.

So not only would you increase your efficiency, but it would also be much more cost-effective. 

Combining a gas heating system alongside new controls, you will be in possession of the most efficient heating system possible!

Furthermore, a gas connected household will increase in market value. The overall price could increase by around 5.4%.

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Central Heating Alternatives 

Heat Pump – £10,000+

If you live in a household which can’t connect to the gas grid, consider this as an option.

A ground source heat pump can be expensive but is the most efficient alternative to electric heating. 

According to the Energy Saving Trust, there are many benefits to getting one.

These include lower bills, minimal maintenance and lower carbon emissions.

However, a typical investment can go over £10,000. This will reduce monthly outgoings, but should only be considered in the long term!

Infrared Panels – £120-£200

As opposed to circulating heated air from a radiator like standard heating, these are a little different.

They emit infrared which once upon hitting a solid object is absorbed. 

It is very much part of the renewable energy movement picking up momentum.

This also will use much less electricity to heat an entire house.

The cost of a single infrared heater is usually somewhere from £120 to £200. This will depend on the power and size.

Storage Heating System – £100-£400

These work by heating up overnight bricks capable of storing a lot of heat.

During the course of the next day, this heat is gradually released into your home. 

You can control how much electricity is used and how much heat is released at once.

Modern models also come with fans which will disperse the heat much better. They are older than the other options mentioned here.

Only consider upgrading a current model rather than investing entirely into a new one. 

They often cost from around £100 up to £400.

Get in touch

We hope you found this article on how much it can cost to install central heating helpful.

Feel free to check out the rest of our blog which contains all the latest and most important info on boilers and installation!

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Archie Everard

Archie is a content writer at Homesage, who has enjoyed freelance writing before and after his time at Oxford Brookes. Obviously he loves boilers most of all, but also enjoys reading, football and going to the pub!