Air Conditioning Cost: What You Need to Know

Installing air conditioning in your home can greatly improve your comfort during the hot summer months. But how much does it cost? In this article, we'll break down the average costs of different types of...

Installing air conditioning in your home can greatly improve your comfort during the hot summer months. But how much does it cost? In this article, we'll break down the average costs of different types of air conditioning units, as well as the factors that can influence the total cost. By the end, you'll have a better understanding of what to expect when it comes to air conditioning installation.

How Much Does Air Conditioning Cost?

The cost of air conditioning installation depends on several factors, including the type and size of the unit, the specific model, the number of tradespeople involved, and the location of your property.

Split Air Conditioning Unit

A split air conditioner system is the most common option for single or double rooms. The average cost of installing a split air conditioner system for a single room is £800 to £2,500, while for a double room, it's £1,500 to £2,800. If you want to install a split A/C throughout your entire property, you can expect to pay between £6,500 and £9,500.

Freestanding Air Conditioning Unit

A freestanding or portable air conditioner is a DIY option that doesn't require any installation charges. These units typically cost between £150 and £400, making them a more affordable choice.

Ducted Air Conditioning System

If you're looking to install a ducted air conditioning system, the costs will be higher. For a single room, you can expect to pay about £2,500 to £3,500, for a double room it's £2,500 to £4,000, and for an entire property, the price range is £10,000 to £14,500.

Window Air Conditioning Unit

For a window air conditioner, the cost is usually around £545 to £1,160 for a single room, or £575 to £1,200 for a double room.

Air Conditioning Cost Image source: Sanaulac.vn

What Determines the Total Cost?

Several factors can influence the overall cost of air conditioning installation. These include the type and size of your property, the specific air conditioning model, the number of tradespeople hired, the ease of access, and the location of your property. Keep in mind that labor costs can vary across different regions, with higher expenses in areas like London.

Air Conditioning Prices

To give you a better idea of the average costs, here's a breakdown of the installation prices for different types of air conditioning units:

Type of Unit Average Cost Range
Split Air Conditioner £800 - £9,500
Freestanding Air Conditioner £150 - £400
Ducted Air Conditioning £2,500 - £14,500
Window Air Conditioner £545 - £1,200

Additional Costs of Installing Air Conditioning

In addition to the installation costs, there are some additional expenses you may encounter:

Minimum Fee

Some contractors may charge a minimum fee for air conditioning installation, regardless of the duration of the job. Be sure to clarify this before hiring a professional.

Size/Type of Air Conditioning System

Larger systems generally come with higher supply costs. The type of system also affects the price, with freestanding units being more affordable compared to ducted ones.

Property Type/Size

The size and type of your property will influence the overall cost. Larger properties may require more extensive air conditioning systems.

Number of Tradespeople

In most cases, a single contractor will handle the installation. However, if multiple tradespeople are required, the labor costs may increase.

Duration

The length of the installation job can impact the cost, especially if you are charged by the hour. Keep in mind that quicker jobs may require more laborers, which can affect the overall bill.

A/C Repairs

If you need to repair your air conditioning system in the future, the cost will depend on the extent of the issue and the size of the system. In some cases, it may be more cost-effective to replace the entire system.

Tradesmen Costs for Air Conditioning Installation

The labor costs for fitting air conditioning units can vary, but here's a general estimate:

A gas certified tradesperson typically charges £15 to £20 per hour or £150 to £350 per day. The labor cost for installing a split system ranges from £30 to £80 for a single room, £45 to £100 for a double room, and £90 to £160 for an entire house. For a ducted A/C, the installation cost is about £45 to £100 for a single room, £75 to £200 for a double room, and £150 to £400 for a whole property. Window air conditioners require labor costs of around £45 to £160 for a single room and £75 to £200 for a double room. Keep in mind that freestanding air conditioners don't require any installation.

Air Conditioning Cost Image source: Sanaulac.vn

How Long Does It Take to Install an Air Conditioning System?

The time required for air conditioning installation depends on the type of unit and the size of the area being cooled. Here's a rough estimate:

  • For a split system: 2-4 hours for a single room, 3-5 hours for a double room, and 6-8 hours for an entire house.
  • For a ducted system: 3-5 hours for a single room, 5-10 hours for a double room, and 1-2 days for an entire house.
  • For a window A/C system: 3-8 hours for a single room and 5-10 hours for a double room.

Keep in mind that these timeframes can vary depending on the specific installation requirements.

Types of Air Conditioning Systems

Now that we've covered the costs and installation details, let's take a closer look at the different types of air conditioning systems available and their features, benefits, and disadvantages.

Portable/Freestanding Air Conditioning Units

Portable air conditioners, also known as freestanding units, are an affordable and easy-to-use option. They are ideal for occasional use and can be moved around with ease. However, they are not as effective in cooling large spaces. The average cost of a portable/freestanding air conditioner is £150 to £400.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Ideal for occasional use
  • Portable and easy to move
  • No installation required

Cons:

  • Less effective for cooling large spaces

Ducted Air Conditioning Systems

Ducted systems are discreet and perfect for larger houses. They can be controlled to activate the air conditioning in one or multiple rooms. However, ducted air conditioning can be expensive, with costs ranging from £2,500 to £14,500 or more. It's important to note that not all properties have the necessary space for ducted installation.

Pros:

  • Discreet
  • Suitable for large houses
  • Comes with a range of features

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for all properties

Split Air Conditioning Units

Split air conditioning systems consist of an indoor unit mounted on the wall and an outdoor compressor. They are more discreet than portable units and tend to be more cost-effective to run. Split systems can be expanded to cool multiple rooms. However, annual maintenance is required, and the initial cost can be high, ranging from £800 to £9,500.

Pros:

  • More discreet than portable units
  • Cost-effective to run
  • Can be expanded to cool multiple rooms

Cons:

  • Requires annual maintenance
  • Can be expensive

Window Air Conditioning Units

Window air conditioners are a good option for apartments or buildings where other types of installations are not allowed. They are relatively quiet and can be fixed in a wall hole or window opening. However, they may partially block window views and require additional structural support. The average cost of a window A/C is £500 to £1,200.

Pros:

  • Relatively quiet
  • Suitable for limited installation options
  • Can be portable in some cases

Cons:

  • Can be expensive
  • May obstruct window views
  • Requires structural support

Air Conditioning Cost Image source: Sanaulac.vn

How Much Does It Cost to Remove an Air Conditioning System?

If you decide to remove your air conditioning system for any reason, such as replacing it with a different type or not needing it anymore, it should only be done by a certified F-gas engineer. The cost of removing an air conditioning system can range from £50 to £100 or more, depending on the complexity of the job.

FAQs

Q: How does air conditioning work? A: Air conditioners utilize the refrigeration cycle to release or absorb heat, cooling the air inside your home before pumping it outdoors.

Q: What is manual air conditioning? A: Manual air conditioning allows you to set a specific cooling/blower setting, supplying cooler air until you change the setting. This is different from a smart/automated system that adjusts on its own.

Q: How long does a portable air conditioner last? A: A good-quality portable air conditioner should last around 10-15 years or even longer.

Q: Should I install air conditioning myself? A: It's generally best to hire a professional for air conditioning installation to ensure proper installation and avoid any potential issues.

Q: Will air conditioning add value to my property? A: While air conditioning may add some value to your property, the impact is generally minimal.

Conclusion

Installing air conditioning in your home can be a worthwhile investment for your comfort during hot summer days. By understanding the costs and factors that influence air conditioning installation, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs and budget. Whether you opt for a split system, a ducted unit, a portable/freestanding A/C, or a window air conditioner, the key is to choose a solution that meets your specific requirements.

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