When should you replace your central heating system?

For the average homeowner, buying a new central heating system isn’t something you do every day or even every year. To help, we explain how much central heating costs to install as well as the benefits of replacing your system altogether.

What costs are involved when buying a new central heating system?

If you’re thinking about buying a new central heating system, there are a few factors to consider. Maybe you’re planning a home extension and your current central heating system wouldn’t be powerful enough to service the additional space. Or, if you’ve had your current system for over 10 years it might be a perfect time for an upgrade, especially if it’s no longer performing as you’d like. A new central heating system from us provides the whole package. If you’re looking to replace your system altogether, book a free home survey now.

What is central heating?

Central heating boilers can be powered by a number of different fuels, for example: oil, LPG (Liquefied petroleum gas), electric, coal, biomass (wood chips), but the most common and currently the cheapest is mains gas. Most homes in the UK have gas central heating. The ‘central’ part refers to a central boiler that heats water that is then circulated to your radiators to heat your home. It either instantly heats hot water from the mains water supply (as found in combi boilers), or heats water stored in a cylinder to provide hot water to your taps and showers (such as via regular and system boilers).

How much does it cost to install gas central heating?

The cost of installing a central heating system varies greatly, but can range from £4,000 - £6,500, dependent on the size and layout of your home. Other factors that can affect the cost, include the type of boiler you are going to install, the radiator style and size. We recommend checking with your installer beforehand to see what your chosen package includes. Ideally the cost should include the new boiler (which may need a hot water cylinder and a cold water storage tank), radiators, thermostatic radiator valves, pipework, controls and labour/parts. 

When purchasing a central heating system from us, we always include all costs associated when we quote for a new system, and our quotes are fixed for 30 days, if you need some time to think about it. 

What’s the most cost-effective central heating?

When it comes to the type of central heating you want, gas central heating is generally cheaper than LPG and oil and is more convenient as you don’t have to arrange delivery to your home or need to have space for storage tanks in your garden. 

The cost of a new central heating system can at first seem substantial, however switching may save money in the long run. This is due to modern boilers being more efficient than older models. Boiler efficiency is categorised by percentages, with A-rated boilers being the most efficient (around 90%) and G-rated boilers being the least (around 70%). The type of boiler you have can also affect efficiency, as there are boilers that waste more energy, such as a non-condensing boiler and can cost you more on bills. 

How much does it cost to run central heating?

The cost to run central heating all depends on various factors, such as:

  • The size and age of your home
  • How much insulation you have
  • Average temperature
  • The needs of the people living with you
  • How efficient your boiler is

According to Which? The average annual cost for heating and hot water with central heating is £542 based on using 12,000 kWh a year.

If you want to work out how much you spend per hour, then find a recent monthly bill and divide the price for gas by the number of days in that month (e.g. 31 for October) to get your daily cost, then divide by 24 to get your hourly cost. As this is a manual process, you will only find out how much you spend after you’ve spent it. For example, if you had a bill of £45 for October (31 days), it would mean £1.45 per day and 6p per hour. 

Be more energy efficient with a smart meter

That’s why it’s worth considering installing a smart meter, where you can easily track how much you are spending on your gas (and electricity) in real-time, enabling you to be more energy efficient and therefore helping to lower your energy bills. Smart meters can be fitted for free by your energy supplier so contact them to find out more.

Reasons for replacing or upgrading your gas central heating system

The most common reason for a new central heating system is that the existing system is run down or out of date. However, you might have other reasons.

You’re planning a home extension

If you are planning an extension to your home, it’s worth considering if your existing central heating system is big enough to service the additional rooms. 

You’re paying for repairs on a regular basis

If your boiler is quite old and you’re paying for repairs on a regular basis it may be more cost effective to upgrade the system

Your system runs on one pipe

Your system runs on one pipe and may be prone to blockages, leaks and a build up of sludge. The cost of changing to a two pipe system would essentially be the same as if you were to replace the whole central heating system

Your current pipe size is too thin

If your pipework is made up of 8mm microbore this could cause blockages or your system to not work efficiently and in turn, make loud noises. As with your system running on one pipe, the cost of replacing these pipes is effectively equal to replacing the whole system.

Your current pipework has undergone several alterations

If your pipework has undergone several alterations which has resulted in a mixture of pipe types, this can lead to radiator weak spots and surplus pipework. In this case it’s more cost effective to replace the system in the long run.

Planning to replace your central heating system?

If you need to upgrade your system altogether or would like more information on what’s included in our package, book a free home survey via video call with one of our friendly professionals to discuss all your heating needs.