Installing a central heating system can be a pretty hefty investment depending on the size of your home, type of heating system, system control type, complexity of the project, and labor costs. The average cost of central heating installation oscillates between $3,230 and $7,300.1
Consult a qualified tradesperson for specific advice and quotes. Wondering where to start? Fret not; instead, click here to read about the cost of installing central heat.
Heating System Type
Electric central heating system
Oil central heating system
Gas central heatingt system
According to Checkatrade, electric systems are the cheapest option1, costing £3,230-£4,350 to install. Gas central heating systems are costlier but not as expensive as oil heating systems.
The typical cost of setting up a gas system hovers between £4,500 and £6,000 while that of installing an oil central system ranges from £5,000 to £7,300.
A central heating system is a home-heating technology that generates heat at a central point and distributes it to the rest of the house or property. The process kicks off when a piece of equipment, typically a furnace, heat pump, or boiler, heats up air or water.
If your system heats up air, it’s a warm air system. In this setup, the air travels to every space in your house through a network of ducts. The other system heats up water instead; it’s a wet system.
In a wet system, the heated water travels through pipework and winds up in radiators. That’s how you stay warm even when it’s freezing cold outside.
A boiler-based system with underfloor heat passages heats up your home evenly. However, it may not work as fast as a furnace or heat pump-based system.
If you have a smaller home with fewer rooms, a combi boiler-powered heating system would be best. What if you own a larger home with many rooms? A furnace-based system might work better, but you might grapple with inconsistent room temperatures.
What if you live in a small city apartment or are working with a tight budget? Consider getting a portable heating system or an electric heating system. One downside with electric systems is that they’re energy hogs. Besides that, they give you slower heating.
It’s thought that the ancient Greeks were the first people to develop and use a heating system of any kind.2 Perhaps the gods that reigned at the Temple of Ephesus4 needed a little warmth during the cooler months.
Engineers of the Roman Empire made things even cozier by inventing the hypocaust home heating system. The Romans combusted charcoal from a central place, and warm gasses passed through spaces created under the floors and finally exited through pipes called caliducts2 in the walls. The British also used the hypocaust system, but they burned coal rather than charcoal.
Unfortunately, this home heating technology died off with the decline of the once-mighty Roman Empire. For the next 1,500 years, other heating systems surfaced, but they were inferior to the Romans’ original creation.
Fast-forward to the 1850s, and the first modern heating system appeared. A Russian invented the radiator, and that added a dash of new meaning to the words warm and cozy. Today, homes in Europe, the US, and many other parts of the world can face the winter season with an intrepid spirit.
- Project complexity and scope: If you’re upgrading an older house that requires relocating the existing pipework or tearing down the old system, the costs could balloon to over $16,000.3
- Boiler type: Want a biomass boiler? The final cost could be significantly more compared to picking a combi, conventional/regular, LPG, or a system boiler.
- Home size and number of radiators: A heating system for a smaller home with 10 radiators would cost you less compared to a system for a 20-radiator house.
For example, installing a combi boiler and radiators in a 2-bedroom house might cost up to $4,300. And a home with four or more bedrooms fitted with a conventional boiler and multiple radiators could easily wipe $15,000 off your bank balance.3
- Traditional vs wireless control: Wireless system controls offer more convenience, but you might wind up paying up to 3 times more.
- Labor costs: An installer setting up a boiler in the basement might charge you $1,000. And an installer toughing it out in the attic or other crawlspace might charge you up to $8,200.3
Get a Gas Safe registered engineer who has handled an inordinate number of systems similar to what you wish to set up. Ask around for recommendations.
The right person should advice you on what boiler and radiators to use, old system removal, boiler fitment and installation of new pipes and radiators, and installation of system controls. Also, the pro should test your system for efficiency and safety and hand out a certificate afterward.
Grab your smartphone or laptop right now and reach out to a trusted heating system installer. Ask every question you have and request quotes for the final decision-making.