How much does it cost to replace a home radiator?

$700 – $1,300 cost per unit installed
$7,000 – $15,000 cost to replace 10 to 15 units in a house
$2,100 – $5,000 cost to replace 3 to 5 units in an apartment

Get free estimates from radiator services near you, or view our cost guide below.

March 15, 2022

Reviewed by Tom Grupa and 4 expert radiator services on HomeGuide.

Home radiator replacement cost

Radiator replacement costs $700 to $1,300 per unit on average, depending on the type, size, style, and fuel source. Radiator installation costs $7,000 to $15,000 to replace 10 to 15 units in a home. New radiator prices are $150 to $1,000 each, plus $200 to $800 for labor.

Home radiator replacement cost - chart
Home radiator replacement cost - chart

Radiator replacement cost
National average cost $1,000
Minimum cost $300
Maximum cost $1,500
Average cost range $700 to $1,300

Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.


Radiator installation cost

Radiator installation costs range from $300 to $2,500, depending on the fuel source. Electric radiators are cheaper to install but cost more to run. Hot water and steam units cost more upfront but keep warming after the heating cycle ends, resulting in energy savings.

Radiator installation cost
Heat source Cost per unit installed
Electric radiator $300 – $1,600
Hot water / hydronic radiator $350 – $1,700
Steam radiator $300 – $2,500
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Home radiator replacement in living room
Home radiator replacement in living room

Hot water or steam radiator system cost

Hydronic or steam radiators cost $180 to $1,200 for the unit alone, depending on their size in British Thermal Units (BTUs). In a hydronic heating system, the hot water or steam from a boiler is sent through pipes into a radiator that diffuses heat and warms the room.

Hot water or steam radiator system cost
Size Average cost per unit (plumbed)*
Less than 2,000 BTUs $180 – $670
2,000 – 4,000 BTUs $200 – $720
4,000 – 6,000 BTUs $220 – $760
6,000 – 8,000 BTUs $300 – $800
8,000 – 10,000 BTUs $400 – $900
10,000 – 12,000+  BTUs $400 – $1,200

*Not including installation.

Water-based systems often require additional valve replacements and pipe upgrades during retrofitting. A radiator valve replacement costs $100 to $350, and pipe replacement costs $200 to $700.

Electric radiator installation cost

An electric radiator costs $100 to $1,500 for the unit alone, depending on the watt size. Electric units attach to a wall or baseboard and typically combine a fan and heating element to circulate heated air around the room. Electric units are easier to install, reducing labor costs.

Electric radiator cost
Watts Average costs per unit*
400 – 600 Watts $100 – $600
600 – 800 Watts $200 – $900
800 –1000 Watts $450 – $1,200
1000+ Watts $500 – $1,500

*Not including installation.

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New radiators cost for a whole house

Replacing radiators in a 3 to 4 bedroom house costs $7,000 to $15,000 for 10 to 15 radiators, depending on the home's size. New radiators for an apartment cost $2,100 to $5,000 for 3 to 5 radiators.

New radiators cost for a whole house
Home type Radiators Total cost installed
One room 1 $700 – $1,300
Apartments and smaller houses 3 to 5 $2,100 – $5,000
3- to 4-bedroom house 10 to 15 $7,000 – $15,000
Most homes have multiple radiators of the same age. Consider replacing all the radiators in the central heating system at the same time to save on labor costs.

Home radiator prices

Home radiator prices range from $300 to $2,700 for the unit alone, depending on the type, brand, and heat source. When replacing a radiator, matching the current fuel source (plumbed or electric) and boiler type (hot water or steam) saves money.

Radiator costs by type

Wall-mounted or freestanding radiators are available. Smaller rooms rely on single-panel or baseboard units, while larger spaces typically use dual-panel or large column radiators for more heat.

Radiator costs by type
Type Price per unit (plumbed)* Price per unit (electric)*
Baseboard $100 – $1,500 $100 – $1,200
Column $500 – $1,200 $300 – $1,400
Single panel $100 – $300 $100 – $450
Dual panel $300 – $500 $300 – $1,500
Flat panel $200 – $1,200 $300 – $900
Freestanding $200 – $500 $300 – $1,600
Towel $250 – $1,400 $200 – $1,400

*Not including installation.

  • Baseboard radiators cost $300 to $1,100 per unit and provide low-profile, quiet heating. Baseboard units are low-maintenance but require a clear space for safety.
  • Column radiators have rows of cast iron hollow tubes or fins that radiate heat. Column radiators may be wall-mounted, floor-mounted, or freestanding.
  • Single panel radiators are used in smaller spaces or spaces that need less heat output.
  • Dual panel radiators are best for standard or large rooms. The increased surface area of the fins allows double panel radiators to emit more heat to warm a larger space.
  • Flat panel radiators are thin, wall-mounted units that operate at lower temperatures than traditional fin radiators, offering energy-efficient, silent heating with a modern esthetic.
  • Freestanding or floor-standing radiators are built on a pedestal rather than mounted to a wall, making installation cheaper and easier.
  • Towel radiators do not heat the room but warm the objects placed on the rails. Heated towel rails are used in bathrooms to dry towels quickly.

Home radiator prices by brand

Home radiator prices by brand
Brand Price per unit (plumbed)* Price per unit (electric)*
Amaze Heater $100 – $150
Pensotti $200 – $700
Buderus $200 – $600 $500 – $1,100
Ecostyle $300 – $1,000
Hudson Reed $300 – $1,900 $500 – $1,100
Runtal $500 – $1,300 $600 – $1,000

*Not including installation.

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Cost factors to replace radiator heat

The cost to replace a radiator depends on the modifications required for a retrofit, access or difficulty of installation, and whether the new unit is the same style as the existing unit. Other cost factors include:

  • Type – Replacing an electric unit is typically faster and cheaper than a plumbed hot water or steam unit.
  • Size – Radiators are sized by heat output measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). The more BTUs, the higher the unit cost.
  • Material – Cast iron radiators are more expensive and slower to heat, but they radiate heat for hours after the heating cycle, making them more energy-efficient. Steel and aluminum radiators are cheaper and offer fast heating.
  • Brand – Budget-friendly brands include Amaze electric wall heaters and Ecostyle water-based heating systems. Buderus by Bosch is a leading brand of mid-priced, high-quality radiators.
  • Energy efficiency – Hydronic or steam systems are energy- and cost-efficient, radiating heat long after the running cycle. Electric heaters are the most expensive way to heat a home and are best used as a supplemental heat source or in small spaces like a bathroom.
  • Horizontal vs. vertical installation – Traditional horizontal radiators are cheaper. Vertical radiators cost more but save valuable wall space and offer a modern style.
  • Warranty – Budget radiator brands offer a 1 to 3-year warranty, while high-end manufacturers provide a 5 to 10-year warranty.
  • Radiator covers cost $100 to $900, depending on the size, material, and custom features.
  • Thermostat installation costs $140 to $350 and provides zoned temperature control for better comfort and energy efficiency.
  • Central heating inhibitors – Adding a liquid chemical solution to the heating system inhibits rust and internal corrosion to improve radiator performance.
  • Decorative valves – Adding simple, modern, or ornate decorative valves costs $100 to $350 and is a way to personalize the radiator style.
  • Painting a radiator costs $200 to $900, depending on if the unit is painted in place or fully refurbished in a workshop.
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Labor cost to fit a radiator

The labor cost to fit a radiator is $200 to $800, depending on the unit type and retrofitting required. Plumbers charge $45 to $150 per hour, and HVAC specialists charge $75 to $150 per hour. Multi-unit installation saves on labor costs.

  • Replacing with a similar unit is the least expensive option and takes 1 to 2 hours.
  • Changing the radiator style requires new fittings and other updates, increasing costs.
  • Working in confined spaces increases the labor hours.
  • Electric radiator installation does not require plumbing work, resulting in lower labor costs.
  • Hot water or steam units often require plumbing modifications at a higher cost.

Boiler and radiator replacement cost

Boiler replacement costs $2,200 to $7,000. Replacing the boiler and radiator at the same time reduces labor costs because draining the system is necessary for both tasks. A new boiler improves energy efficiency, decreasing utility bills.

Old radiator removal cost

Old radiator removal and disposal costs $75 to $400 when added to a radiator replacement estimate. Follow-up repairs cost extra and include refinishing damaged floors or walls and capping or removing old pipework.

Underfloor heating vs. radiators cost

Radiant floor heating costs $7 to $17 per square foot for labor and materials. Also called underfloor heating, electrical wiring or warm water pipes beneath the floor provide energy-efficient heating. The low running costs offset the high upfront costs, making underfloor heating cheaper than radiator heat over time.

Underfloor heating vs. radiators
Heating system Pros Cons
Radiant underfloor heating
  • Lower water temperature requirements
  • Up to 25% more energy efficient
  • Uses 10% less floor and wall space
  • Improved safety with no exposed hot surfaces or sharp metal corners
  • No cold spots in the room as it covers the entire floor
  • Precise temperature-controlled zones
  • Improved air quality
  • High upfront costs, especially when  retrofitting in an existing home
  • Water-based systems cost two to three times more than electric systems
  • Extended installation times of up to a week for water-based systems
  • Increases floor heights by up to an inch
Radiator
  • Low initial costs due to reuse of existing boiler
  • Provides a quick blast of focused heat to a room that lasts beyond the running cycle
  • High running costs, especially systems without automated temperature control
  • Takes up valuable floor and wall space in the room
  • Increased dust production due to thermal circulation of hot air rising

Frequently asked questions

How does a home radiator work?

A home radiator draws heat from the water or steam produced by the boiler. Hot water travels through the pipes, heating the radiator's metal fins and warming the surrounding air. The hot air rises and is replaced by cool air from below, circulating the air to heat the entire space.

How long do home radiators last?

Home radiators last from 10 to 20 years or more, depending on the type and past maintenance. Cast iron radiators are among the oldest types of radiators, with many in use for more than a century.

Is it worth replacing radiators?

It is worth replacing a radiator that needs frequent or costly repairs, especially if it is more than 10 years old. Over time, erosion causes rust to collect in the boiler, and the resulting sludge prevents the system from heating effectively. A new radiator provides better heating and energy savings.

What size radiator to heat a room?

Hot water and steam radiators come in multiple sizes measured in BTUs. Several factors determine the BTUs needed to heat a space adequately, including climate, amount of insulation, and room size. To estimate the number of BTUs needed:

  1. Calculate each room's cubic volume in feet by multiplying the room length x height x width.
  2. Multiply the cubic feet by the multiplier for each room type.
  3. Factor in the heat loss or gain percentages, as shown in the table below.
Room Multiplication factor
Common areas (family room, living room, dining room) 5
Bedroom 4
Home office 4
Kitchen 3
Other areas 3
North-facing and heavily-shaded rooms Add 15%
Inadequate insulation Add 15%
French doors Add 20%
Double-glazed windows Deduct 10%

Home much water is in a home radiator?

A home radiator does not store water; instead, water passes through the system. To approximate the radiator volume, drain the system and read the home's water meter. Refill the system and take another water meter reading. The difference between the readings is an estimate of the radiator's volume.

How hot do home radiators get?

A steam radiator reaches a maximum temperature of 229° F, and a hot-water radiator reaches 180° F.  Electric wall panels reach 160° to 170° F.

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Finding a radiator installer

When hiring a plumber or HVAC specialist for a radiator installation, be sure to:

  • Get at least three estimates that include comparable equipment to compare.
  • Look for licensed contractors with radiator experience.
  • Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
  • Select insured and bonded companies that have been in business for more than five years.
  • Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.
  • Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.
  • Never pay in full before the project starts. Follow a payment plan instead for work completed.

Questions to ask

  • What radiator type and brand does the estimate include?
  • Will my current system need to be retrofitted, and in what way?
  • Do you recommend replacing some or all of the radiators at the same time?
  • Should I replace the boiler at the same time I replace the radiators?
  • Is there a warranty? If yes, how long is it and what does it include?
  • How many radiator installations have you completed in the last year?
  • Do you charge an hourly rate or flat-rate fee to install a radiator?
  • May I have a copy of your insurance policy for my records?
  • Will you provide a list of references with contact information?

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