When Should I Replace My Radiators?

Radiators often last for approximately 15 to 20 years. However, it’s important to know what signs to look out for that your radiators need replacing. 


After all, radiators may need replacing sooner than expected. Also, spotting these signs early can help you avoid existing issues worsening and costing you more down the line or spending more than you need to on energy bills.


Note: Even if your radiators are working well after their expected lifespan, you should still consider replacing them once they reach this point, if possible. At the very least (and this is true regardless of how old your radiators are), you should bleed them or have them bled by a professional twice annually.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Radiators

There are signs you should look out for that your radiators are in need of replacing. In this section, we’ll explore some of the most notable examples.

Radiators Are Old Or/And Break Down Often

As discussed, you should really replace your radiators once they surpass their life expectancy to err on the side of caution. After all, while they may have managed well up to that point, issues could accumulate quickly in the near future, for all you know.


Along with or instead of your radiators being old, their frequently breaking down can also signify that it’s time to have them replaced. 


Of course, in some cases, it could be so that one or several radiators are broken entirely and beyond economical repair or repairing the radiator(s) in question is not a viable option for another reason (e.g. they’re just too worn down to be repaired and maintained which would be an issue from functional and safety perspectives).

Radiators Remain Inefficient Even After Maintenance

Even if your radiators haven’t outright broken down (either temporarily or completely), inefficient radiators, particularly if they are quite old may still need replacing (or/and be beyond the point of repair in one form or another).

Ways to Determine the Cause of Radiators’ Inefficiency


Of course, if your radiators are inefficient, there are other ports of call to turn to first. For one, as discussed, it’s important that your radiators are bled at least twice a year. So, if you have inefficient radiators, try that first to see if this fixes or largely fixes the problem.


Beyond that, you should have your radiator’s power flushed once every 5-6 years on average or sooner if a professional deems it necessary (e.g. they might get a sense it is needed following some other form of central heating maintenance or if you simply decide to call them out to tell if your heating system needs maintenance like power flushing).


Having a heating system power flushed is significantly more expensive than having radiators bled. Also, it’s possible to bleed radiators DIY once you follow the manufacturer’s instructions to a T and have all relevant safety awareness, while you cannot power flush your heating system by yourself.


It generally costs somewhere in the region of around £500 to £1,000 to have your heating system power flushed. Therefore, if it turns out it needs power flushing, you might as well have your radiators replaced. 

So, Should I Replace My Inefficient Radiators

Of course, in some cases power flushing may still be needed, depending on how much of the sludge/debris causing issues is present in your radiators versus the general pipework. So, you’re best-off chatting with a qualified heating engineer for advice on how to move forward.


Ultimately, if bleeding your radiators doesn’t significantly improve their efficiency, it is a strong sign that they need replacing, particularly if they are old (again, in general, radiators being old is an additional case and a case in itself to have them replaced). 


Also, power flushing may or may not be needed, but if it is required, your old radiators may still be on their way out. All in all, be sure to talk with a qualified heating engineer to decide whether or not it’s time to have your radiators replaced. This is because you want to avoid wasting time and potentially wasting money, too.

Should I Replace All My Radiators at Once?

This will depend on the state and age of your existing radiators. For example, some may be significantly more worn down than others if they were used more often (e.g. perhaps you heat your downstairs spaces more often than upstairs spaces).


In general, it is better to replace your radiators as needed (per the advice of a professional if unsure whether it’s time to replace them), so one or a few at a time. However, you could replace them all at once if you’d prefer, especially if all or nearly all your radiators are particularly old or/and worn down.

Cost of New Radiators

Note: You can, in certain cases, replace radiators DIY. However, if you are replacing your radiators with new types of radiators than the existing ones or the replacement work will otherwise be particularly complex, you’ll need to hire a professional. Also, if in any doubt, it’s essential to hire a qualified professional to err on the side of caution.


On average, a new radiator costs somewhere between £100 and £500 if replacing an existing one with another single unit, meaning you could spend approximately £1,000 to £7,500 in total (if you have about 10-15 radiators in your home). 


However, this will depend on various factors such as the size and number of radiators, the quality/brand of the radiators and the cost of labour in your region.


Returning to the average total cost of having every radiator replaced in your home, the price range estimate above assumes you opt for single or double-panel radiators. 


However, vertical radiators can cost more, and while column and heated towel radiators often come with price tags similar to your average single- or double-panel radiators, there are quite a few examples that cost more.

Hiring a Professional Radiator Installer

As touched on, you’ll probably need to have your radiators replaced by a professional. When it comes to finding the right person or company for the job, you should consider getting quotes from 3+ professionals and then compare their quotes so you can make an informed decision.


Amongst the aspects of each quote/service to consider and compare are their pricing, levels of experience and online reviews/ratings (if available).

Leave a Reply