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Cost of solid fuel central heating
by
Checkatrade

Whether it’s open fires or closed appliances, solid fuel is a popular choice for many homeowners in the UK. In this guide, we look at the cost of solid fuel central heating and consider the types of solid fuel heating available.

Solid fuel central heating is particularly important in rural and more remote areas, where the mains gas supply doesn’t cover. In these locations, solid fuel central heating offers an alternative to gas heating to keep homes warm.

Whether you’re installing a new central heating system, or replacing an existing one, the prices quoted in this article are for guidance. For accurate prices in your area, we recommend speaking to your local solid fuel central heating specialists.

ItemRange - LowRange - HighAverage cost
Wood burning stove (with installation)--£2,000
Wood burning stove (appliance only)£400£1,500£950
Wood burning fireplace--£1,460
Pellet stove installation£840£3,050£1,945
Chimney flue--£1,700

What is the cost of solid fuel central heating?

The cost of your solid fuel central heating will depend on your choice of system. For example, the average cost of a wood burning stove ranges from £400 to £1,500. A wood burning fireplace costs about £1,460, with prices varying depending on the make and model. If it’s a new central heating system, you’ll also need to factor in the cost of a chimney flue of around £1,700. These prices are for the appliance alone, without any labour costs.

Solid fuel central heating installation cost

To plan your budget for your new solid fuel central heating system, it’s important to factor in the installation cost, as well as the appliances themselves.

A wood-burning stove supplied and installed will cost about £2,000. If you opt for a pellet stove, the total installation cost is around £1,950. To find out more, check out our guide on the cost of installing a wood burning stove.

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solid fuel central heating running costsFactors affecting the cost of solid fuel central heating

Central heating systems will vary from property to property, so it’s important to speak to your local solid fuel specialists for their accurate quotes. Some of the key factors that will affect the total price you pay for your solid fuel central heating include:

  • Size of your property
  • Type of solid fuel
  • Specifications of the central heating system
  • Quality of appliances and materials used
  • The complexity of the installation
  • Any prep work or structural changes needed
  • Where you live

Types of solid fuel central heating

With solid fuel central heating systems, the fire typically heats up water in the boiler. From there the hot water is stored in a hot water cylinder before being pumped to the radiators in the property.

This type of heating burns a wide variety of solid fuels that need to be purchased by the user. Solid fuels vary enormously in price and quality, and this affects the performance of the heating system.

Open fires

With open fire heating a fire basket is attached to a boiler and the fuel is loaded into the basket to burn. Any gases or smoke are then vented into the chimney and out of the house. These systems are designed to burn wood, coal or smokeless biomass fuels.

Open fires are generally not great for efficiency, and often need to be reloaded regularly and are difficult to keep lit for long periods of time, such as overnight. They also produce a fair amount of soot, so they require regular cleaning of the chimney.

Closed fires

Closed fires, otherwise known as ‘room heaters’ are much more efficient than open fires. This is mainly due to the amount of control you can have over the fire and heat being produced, because the fire burns behind a door.

With closed fires you can control the burning rate, giving you a greater deal of flexibility and efficiency for your central heating system. As with open fires, it’s important to clean the soot and ash from the chimney regularly to avoid blockages and fire risks.

If you’re looking for information on other forms of central heating, such as gas, oil or electric, check out our central heating installation cost guide.

solid fuel central heating installation cost

Solid fuel central heating running costs

You’ll need to keep topping up your solid fuel supply, so it’s important to consider the running costs for your solid fuel central heating before you carry out an installation. Whether you’re using wood, coal or smokeless fuel pellets, it’s a cost you need to factor in.

Useful solid fuel central heating checklist

To help you manage those costs, here are some tips for saving money on solid fuel central heating:

  • Shop around for your fuel supplier to see who can offer the best deal. And don’t be afraid to mix it up and change suppliers according to deals and special offers.
  • Many fuel suppliers are open to haggling, so don’t accept the first price as set in sonte. Practice your bartering skills to get the best price.
  • Bulk buying can often reduce the overall cost of fuel. If you don’t have a place to store large amounts of fuel, consider getting together with friends, family or neighbours and buying together.
  • Buy out of season. Solid fuel prices are typically cheaper in the summer, when demand is low, so stock up while the sun is shining to save money.
  • If you’re considering solid fuel central heating for your home, speak to your local heating specialists for their professional advice and for more information on your options.
  • Shop around for fair and competitive prices of solid fuel central heating systems.
  • Always hire a tradespeople with relevant experience and check out the reviews from their previous customers to confirm the standard of their work.

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