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Heating

Central Heating Installation Cost: Our Complete Guide (2020 Edition)

If you are wondering how much it will cost to install a central heating system into your home, this is the guide for you. We will explain all of the costly elements and give you some top tips on how to keep expenditure to a minimum. We will also show you where you can get a brand new boiler for the lowest possible price and save money on the installation too.

Installing a new central heating system into your home is not going to be cheap. Both the hardware you will need to buy and the costs of getting a trained professional to install it for you will add up to a fairly substantial sum.

But that doesn’t mean that you can’t shave a sizable chunk of the possible costs off if you do your research and plan in advance. This guide is the perfect place to start.

In the following sections, we will outline what types of heating system you can choose from, explain where to look for the best possible quotes, offer some top tips on reducing costs and much more.

Our expert panel of central heating engineers have all contributed their thoughts and experiences to help make this the definitive central heating installation cost guide.

How Much Does Central Heating Installation Cost?

If you charge out today and look to get a new central heating system installed in your home, you can expect to spend anything between £4,000 and £6,000 in total. That price will include a brand-new gas combi boiler, copper pipework around your property, and basic new radiators being installed by a gas-safe qualified engineer.

If you want to buy high-end products, it is possible to get this figure well over £10,000.

If you want to reduce the amount you are spending, it is not quite so easy. But it is possible if you know where to look. In this guide, we will show you some of the ways our experts know of to reduce outlay.

Where To Get Heating Installation Quotes

There are lots of different companies out there that will offer to sell you a new central heating system and come round to install it for you.

There are three main different types of installation companies you can approach and it is well-worth approaching at least one of each type to enable you to compare costs:

  • National installation companies – These companies operate nationwide and you have probably seen them advertise on TV or in the national press. They usually have their own installers and will offer you finance deals or payment on completion.
  • Local Installation firms – These smaller local companies or sole traders will only operate in your part of the world. They will offer to buy and install everything you need for a one-off fee. Some may offer finance deals but most will be looking for payment on completion.
  • Online Installation firms – These more recent additions to the boiler installation market only operate online but have networks of installers located across the UK. Sites like WARMZILLA are able to offer discount prices on the best boilers and can usually save you money on installation costs too.

We always advise you to get quotes yourself, but experience means we can already be pretty sure where you will find the best deals.

National installation companies have high overheads and will usually cost the most. Local installers will be cheaper but you are still likely to pay more than you would with an online installer.

Sites like WARMZILLA offer the best of both worlds. They have low overheads but can also negotiate the best prices with manufacturers. These discounts are more easily passed onto their customers and therefore their prices are consistently lower.

You can get a fixed-price quote with WARMZILLA in just a couple of minutes. It’s well worth doing if you want to see just how much you can save.

Should you choose Electric, Oil, or Gas Central Heating?

Most people in the UK will be using gas for their central heating. If you live on-grid, it is the cheapest and simplest way to run your central heating.

If you live somewhere without a mains gas connection, you have three options.

Oil-powered boilers are a popular option. They cost a little bit more than a gas boiler to buy and your energy bills are dependent on the global oil price. But they are generally the next most cost-effective option.

Electric-powered boilers are cheaper to install, run silently, and are better for the environment. But they will cost between twice and three times as much to run as a gas-powered boiler because the cost of electricity is a lot higher than that of gas.

The other option is an environmentally-friendly option such as air-source or ground-source heating systems. These cost a lot more to install but will reduce your energy bills once they are in place.

Why Do Central Heating Installation Costs Vary So Much?

At the top of this guide, we put a broad estimate of the cost of installing a new central heating system into your home at between £4,000 and £6,000.

But what factors will help you pull costs down below £4,000 and what could push them up over £6,000? There is one factor which can make all the difference:

Does Your Property Already Have Pipework?

One of the biggest costs of installing a new heating system from scratch is installing the new pipework. This is a laborious job that takes time and time costs money.

If your property already has pipework, this can make installing a new system a great deal easier.

If there are radiators or electric heaters in a property, the chances are there is pipework there. This will all have to be checked and bits might need replacing, but you won’t need to install all the pipes from scratch. You may even be able to use the existing radiators, although the advantage of brand-new radiators is that they are much more energy efficient.

If there is a gas or oil boiler installed, that means there is almost certainly pipework in the property too.

But if you have no radiators and no electric heaters, the chances are that a property doesn’t have pipework and you will have to meet the cost of installing it.

The Cost Of Installing Central Heating And A Combi Boiler

No Current Pipework In Home

If there is no pipework in your property, you will need to factor that in alongside a whole host of other cost-factors.

You will need a new boiler. The size of this boiler will dictate how much it will cost and the size you need will depend on how big your property is.

A low-end 24kw combi boiler could cost as little as £500 but this will be a poor bit of kit and only suitable for a small home. If you need a high-output 42kw combi boiler, this could set you back at least £1,500 or more for a basic model rising well over £2,000 for a high-end model. That’s all before the labour costs.

As an example, the price of buying a Worcester Bosch Greenstar boiler for a standard 3-4-bedroom property with 1 or 2 bathrooms and reasonable hot water demand will be around £1,200 – £1,500.

With the additional costs of new radiators, pipework, valves, and labour, you can expect to have to pay a total cost of £4,500-£5,000 + VAT.

Pipework Present

If you already have pipework in your property and it is in reasonable condition, you can expect that figure to drop quite significantly.

This means you will actually not need a whole new central heating system. You will need a new boiler and perhaps new radiators, plus a little maintenance of the existing pipework.

Using the same Worcester Bosch Greenstar boiler as an example (or any other high quality boiler brands) in a 3-4-bedroom property with 1-2 bathrooms and reasonable hot water demand, we can show exactly how much you can save.

If you buy your new boiler through WARMZILLA, you are likely to have to pay around £1,700. With the costs of new radiators and additional labour costs to install them plus maintain the existing pipework, you are likely to have to spend around £2,500 – £3,000 in total.

That means having the pipework in place should save you at least £1,500-£2,000.

What Does A Central Heating Installation Quote Include? 

We have already advised you to get quotes from national, local, and online installers and explained why prices can vary so much between them.

The standard advice is to get a minimum of three quotes. In truth, you can never get too many and the more quotes you have the better informed you are.

When you get a quote, don’t just automatically opt for the cheapest. You need to make sure you are choosing the right that covers everything you need doing and won’t come with any hidden extra costs.

Always ask for a written quotation that detailing everything that is included. This will tell you exactly what you are getting for your money and help you choose the best-value offer.

Things to look out for in your quote

Getting a boiler at a good price and agreeing on a fixed-rate labour cost is always good practice when fitting a new central heating system. But there are a few extras that some installers will include but others won’t. These will often be really helpful things that will help you save money in the long-run, so they are all well worth looking out for:

  • Magnetic System Filter with system inhibitor – this will protect your central heating system from debris from the system that can damage components.
  • Hot flush – This will clear any sludge out of your system that can block up your boiler and cause problems.
  • A scale reducer – to reduce the damage limescale can cause. This is vital if you live in a hard water area.
  • Controller – Make sure you are getting the control system you want to be installed as part of the price.
  • Labour warranty – make sure your labourer is qualified and will not invalidate your warranty.

How Does The Price Of New Central Heating Increase

No-one wants to pay more for a new central heating system, but as well as fitting new pipework from scratch, there are several other things that can drive up the costs of getting a system fitted. These are:

  • Moving the boiler to a new location
  • Moving radiators
  • Adding new pipework
  • Upgrading the connection to the gas main
  • Buying a high-end boiler
  • Changing the flue from horizontal to vertical (or vice versa). This will require your engineer drilling holes in walls and filling them in again.
  • Converting your system from a system boiler with a hot water cylinder to a combi boiler system.

Some of these additional costs may be necessary for your project. But if budget is your main priority and you can avoid all these things, you can keep costs as low as possible.

Accredited Central Heating Installers & Warranties

A lot of boilers will require you to use an accredited heating engineer to install and maintain them. Failure to do this can void their warranty. It is therefore vital that you ensure your chosen installer ticks all the right boxes.

You should also make sure your boiler has a long warranty. This is because the length of a boiler warranty is an indicator of how long the manufacturer is confident it will last.

The minimum boiler warranty length we recommend is five years. A lot of manufacturers like Worcester Bosch will offer as much a seven years warranty on their most popular products.

If you buy your boiler through WARMZILLA, they have a range of high-quality boilers at all price ranges with an exclusive ten year warranty offer. This is well worth having and a big pull-factor for WARMZILLA.

Summary

A new central heating system will cost you several thousand pounds come what may. But in this guide, we have shown you they can vary from £3,000 to £6,000 and how you can make sure your new system is at the lower end of that price bracket.

The key installation factor is pipework. If you need pipework installing, it is going to cost you a lot more than if you don’t.

We have also offered some advice on where to look for the lowest quotes and what the best quote should include. Sometimes, additional costs will be unavoidable, but we have also explained which things really add up on your final bill.

Have you recently had a new central heating system fitted? Which boiler did you opt for and where did you buy it from? Do you have any advice or tips for our readers we haven’t covered in this guide.

It is always helpful to hear about people’s real-life experiences, so please do share your thoughts and any question you may have with us using the comment box below.

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