How Disruptive Is Installing Central Heating?

Installing a new central heating system is a big job for any household, so you're not alone in wondering just how disruptive a central heating installation for your house could potentially be.

Don't worry, though this article should answer all your pressing questions about central heating system installation.

How Long Does It Take To Install Central Heating?

This depends on many factors, but typically, a new central heating system installation shouldn't take longer than 2-3 days if you're dealing with a professional firm.

You might wonder how many heating engineers will be in and out of my house? There will usually be a minimum of two heating engineers working on the installation, most likely three but sometimes even four so it's best to get a few tea bags in at the ready!

What's Involved In Central Heating Installation?

Boiler replacement

Unsurprisingly, the boiler is a lot of what makes or breaks an excellent central heating system installation. It's essential to choose the right boiler for your home's needs, as there are many options to choose from.

There's your classic combi boiler. And then there's your sophisticated system boiler is best suited for more significant properties due to the space needed to house the hot water cylinder. Then we have energy-efficient, renewable heating systems such as boilers, heat pumps, or solar thermal panels.

They all vary significantly in price and even more so in functionality. For instance, modern boilers tend to be far more energy-efficient but much more expensive at the outset. However, the extra cost is usually offset by the potential for significant reductions to your heating bills in the long run.

It's essential to do your research well before purchasing to see which option suits your needs.

New radiator installation

Aside from the boiler, this is your second primary consideration for your central heating system. You will have to decide carefully how many radiators you want, where you want them, and how you want to control them. These will all be deciding factors in determining the length of the installation process.

Try our heating calculator to help determine how many radiators you'll need to heat your home.

Laying pipework

When it comes to potential disruption, this one requires serious consideration. Installation of new pipework and replacing the old is significant, especially when installing a new heat distribution system involving underfloor heating. This could mean that your precious walls and flooring could be infringed upon in a big way!

Fitting heating controls

Heating controls

You may want the ability to control your radiators individually. Alternatively, you may wish for the ultimate mod-con of new-fangled smart thermostats, which allow you to control the heating habits of all the radiators in your home remotely via your phone. Once again, the cost can vary significantly between these options.

Refilling the system

More commonly known as bleeding the radiators, this process involves switching off the water flow and turning off your central heating. This allows all the water from your radiators to drain off in preparation for a full refill or entirely new central heating system.

This is a standard process when replacing or moving an existing radiator while installing a new central heating system.

Though especially true when the heating engineers search for possible missed water leaks during a new installation. This is a problem that may have been plaguing your central heating system.

Was it installed successfully with minimum fuss and all the existing leaks fixed to boot? That sounds like a serious win-win!

How Much Disruption Will Central Heating Installation Cause?

So far, we've seen the fundamental processes at play during a new central heating system installation. You won't be surprised to know that they require all water, gas, and heating systems to be turned off.

Next, we'll explore your survival guide to getting through the installation with minimal fuss.

How To Keep Disruption To A Minimum

Buy an electric heater

This speaks for itself mainly if the installation occurs during the winter months. Your electricity still being on during the installation is a saving grace, so this one's a no-brainer!

Have plenty of bottled water in stock

As the water is likely to be out of action for some time, it's crucial to stock up on bottled water, not just for drinking but also for other general uses. A summer installation will mean you may need to buy more than you think you need you never know when there could be a heatwave!

Think about your cooking setup

If you have the added benefit of electric cookers at your property (or even the good old camping stove), you won't need to rely on the local takeaways, even though that may be a more tempting option!

Keep valuables safe

If you happen to have valuables lying around, you should keep them out of harm's way during the installation process.

Cover carpets and surfaces

Installation of a new central heating system can get messy, and it's often the case that carpets will need to be uprooted, especially in the case of underfloor heating systems. In any case, it's best to avoid your carpets being exposed to the risk of irreparable staining, whether they're uplifted or not.

It's best practice to have some thick waterproof dust sheets ready. Don't rely on the contractors to have enough to cover all the floor space in your property, as it's not a given.

When's The Best Time To Install A Central Heating System?

A few electric heaters running full pelt for days on end during winter is not ideal. So, it's much better for your bills to arrange an installation during the summer months when the nation's hard-working central heating systems are taking a well-earned break!


Can I install a central heating system myself?

Install Yourself

In the UK, installing a gas heating system or a boiler yourself without being certified to do so by the Gas Safe Register is illegal.

Always hire certified Gas Safe registered engineers for any gas central heating system.

Which appliances won't be functional when installing central heating?

Any appliances that require running water, or are powered by your gas boiler, will be off-limits during the entire installation of all gas-powered central heating systems. Your electricity will still be on, however.

Is installing a new central heating system worth it?

Upgrading your heating system to a more efficient model might seem like a significant expense.

However, in the long term, with the cost of energy consumption and heating your home set to skyrocket, it's essential to keep up-to-date with systems that can operate with increased reliability and efficiency.

Ultimately, newer models will use less energy and make it go further than older boilers. You're also much more likely to save money on energy bills more consistently, despite any future rises.

How disruptive is installing central heating in a small flat?

Small flat

If your flat is a modern high-rise property or multi-occupancy block, installing a gas-based heating system is impossible.

However, if you live in a semi-detached or detached house with gas boilers that have been converted into several flats then an installation should be possible.

This provides you either own the flat or get permission from the landlord.

You will also need to seek professional advice from a gas safe registered engineer and consult with property management to assess if the installation will affect neighbouring flats' gas and water supplies.

You can also discover more of our central heating-related guides such as central heating or electric radiators, which are best for your home, if you should choose electric vs gas heating, and finally, where you can find our range of heating controls online to examine your central heating from home.