Central Heating Installation Cost Guide [2023 Update]
Confused about gas central heating installation costs? Or, are you renovating a property and there’s no gas central heating at all, so you’re looking around for quotes?
Our 2023 guide below will explain the cost of central heating installation, and the small print you need to watch out for in your quotes.
Our Central Heating Installation Cost Guide
To help you understand (and estimate) the cost of central heating installation, we’ve split our guide into quick, bite-sized sections.
Keep in mind that your costs may vary substantially from what we’ll discuss below. And that’s simply because every property is unique, and there is a tonne of variables that can influence how much you pay for your new central heating system.
How Much Does It Cost to Install Central Heating?
Typically, you can expect to pay £3,500-£4,500 to install a new central heating system. This figure includes a branded combination boiler, copper pipework, and labour. Prices will increase or decrease depending on the size of your property, the current state of your pipework, and the type of boiler you choose.
Why Do Central Heating Installation Quotes Vary So Much?
Central heating installation cost varies mainly based on what’s already in your property (i.e. your pipework and radiators).
The boiler you choose is yet another factor to consider — the brand, the power output, and the features all make a difference.
And so does your preferred installer. We’ve all seen the news articles — British Gas quoting £6,000 or more for a central heating installation.
But let’s not abhor British Gas for central heating installation costs that are seemingly through the roof. The venerable conglomerate may be well within reason for charging this much, since there are plenty of properties where £6,000+ is a very reasonable price for new central heating systems.
So, let’s dive in and have a look at all the factors that may affect the cost of your central heating installation.
Does Your House Already Have Pipework?
This is the most important question to answer. Since installing new pipework from scratch is time consuming and incredibly costly, it can mean the difference between saving and spending thousands of pounds.
If you don’t see any radiators, or you’re using electric heaters or storage heating, there’s a good chance there’s no pipework. Consequently, you need all new components for central heating, boiler, and all the necessary fittings. And we hate to be the bearers of bad news, but the quotes you’ll receive won’t be cheap.
On the other hand, if there’s a natural gas boiler, oil boiler, or radiators already installed in your property, it’s good news. The pipework for your central heating is already there, and there’s a good chance the radiators don’t need replacing. Even if they do, you’ll still save lots of time and money because you don’t need new pipework.
On a side note: If you’re considering new radiators (not always a terrible idea, as newer radiators are more efficient and can help you cut down on heating costs), you can jump over to our detailed guide on radiator installation costs here.
The Cost of Installing Central Heating and a Combi Boiler – No Current Pipework In Home
There are a tonne of factors that will dictate the installation cost. For instance, what size boiler do you need?
Low-end 24kW combi boilers could be as cheap as £500, whilst a high-output 42kW combi boiler could be £1,500 or more. And that’s without labour.
A Ideal Logic Plus 30 is a worthy candidate for 3-4-bedroom house with 1-2 bathrooms and reasonable hot water demand.
The full cost of central heating installation, including a 30kW Ideal Logic Plus combi, 6-10 new radiators, thermostatic radiator valves, heating controls, and all pipework should be in the region of £3,650-4,100 + VAT.
The Cost of Installing Central Heating and a Combi Boiler – Pipework Present
If you’re property falls into the second bracket and already has central heating pipework, that’s excellent news. You’re not actually having a full central heating system installed; it’s just a boiler swap (and possibly, a few minor upgrades).
Also, there’s a good chance the radiators are already where you want them, and pipework to the radiators and boiler is likewise present.
So, let’s use the same boiler example as above. Assume you have a 3-4-bedroom property with 1-2 bathrooms and reasonable hot water demand; an Ideal Logic Plus 30 will be suitable. And, since you don’t need to cover the cost of copper tube and labour, you can expect to pay £1,750-2,100 altogether in this scenario. This will include the boiler cost and installation.
Which Boiler Are You Planning to Install?
If you’re like most homeowners, there’s a good chance you want to get a boiler from quality, well-known brands. Naturally, opting for a high-end boiler will drive the cost of your new central heating system up.
That said, don’t discount other leading brands in the industry. Many offer on-par quality and warranty at a reduced cost.
For example, if you want to balance cost and quality, we’d suggest you check out Ideal Boilers.
Unlike Worcester, you don’t have to pay extra for a compact boiler (i.e. the Worcester CDI Compact), as all Logic Plus and Vogue boilers will fit in a standard kitchen cupboard as standard.
Personally, I’d avoid the Logic simply because it has a short warranty. Meanwhile, the Logic Plus has a warranty of up to 7 years, whilst the Vogue is covered up to 10 years.
Yet another recommendation would be the Baxi 600 compact boiler. It’s a new release from Baxi that offers excellent value for money. Buy an Ideal or Baxi 600 over a Worcester, and you’ll have a few extra pounds notes left after your central heating installation is complete.
Other Factors That May Increase the Price of New Central Heating
Here are a few more things that may increase the cost of a central heating installation, so you know the installer isn’t pulling the wool over your eyes:
- Moving radiators
- Installing a boiler in a new location
- Any additional pipework
- Upgrading the gas main in line with current Gas Safe standards
- Purchasing a higher quality boiler, we’ve detailed combi boiler prices here
- Changing the flue from horizontal to vertical (or vice versa). This requires drilling holes in walls, and cementing afterwards
- Converting a “system” boiler (uses a hot water cylinder) to a combi boiler system
Where to Compare Heating Installation Prices
Get itemised quotes from at least 3 installers — that’s going to give you a much better chance of finding the best deal. We’d always get quotes from local installers (you can do that here), as heating engineers near your location will usually quote you 10-20% less than national installers.
Accredited Central Heating Installers & Warranties
If you want to get maximum warranty from your new central heating system and boiler, do your research first.
A typical example is the Worcester Bosch warranty. Their basic warranty starts at 5-years. This will jump straight to 7-years (on the exact same boiler) if you use a Worcester Accredited Installer.
Some Worcester boilers have up to a 10-year warranty, which drops to 8 if you don’t use one of their installers.
What Does a Central Heating Installation Quote Include?
You’ve got 3 quotes. All installers seem trustworthy, and you’ve checked their numbers on the Gas Safe Register.
So, go with the cheapest, right?
Not necessarily. Always get written quotations detailing everything that is included with your central heating and boiler installation.
If you don’t want to get stung, here are some things you’ll want included in your heating installation quote:
- A magnetic system filter with system inhibitor. This protects your central heating system
- For those with existing pipework, a hot flush at the very least. This will get rid of sludge build up (which passes through the boiler, and can cause problems)
- If you are in a hard water area, a scale reducer
- Price inclusive of controls (thermostat etc)
- Is any warranty on labour included?
FAQs About Central Heating System Costs
Below, we’ll take the time to answer some common questions about central heating system installation costs.
How much does it cost to put in a new heating system?
Typically, a new heating system will cost between £3,500-£4,500.
However, what you’ll pay to install a new central heating system depends on a range of factors. These include:
- Whether or not you already have pipework — if you don’t, expect to pay more
- The brand and model of your new boiler — premium boilers cost more, but also last longer
- Who you use to install the system — there’s typically a spread between online installers, local heating engineers, and national companies
- The size of your property (and boiler size) — a 1-bedroom house will cost you less to equip with a new system
There are plenty of other factors in play, so to get a better idea of how much your project will cost, we suggest you contact a local Gas Safe engineer or use this online calculator from Heatable.
How messy is installing central heating?
Pretty messy. Since fitting heating systems involves installing pipework and radiators, you can expect the heating engineers to require access to the wall cavities throughout your home.
This means that, apart from the mess generated by the plumbing portion of the job, some drywall will end up being removed and replaced. And as you may guess, this type of work creates plenty of mess.
You can expect even more of a mess if you have to remove an existing system first, whether you’ve got a boiler that runs on mains gas, an electric boiler, or storage heaters.
What is the cheapest heating system to install?
In most cases, gas combi boilers are the cheapest boiler types. While the boilers themselves may range in price from reasonable to stunningly expensive, the type of heating system that works with a combi doesn’t require a hot water storage cylinder or a water tank. This means that you won’t have to pay your heating engineer extra to install these components.
On the other hand, regular and system boilers do require hot and cold water storage facilities to operate, and these will add to the overall installation costs.
If You Need Central Heating Advice
If your old boiler is faulty and you’d like to find recommendations about repairs or parts replacement, you can read this post, which is essentially our advice centre for boiler faults.
Unsure whether the quotes you’ve been offered are reasonable? Compare them with online quotes from Heatable here.
We hope that our guide to central heating installations will help you plan your project.
Is there anything that we missed? Do you have any questions you’d like to ask, or an experience you’d like to share with our readers? If, please leave a comment below.