Plumbers In London company logo. Rapid response Platinum all emergency services is written in blue text with a white background.
Call Today

0208 521 9518


Mon - Sun 24 Hours

Updating Your Central Heating System

by | 6 Apr 21 | Help and Advice | 4 comments

A 5-Minute Read

Updating your central heating system – why should you do this?  If you live in the United Kingdom especially in London, chances are your heating system will be one that is old and will eventually need updating.  This may not be noticeable at first, however, if you have lived in the property for many years, you will notice that even though you may not be using the heating a lot especially in the winter months, your energy bills are increasing instead of decreasing.  

This could be a tell-tale sign that something is wrong with your central heating system. 

We have compiled some common problems that can be a warning that something is wrong with your central heating system, and it may be time for an update.  In addition, if you are updating your heating system, I have also highlighted some other benefits to other items that form part of the heating system that can be considered.


Regular Boiler Repairs?

If like some, you look after your boiler, and you have this serviced on a yearly basis, but you find that something still keeps going wrong, this may mean that you should consider installing a new boiler and upgrading your heating installation.  If you are having to call out competent heating engineers yearly to carry out a repair, then maybe it is time you weigh up the pros of getting a new energy saving boiler in comparison to keeping on repairing this same boiler.  

It may be that you are contemplating the installation costs, however, they are not as expensive as you would believe.  The costs saved during the lifetime in installing a new combi boiler outweighs the upfront costs.  This is because the market is so saturated with different types of boilers to choose from.

New and Improved Controls

Our central heating system does mainly two things, that is, they give us hot water on demand, and you know that you enjoy taking lots of hot water showers or baths.  In addition, they warm our homes during those winter months.  One of the advantages of having your central heating system updated is that the older type controls that were previously installed will now be a thing of the past, and you will have brand spanking shiny new ones.  This in the long run will save you money.

Gone are the days when the controls were limited and nowadays, there are numerous controls to choose from.  Different types of controls include:

  • Programmable timer.  This allows you to set the times when you want the heating to come on and/or turn off.
  • Room thermostat. If like me you only want certain rooms in the house warmer than others, this is where you can control this.  The room thermostat allows you to control the temperature for that particular room and when the temperature has been reached, the heating is turned off automatically.  
  • Thermostatic radiator valves.  These can be installed in all rooms in the house except the bathroom.  These valves can be turned up or down and can control the temperature in each room.

As stated earlier, the types of controls are vast and just to give you an idea of the other types of more advanced ones, you can have:

  • Nest Control – this is a smart thermostat heating control which gives you the flexibility to control your heating system from anywhere, I know right.  No more cold homes during the winter months coming home from work or from holiday.  You can turn the thermostat on and when you get home, you have a nice and toasty home waiting for you.
  • Zone Controls – this allows you to heat different rooms in your home at different times during the day.  This involves having separate heating circuits for different areas of your home with a separate programmer for each circuit.  This will also help in minimizing your heating bill and can be considered when you are changing over your heating system.
Central heating radiator under repairs

It is much more cost-effective to change your radiators at the same time when you are updating your central heating system.  This is because since you are draining down the heating system, you may as well change your radiators, if this is in the budget.  Below are some of the reasons why if you are replacing your boiler, you should consider replacing your old radiators, which are more energy efficient:

  1.  If you have the older style radiators, updating to a newer one can be beneficial in that modern radiators are roughly 50% more efficient than older type radiators.  This as you suspect will help in the long run to decrease energy bills.  Over time, your new radiators will pay for themselves.
  2. Over time all radiators build up sludge in them and if you have had your radiators since you moved into your home some 20+ years, then you can only imagine the amount of sludge that has built up over the years.  You may be wondering to yourself, exactly what is sludge!  This is just a built-up of debris in your radiators, which can stop them from heating up properly.  

You may be thinking, do I need to replace my radiators, isn’t there another way?  You can do what is called power flushing.  If you want to read up extensively about power flushing, we have a breakdown of the costs which is dependent on the size of your property. 

But generally you are looking at roughly £500 – £800.  You may pay this money, however, there is no guarantee that the sludge will be removed.  When compared to purchasing new radiators, that can cost anywhere between £70 – £100 then it would make more sense changing your radiators.



If you are like most of us and like the older style radiators, one thing that you should take into consideration is that your system may develop leaks.  This is because with a newer and more powerful boiler installed leaks may occur.  This can be caused mainly due to the increase in water pressure that is being pumped around your system.  

Old Hot Water Storage Cylinder
Upgrading of Central Heating Pipework

Considering you are changing your heating system, often at times we overlooked the pipework to a new heating system.  This is often done alongside updating of your central heating system.  If you have an old heating system, there are times when your pipework would be undersized when compared to modern requirements.  Also if your pipe coming from the boiler is hot, however, by the time the water gets to the radiator it is warm, maybe you should consider upgrading the pipework.



How Much Does It Costs

The big question normally is, exactly how much all of this will cost upgrading or installing a central heating system?  The best thing for you to do is to shop around in order to get the best price possible.  While you may want the most cost effective, you also don’t want to overburden yourself and get too many estimates.  Stay well away from companies that offer you a fixed price to update your system.  

This is because not all systems are the same and there may be instances that the company gave you a fixed estimate that did not take into consideration other incidentals that may occur.  One other thing, ensure that whomever you employ is a registered safe gas engineer.

You will notice that there will be overall increased efficiency of your new boiler.  If you want to upgrade your central heating system, give us a ring.