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How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Radiator in 2022?

home radiator

Introduction

Home radiators can last a long time, but they sometimes wear out and might start to leak. If the radiator in your home looks old or worn out, you might like to replace it. Many people want to know how much it costs to replace a radiator. The quick answer is between $700 and $1,300 per unit, but there are several factors to consider. Keep reading while we take a closer look at the cost of replacing these devices.

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The Importance of a Properly Working Radiator

Radiators that are not working correctly can leak, leading to expensive water damage. They also won’t get as hot as they should, requiring your furnace to work harder, especially if the malfunctioning radiator is near the thermostat, which will increase your heating costs and reduce comfort. An overworking furnace can strain the other radiators and pipes in your home, which can cause them to malfunction prematurely. If you notice water coming from a strange part of the radiator or it’s not getting as hot as other radiators in your home, it may be time to replace it. However, it’s important to remember that the air valve air valve on most radiators can also go bad, which might result in leaking water. It will not require a radiator replacement to fix.

radiator at home
Image Credit: Etadly, Pixabay

How Much Does a Replacement Radiator Cost?

You can expect to spend between $700 and $1,300 when replacing a radiator. A new radiator alone costs $150 to $1,000, and labor usually runs between $200 and $800. Different things can affect the price, including type, size, style, and fuel source. Since rust is a common reason that radiators fail, many people choose to replace all their radiators once one goes bad, which often costs between $7,000 and $15,000.

National Average Radiator Cost $1,000
Low End $700
High End $1,300

Hot Water or Steam Radiator Cost

Hot water radiators and steam radiators work slightly differently, but they cost about the same. The type that you choose will depend on your heating system. The main thing that affects the cost of radiators is their size. You determine the size of a radiator in British thermal units (BTUs), which measures how much heat the radiator will put out. Small systems won’t take up that much space and are relatively inexpensive, but they will take a long time to heat a large room. Since you are replacing a radiator, we recommend getting something of a similar size.

Radiator Size in BTUs Average Cost Per Unit
Less than 2,000 $150–$450
2,000–4,000 $200–$500
4,000–6,000 $250–$600
6,000–8,000 $400–$800
8,000–10,000 $500–$1,000
10,000–12,000 $600–$1,200
Radiators without covers
Radiators without covers (Image Credit: Becky Stern, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic)

Electric Radiators

The cost of electric radiators also depends on their size, and you measure the size of an electric radiator by how many watts it uses. Smaller units are typically about 400 watts, while larger, more expensive units can use as many as 1,000.

Radiator Size in Watts Average Cost Per Unit
400 $100–$500
500 $200–$600
600 $300–$700
700 $500–$900
800 $600–$1,000
900 $800–$1,200
1,000 $900–$1,500

Radiator Types

Another thing that can affect the price of your radiator is its type, as there are many different kinds.

Baseboard Radiators

Baseboard radiators are long and thin and are installed at the baseboard level of your wall. They can be hot water or electric and cost between $35 and $1,000.

Single-Panel Radiators

Single-panel radiators are good for small areas. They take up little space and usually cost between $80 and $300.

Flat-Panel Radiators

Flat-panel radiators are a type of single pane radiator that hangs on your wall. It usually costs between $80 and $300.

Intelli heat Mr electric electric radiators installation 21 copy
Intelli heat Mr electric electric radiators installation 21 copy (Image Credit: Salvatorecirasuolo, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)

Freestanding Radiators

Freestanding radiators usually heat an entire room and are the most common type found in homes. They come in two styles, column or dual panel, and can cost between $200 and $1,200.

Dual Panel Radiators

Dual-panel radiators have twice the number of fins, so they can produce twice the heat of a single-panel radiator. This type of radiator is usually freestanding, but there are many styles available, and it usually costs between $300 and $1,500.

Type Average Cost
Baseboard $35–$1,000
Single Panel $80–$300
Freestanding $200–$1,200
Dual Panel $300–$1,500

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Additional Costs to Anticipate

The labor cost is the highest additional cost to anticipate when replacing a radiator. You need to install many units into a wall, and they may require additional plumbing, so you will need to hire a professional to take care of it. Many radiators may also require new valves, and you will need to repaint or repair any damage caused by the malfunctioning radiator. You may also need to pay to dispose of the old radiator.

What to Do to Keep My Radiators Operating Properly

The best way to keep your radiators functioning is to frequently check all valves and water levels. Low or high water levels can cause banging in the pipes, and improperly functioning valves can create uneven heating throughout your home that causes the furnace to work harder. A malfunctioning valve in a steam system is usually easy to detect because you will see steam coming from the radiator, and there may be water under the valve. Steam radiators can require a considerable amount of maintenance because you need to flush the low water cut-off frequently to remove settlement from the boiler, so it doesn’t clog and cause damage to the furnace. Most experts recommend draining the water and refilling it slowly about once a week during the winter months.

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Conclusion

You can expect to spend about $1,000 per radiator on average. If you live in an older house with traditional column-style freestanding radiators, you may be able to do much of the work yourself, saving on labor costs, but many other types will require professional installation, which can cost up to $70 per hour. Fortunately, most will not take long to install, especially since it is a replacement and most of the parts should already be there.


Featured Image Credit: rawf8, Shutterstock

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