Radiators may have been around since the mid-1800s but are still widely used — and for good reason. Radiators are modular in nature and often easy and inexpensive to repair since most individual parts can be fixed or replaced without overhauling the whole system. That doesn’t mean radiators are exempt from needing to be replaced, though, and while minor repairs may be affordable, the radiator replacement cost should be factored into your home maintenance budget.
The good news is that home radiator replacement and repair are among the less expensive emergency home maintenance costs that can arise. Still, radiator installation costs are a considerable expense for many homeowners, especially when it happens without warning. It’s important to educate yourself on the estimated cost of a home radiator replacement to help you avoid overpaying for repairs.
Home radiator installation cost breakdown
Homes with radiators typically have one central boiler, which is connected by pipes to a system of radiators placed strategically throughout the house. There are a ton of parts involved, so the first step with a home radiator replacement is determining that the radiator is actually the problem. It’s a matter of calculating the radiator replacement cost and identifying whether any alternative repairs can be made from there.
- Troubleshooting the source of the problem: Troubleshooting before replacing could save you a ton of unnecessary expenses. Are you sure your radiator is actually the problem? Radiators are often the most durable part of the system, and often it’s actually the boiler or pipes that need replacing. If the radiator is the issue, a simple repair can often eliminate the need to replace it entirely. Before throwing the towel in, have a skilled professional troubleshoot the source of your radiator troubles. If they determine the radiator does need replacing, then you can move forward with asking for a home radiator replacement cost quote.
- Home radiator replacement cost: Your total radiator replacement cost will depend on the number of radiators that need to be replaced. Each radiator typically costs between $250 and $500, depending on the size and whether it’s single or double panel.
- Boiler replacement cost: As mentioned, it’s often not the radiator that needs to be replaced, but the boiler. This is the most expensive part of the system and usually averages between $500 and $1,500 to replace. Traditional boilers powered by gas and electricity are on the lower end of the price range, while geothermal heat pumps are more expensive but may save you money on your energy bill in the long run.
- Labor and radiation installation cost: You should never attempt to perform a home radiator replacement on your own. Hire a licensed professional to carry out any repair or replacement work, making sure to get several quotes before choosing someone. You should expect to pay around $800 in labor to install an entire radiator heating system.
How to know if your home radiator needs repair
If you’re having issues heating your home, a qualified and licensed heating professional can tell you whether your home radiator needs repair or replacement. This is done by testing the radiator for leaks, checking the boiler, inspecting pipes and looking for faulty valves. Once the initial diagnosis has been performed, the contractor can give you an estimate on what repairs need to be carried out, including the radiator replacement cost if necessary.
Tips to save on replacing your home radiator
The most reliable way to reduce your home radiator replacement cost is to get multiple quotes from local professionals. Don’t just choose the lowest bidder, though. If one estimate is significantly lower than the rest, find out why. It may be because the contractor isn’t as qualified or uses low-quality parts, which will only lead to more costs later on.
You can also save money by making repairs whenever possible rather than replacing the radiator entirely. Swapping out a single fin on your radiator or replacing a bleeding valve will be much gentler on your bank account than an entire home radiator replacement.
Financing options for home radiator replacement
If you’re faced with an unexpected radiator replacement cost, the total bill for parts and labor could be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. If you don’t have that kind of money sitting in your bank account, don’t panic. There are many financing options that are designed for emergency home repairs.
For most home radiator replacement projects, a personal loan will be the simplest and most appropriate financing option because you won’t need to borrow a huge sum of money to get it done. As long as you have a decent credit score, you could have the necessary funds in your bank account with a personal loan in as little as one day. You won’t need to put your house up for collateral and can even get a loan online without having to visit a bank or credit union. Personal loans are perfect for small home improvement projects of this type.
Home equity loan
If your entire home heating system needs an overhaul and the projected costs are at least $10,000, you may need to consider a home equity loan. This option functions as a second mortgage and allows you to borrow a lump sum of money against your existing equity in your home. However, most banks won’t issue a home equity loan for smaller amounts, so this likely won’t be an option if you simply need a few hundred dollars for a new radiator. This type of loan is also secured against your home, which means your home could be at risk if you don’t pay it back.
Home equity line of credit
Like home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, or HELOCS, typically have a minimum draw amount of $10,000. Unlike home equity loans, HELOCs function more like a credit card than a lump sum loan, though you are borrowing against the equity in your home. You can borrow from the line of credit as needed but don’t need to take everything out in one lump sum, and you’ll only have to pay interest on what you borrow. Again, this is really only an option if your home radiator replacement cost reaches five figures, which probably won’t happen unless you decide to replace your entire home heating system.