Home Improvement

Installing a Central Heating System – What to Expect

So, you have found your new home and everything seems perfect. There is just one problem – the central heating system is in dire need of replacement or does not exist at all. Perhaps it is time for an upgrade.

Having a new heating system installed can be a hassle, especially if you don’t know what to expect from the process. Will you need to move out during the installation? How long will it take? What exactly awaits your home?

Well, this article will put your mind to rest!

Table of Contents:

So, if you are:

  • Thinking of replacing or installing a new central heating system;
  • Wondering what to expect from the installation;
  • Looking for tips on how to prepare your property.

Then this guide will answer your questions.

What is central heating and how does it work

Central heating is a way of keeping your house warm. The heat comes from a central source and gets evenly distributed around your property via pipes. At the moment, the most common type of central heating in the UK is gas. The low price and availability of this fossil fuel makes it the preferred method of heating around the country. Some areas, however, don’t have access to a gas distribution network, so they rely on other heating alternatives.

So, how exactly does central heating work?

With gas central heating, the main source is your boiler. It’s normally located in your bathroom or kitchen. The water gets distributed to all of the radiators located around your home with the help of an electric pump, then it goes back to the boiler to get reheated. This cycle is what keeps your home cosy and your showers hot. A thermostat mounted in one of the rooms is what controls the temperature. It monitors the heat and turns the boiler on and off as necessary to maintain the chosen level.

Types of central heating systems

There are four main types of central heating, some being more common than others and some only being used in certain areas. For more detailed information, you can read our helpful post on the topic.

Wet systems

Gas heating is one example of a wet system. With this method, your boiler heats up water that passes around your property via piping, usually under the floor. The pipes either lead to a radiator or warm the room up through the ground (underfloor heating).

Electric Heaters

The use of electric storage heaters is common as well. These heaters look similar to radiators, but function differently. They are filled with bricks that get electrically heated up at night and release that warmth during the day. This type of heating does not require a boiler.

Warm Air Systems

This option is not as popular as it used to be. These systems take in air from the outside, which the boiler then heats up. The warm air gets distributed around the house through air vents.

District Heating

Only available in specific areas of the UK, district heating gets hot water to its users from a central heating source, such as a fossil fuel or biomass burning plant. The water gets transferred to the properties via insulated pipes. Houses that have district heating usually don’t have a boiler installed.

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Heating System in a Rental Property – Landlord edition

How to prepare your property

If you have decided on having a new central heating system installed, you may need to do some preparation beforehand. A technician will conduct a pre-installation visit and let you know what has to be moved and what areas they will need access to.

Choose a central heating system

First and foremost, you need to pick a type of central heating system. This will determine what preparations your property will require. What sort of system is best and what kind of boiler to choose will vary depending on your home, location, and budget.

Keep in mind that if you decide on a gas central heating system, your property needs to be connected to the mains gas. If it is not, you will have to get gas installed first.

Find space for the boiler

You will need to decide where your new boiler will be placed. Several factors can influence this – how much space there is, what type and size boiler you choose, whether it will go on an external wall, etc.

Remove fragile items and furniture

To prevent any damage to your valuables, you should remove all fragile items from the room that is being worked on that day – lamps, vases, clocks, paintings, etc. You can also move some of your furniture out of the room, so that you save time once the technicians arrive and make it easier for them to access the areas they need. This will also make sure your furniture doesn’t get damaged in the process.

Keep in mind that some flooring types are more easily damaged when being pulled up, such as laminate, linoleum and vinyl. If your home has those kinds of floors, you should plan around that and consider the possibility of having them replaced.

Installation – what to expect

Getting a new central heating system installed can be disruptive, especially if you are already living in the home where it’s being fitted. However, the specialists work with you to make the process as easy and as stress-free as possible. They will install the system one room at a time and the rooms are left in a habitable state after each day. So, there is no need for you to leave the property during that time.

Pulling up the flooring

To fit the pipes, the technicians will need to list the flooring and replace it after the installation. This process will depend on the type of floor you have. If you have concrete floors, they may need to dig channels to bury the pipes, which can be a messy process. Alternatively, for underfloor heating, the pipes can be installed over the concrete and the floor level can be raised with boards.

Concealing the pipes

Exposed pipes along the walls can be an issue for some people for various reasons. There are several options to cover them. You could opt-in for chasing in the walls to bury the pipes and hide them completely. As a less disruptive alternative, they can be boxed in or hidden with trunking in the corners.

If your home is new and in need of refurbishing, the central heating system can be installed beforehand. That way the technicians can chase the walls first and have them plastered and painted after. They can easily remove the radiators to allow for decorating and replace them after.

How long does the process take

Several factors can determine how long installation takes. For larger properties, it may take longer, as more elements need to be installed.
It could take from 2-3 days up to a week, depending on the size of your home, the chosen central heating system, and the number of people working.

How much does it cost to install

The price for installation will vary. The amount of time, the size of your property and the type of central heating system can affect the cost. What kind of flooring you have and how long it takes to lift will also play a part in the calculations. Fitting pipes into different kinds of floors require different levels of effort, so it should be kept in mind. Prices typically range from £2180 to £5500.

Central Heating Installation by Fantastic Services

Fitting a new central heating system is a job best left to the professionals. By law, any gas connection work must be done by certified technicians. The rules are in place to protect you and your household from damages and prevent the system from being installed incorrectly.

Fantastic Services offers a full central heating installation service. The specialists are certified and ready to help – from fitting your new boiler to replacing your carpet and cleaning up afterwards to central heat system cover. We can make sure your home stays warm and comfortable during the harsh winter months.

Keep your home warm and cozy. Find out about our boiler installation service here.


  • You need to choose your new system and prepare the rooms before the service
  • The best central heating type will vary depending on your property, location and budget
  • Central heating systems are installed one room at a time to allow for minimal disruptions
  • Your property and the type of system you choose will affect the cost
  • Installation can take from 2-3 days up to a week


Did you find this guide helpful? Have you had a new central heating system installed? Share your experience with us in the comments!

Image source: depositphotos / belchonock

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