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How much does it cost to install central heating?
Central heating installation can be relatively complex, depending on the size, shape and requirements of your home, particularly if you don’t have the existing pipework infrastructure in place. A completely new central heating system will typically include a boiler, heating controls, radiators and pipework. In the UK, the average cost of installing a central heating system sits between £3,000 and £4,000, depending on your options.
The price of each of the core elements of a central heating system can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. You’ll also need to factor in any labour or installation rates, as you’ll require a qualified Gas Safe engineer to oversee the install and sign it off.
No two gas central heating installations are the same, and there are several variables that could impact overall costs, including:
– Boiler size, brand and type
– Radiator size and designs
– Underfloor heating capability
– Heating control sophistication
– Ease of installation (for example, installation in a new build or empty property will prove easier than installation in a property that is currently occupied)
How a central heating system could save you money
While the prospect of spending in the region of £4,000 for a new central heating system might seem daunting, it’s worthwhile thinking of your installation as a long-term investment. The truth is that you will actually save money in the long run by upgrading your system. This is because modern boilers are incredibly efficient and use a lot less fuel than older systems while still being able to deliver the same heat output.
The latest boilers use condensing technology which helps to reduce the amount of heat that would otherwise be lost by older systems. As a result, most modern boilers can operate at over 90% efficiency. This means that for every £1 your household spends on heating, just 10p is lost on wasted heat. This could add up to considerable savings on energy bills in comparison to electric storage heater systems or older, less efficient boilers.
Save money on your central heating installation with the ECO scheme
Since 2013, the government has been running a scheme that is designed to help the UK reduce its overall carbon emissions while also tackling fuel poverty throughout the country. The Energy Company Obligation, or ECO scheme, helps people to reduce their home heating costs via several energy efficiency measures.
Under the ECO scheme, it is possible to avail of free loft insulation, free cavity wall insulation and subsidised gas boiler/central heating system replacements if you’re eligible. All reputable heating engineers and boiler retailers should be able to advise you further on whether you could avail of a discount or grant under the ECO scheme. If you’ve been wanting to upgrade your existing heating system for some time but have been put off by the potential costs, the ECO scheme could help you to become more energy-efficient while also saving you money.
Achieving further savings with zoning controls
Central heating installation can cost upwards of £4,000 for larger properties, such as those with three or more floors. While the ECO scheme may be able to help save on installation costs, modern heating zoning controls could help to further save money in the long run.
Zoned heating controls help with energy efficiency in larger properties, and they allow you to compartmentalise different parts of the property into separate heating zones. With zoned heating, your system will treat each floor as a separate heating area, and will only supply heating to selected areas at certain times of the day. This means you can quickly and easily heat areas of the home when you need to use them.
For example, if you spend most of your day in the living room, zoned heating will allow you to only heat the ground floor (or a section of the ground floor, if you wish) while allowing you to heat the upstairs closer to bedtime. Zoned heating controls make this easy and convenient and mean that you won’t spend time manually turning radiators on/off at different times of the day.
Is gas central heating cheaper than electric heating?
Put simply, yes; the most cost-effective way to heat your home is with gas central heating. Per unit, electricity costs up to four times as much as gas. Despite the initial outlay of installing a gas central heating system, the money you will save on heating bills going forward will be enough to cover the costs of a gas central heating system installation in as little as two years.