How Much Does it Cost to Install Central Heating in London?

A woman leaning on a radiator

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October 20, 2023

Central heating is the heart of the home, ensuring that each room is a comfortable and welcoming place to be. It doesn’t matter if you are moving into a new home or upgrading an existing heating system, you need to understand the costs involved.

Average Costs for Central Heating Installation in London

On average, you can expect to pay between £3,000 and £8000 to have a central heating system installed in the London area. The exact cost will depend on the source of fuel, the boiler location and the type of property that you have.

The average cost of installing an oil central heating system is around £6,100 and the average cost of a gas boiler system is around £5,200. The average cost of installing an electric boiler and central heating system is the lowest, at around £3,800.

New Boiler

One of the main components of a central heating system is the boiler, and a new boiler is likely to make up a significant part of the cost. You can expect to pay an average of £1,000 to £2,500 for a new boiler, and the exact amount will depend on the type of boiler you choose. There are two main boiler types; combi boilers and system boilers.

Combi Boilers

A combi boiler is a modern and innovative type of boiler, enabling you to have hot water on demand, without needing to install a hot water cylinder. The average cost of a combi boiler is between £500 and £2,000, not including the labour costs associated with installation.

They are most suitable for smaller homes, such as those with one to two bathrooms, and somewhat limited spate. Combi boilers are rarely used in larger homes, especially those with a lot of bathrooms.

System Boilers

A system boiler works by heating the central heating system directly, and then the hot water is stored in a hot water cylinder. There is a lot of pressure created by system boilers, which makes them a good choice for properties with two or more bathrooms. You can expect to pay between £500 and £2,500 for a system boiler, not including the cost of labour and installation.

Conventional Heating Systems

The average cost of a conventional heating system is between £500 and £2,750. This includes a new boiler, hot water cylinders and a loft water tank. This type of system uses gravity to flow water throughout the home, which provides heat and hot water. When not in use, a storage tank is used to store the cold water. Conventional heating systems are a good choice for homes that use a lot of hot water.

Radiators

When you are looking at the average cost of central heating installation, you need to factor in the cost of radiators. The number and type of radiators you need will affect the cost, as installing one radiator is a much quicker and simpler job, compared to installing a lot of pipework and radiators. For a standard, three bedroom house you should expect to pay an average of £3,000 to £3,500 for nine radiators.

This cost includes supply and installation and is based on an engineer charging approximately £200 per day for labour costs, with another £100 per day for an additional labourer. The cost will vary depending on the number of rooms, as a property with more rooms will require more radiators.

Hot Water Cylinders

If you choose a heating system that includes a conventional boiler or a system boiler, you will also need a hot water cylinder. A hot water cylinder is where water is stored and heated before being transferred around the house for use. A hot water cylinder will cost somewhere between £300 and £1,000, depending on the type of cylinder and the quality. Replacing a cylinder is cheaper than installing an entirely new system, as the pipework is already in place and ready to use.

Heating Controls

One of the smaller, but equally important, costs to consider is the heating controls. A lot of people choose to control their central heating system through smart technology, but this tends to be more expensive than standard heating controls. Luckily, there are a range of heating control options to choose from.

You should expect to pay between £10 and £30 for a room thermostat with a dial, and £35 to £70 for a programmable, digital room thermostat. If you opt for a smart thermostat, the cost increases to between £70 and £250. As well as thermostats, there are other parts of controlling your central heating system. Thermostatic radiator valves cost between £5 and £120 per valve, but manual radiator valves are slightly cheaper at between £5 and £35 per valve.

Underfloor Heating

There has been a growing trend of homeowners opting for underfloor heating in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. Underfloor heating is an efficient, comfortable and space-saving way of heating a home. It’s cheaper to install underfloor heating in extensions and new builds, as everything can be designed and installed from the very beginning. Installing underfloor heating in an existing room requires removing and lifting the existing floor, and then adding the underfloor heating.

There are a few different types of underfloor heating, and they have a slightly different cost. Electric underfloor heating is priced at between £50 and £90 per square metre, whereas wet underfloor heating costs between £20 and £40 per square metre in a new build, and £40 to £60 per square metre as part of a home renovation.

Hiring a Plumber or Heating Engineer

Installing central heating is a complex and time-consuming project, which is why it’s important to hire a plumber or heating engineer to handle everything. Heating engineers generally cost somewhere between £30 to £75 per hour, depending on your location and their level of expertise. When you are choosing a heating engineer, make sure to choose a Gas Safe professional. Plumbers can be hired for a similar fee, between £40 to £100 per hour.

Other Costs

It’s hard to know exactly how much installing a central heating system will cost, as additional expenses could come up along the way. For example, disposing of old equipment comes at a cost, as does replacing old pipework and installing more radiators than you first intended. Unforeseen issues may arise during installation and the cost of these can vary hugely, and could add several hundred pounds to your overall spend.

A radiator in a living room

Factors That Influence Costs

We can all agree that central heating is a key part of your home. It provides warmth and comfort during the colder months, keeping your home as cosy and comfortable as possible. If you are considering central heating installation, it’s important to understand the various factors that influence the costs involved.

Type of Fuel

The type of fuel that you choose for your central heating system significantly impacts the installation cost. Gas central heating systems are hugely common and often less expensive to install compared to electric heating systems, oil heating systems, or renewable energy options.

Boiler Type

The type of boiler you choose plays a key role in the overall cost of installing central heating. Combi boilers, system boilers and conventional boilers all have their own installation requirements and price ranges.

House Type and Size

The size and layout of your home hugely impact the complexity of central heating installation. Larger homes, such as those with multiple floors and a lot of room, will likely require a more extensive heating system. For example, larger homes need a higher number of radiators, which will increase the overall cost.

Boiler Size

When you are having central heating installed, you will need to choose a boiler that is the right size for your property. The size of the boiler is determined by your heating requirements, and a larger boiler will cost more than a smaller one. It’s important to ensure that your chosen boiler is the right size to meet your heating needs.

Type and Number of Radiators

The type of radiators and the number that you need will influence the cost of your central heating installation project. For example, radiators with underfloor heating are more expensive to install than traditional, wall-mounted alternatives.

Type of Heating Control

When a tradesman is determining central heating installation cost, they will take the type of heating control into account. Modern heating controls, such as smart thermostats, can add to the cost. But, they do tend to be more energy efficient – which can reduce your energy bills – and convenient to use. Basic manual controls are typically less expensive.

Labour Costs

The labour required for central heating installation is a significant part of the overall expense, and labour costs is something that a tradesman will include in their quote. Labour costs can vary based on location, the complexity of the installation and the size of the job.

Other Costs

It’s hard to give an exact figure to install central heating, as there is no knowing if a problem could arise. This is why it’s important to factor potential additional costs into your budget, such as the cost of fixing an unforeseen issue or the cost of disposing of old parts.

The Steps Involved in Central Heating Installation

Central heating installation is a complex process and a lot goes into making sure the installation is a success, starting with planning and ending with installing the heating controls.

Planning

The first step is to assess a property’s heating needs and plan the installation. This includes deciding on the type and size of the boiler, the number of radiators and any additional features, such as underfloor heating.

Boiler Installation

Installing the boiler is a critical step in central heating installation. The chosen boiler will typically be installed in the kitchen or utility room if you have one.

Radiator Installation

Radiators are positioned in every room that requires heating. The installation process involves attaching them to the walls and connecting them to the central heating system. The number and size of radiators will depend on the heating requirements of each individual room.

Pipework and Plumbing

Extensive pipework is required to connect the boiler to the radiators and any other components. This network of pipes is a key part of the central heating system, ensuring the distribution of hot water and heat throughout the house.

Heating Controls

Installing heating controls, such as thermostats and timers, enables you to maintain your desired temperature in the home, and helps you manage energy usage.

DIY Vs Professional

When it comes to central heating installation, there are two ways to approach the project. You could choose to tackle the project yourself, or you could choose to hire a professional tradesperson. Both of these options have pros and cons, and choosing the right option can significantly impact the comfort and energy efficiency of your home.

DIY Central Heating Installation – Pros

  • Cost Effective – One of the biggest advantages of DIY installation is that it’s the more cost-effective option. You don’t need to get quotes from a professional, which will include labour costs. When you handle the task yourself, you only need to think about the actual cost to install, including the boiler cost and the ongoing cost to heat your home.
  • Flexible Schedule – You have complete control over the central heating installation timeline and you can work at your own pace. When you hire a professional tradesman, you need to take their availability into account.

DIY Central Heating Installation – Cons

  • Lack of Knowledge – Central heating installation is a complex task that requires a good understanding of heating systems, plumbing and electrical work. If you make a mistake, you could be faced with a costly and potentially dangerous problem to fix.
  • Errors and Mistakes – Without professional expertise, there is a higher risk of errors in central heating installation. This can lead to inefficiencies, safety hazards or the need for costly repairs.

Professional Central Heating Installation – Pros

  • Expertise – Hiring a professional tradesperson ensures that your central heating system is installed correctly. They have the knowledge and experience needed to complete the job to a flawless standard.
  • Warranty and Guarantee – A lot of tradesmen offer warranties for their central heating installation work. This provides peace of mind and protection against any issues that may arise.
  • Efficiency – Professionals work quickly and efficiently, which minimises disruptions and downtime. A professional can ensure that your heating system is up and running when you need it.

Professional Central Heating Installation – Cons

  • Lack of Control – When you hire a professional, you are likely to have less control over the timeline and installation process. But, this could also be seen as a benefit, as it gives you one less thing to worry about.
  • Cost – One of the main downsides of hiring a professional is the cost. Labour costs can make up a significant portion of the overall cost of installing central heating.

When it comes to deciding between doing it yourself and hiring a professional, the decision will ultimately depend on your level of expertise and budget. Though a ‘do it yourself’ approach may be suitable for smaller tasks or experienced individuals, central heating installation is a complex job and hiring a professional tradesman is usually the right choice.

Finding Someone to Install Your Central Heating

A plumber fixing a radiator

The Page

If you are looking for a tradesman, help is always at hand. You can send an enquiry detailing your specific requirements, and you will be matched to a curated list of professionals who are well-suited to the job.

Let The Page curate you a free bespoke shortlist of tradespeople suited to you and your job.

When it comes to installing central heating, there are a lot of variables to take into consideration, but it’s always possible to find a tradesman who can match your requirements.

All of the tradesmen are personally met and vetted, and their previous work has been assessed. You can choose any of the recommended central heating experts, knowing that your property is in good hands.

Online Search

You can find someone to install your central heating system with a quick online search. Whether you need a completely new central heating system or you need a new hot water cylinder, you won’t struggle to find an experienced tradesperson online.

Ask Around

When you are trying to find central heating installation costs, and someone to tackle the project, it’s beneficial to ask around. Speak to friends, family, colleagues and neighbours, and ask them for recommendations. There are a lot of tradesmen out there, but asking around can help you narrow down your options.

You can ask a tradesman for a central heating installation quote, knowing that someone else has been satisfied with their service.

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