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Air Conditioning Installation Costs and Quotes

Last Updated on By Jon

This is a 2021 costs and prices guide explaining what you should expect to spend if you also want to install an A/C system in your home. You can even arrange free quotes to compare online.

air conditioning costs

Average Air Conditioning costs

So how much installing AC in your home or workplace cost?

Service Budget Premium
Split air conditioner system
Small home office £950.00 £1,500.00
Double bedroom £1,100.00 £1,750.00
Conservatory £1,300.00 £2,100.00
Six room multi-split unit £6,000.00 £9,000.00
Ducted air conditioner system
Small home office £2,000.00 £2,800.00
Double bedroom £2,250.00 £3,250.00

(Prices taken from multiple sources and averaged)

Prices Checked 09/06/2021

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The cost of air conditioning installation primarily depends on the house's size and the type of conditioning unit that needs to be installed.

The average air conditioner installation cost for a small home/office is £950.00 - £2,800.00.

For a double bedroom home, the cost average at £1,100.00 - £3,250.00.

Factors that affect air conditioning costs

Air conditioning system installed

There are three main types of air conditioners for home and office spaces- freestanding, split air and ducted air conditioners.

The freestanding (portable) conditioner does not have an installation cost as it just needs to be plugged into a power outlet to condition air. A good portable conditioner costs around £300-£400 to purchase.

The other two air conditioners require professional installations hence are generally more expensive than the freestanding units.

The size of the space that needs air conditioning

If you need an air conditioner unit to cool a large space, the installation and running costs will be higher than for a smaller area. More powerful air conditioning units (that cost more) are needed to sufficiently ‘condition’ the air in a large space.

As a general rule, the space to air conditioning size should be 1 ton for 37m2 for sufficient conditioning to occur. Since the standard UK bedroom is 16m2, at least ½ ton of air conditioning should be provided.

The ton is a measure of the air the conditioner can remove from a space in an hour and should not be related to the unit's weight.

The space to air conditioning ratio is, therefore, the units needed for a room or a household.

Additional features used

If you go for cheaper units, there will be fewer additional features and thus, the upfront cost will be lower.

On the other hand, if you stick to a sophisticated air conditioner, there will be special controls and features that, despite having a higher upfront cost, will make the unit more cost and energy-efficient in the long run. The most common additional features are:

  • A time function - Ensures that the system does not run unnecessarily.
  • A remote-controlled app - Allows control of the system even when you are afar. With the app, you can conveniently switch to sleep or night mode to make the system quieter and more efficient at night.
  • Climate control - Stops the system when the desired temperature has been achieved.

Air conditioner running costs

The running cost depends on the air conditioner's size but will average at £0.11 an hour. If you use a standard air conditioner unit for 6 hours a day, you should expect to spend £20 - £30 as the monthly running cost. The running cost of a multi-split system with several outlets can stretch up to £150 a month.

To keep the running cost on the low, install a system that is suitable for a room in terms of space and power it produces to cool the air. Even better, it would help if you considered investing in a premium unit that is more energy-efficient as it will help you save more.

Regular maintenance of the air conditioning unit also reduces the running cost. Ensure that your air conditioner is serviced once per year and that repairs are done quickly and correctly so that the unit runs smoothly. You should also change or clean the air filters frequently to prevent blockage of airflow in the A/C that reduces its working efficiency. The vents need to be cleaned too, to ensure that the air transmission is smooth. The amount of the refrigerant in your system should remain constant and a decrease means that there is a leakage that needs to be dealt with immediately.

The British weather is increasingly becoming hotter and UK homeowners are finding the need to install air conditioning units in their homes. This is a costs and prices guide explaining what you should expect to spend if you also want to install an A/C system in your home. Even with increasing warm summers in the region, some homes are naturally warmer and could benefit greatly from air conditioning.

How do air conditioners work?

Do you wonder how air conditioning units do their work? Read through to find out.

Air conditioning systems condition and clean the air in the room where they are installed. Contrary to what many people think, air conditioning is not just about cooling. It also comprises heating, humidification, dehumidification and ventilation of a space.

Generally, they work by moving hot stuffed air from inside a room to the outside and bringing cool air inside. The cold air first passes through the machine itself and moves through an evaporator coil (a set of cold pipes) full of a refrigerant/coolant to further cool it before it is transmitted to the space.

The output of air conditioning units explained

An air conditioning unit's output is the power that it dissipates to cool down the room and is a crucial consideration when choosing the unit suitable for a given room. If a system is not powerful enough, it will insufficiently cool the room it is installed in. On the other hand, if the conditioner is too powerful for a room, it will waste energy and hence will be costly to run.

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Types of air conditioning units

There are three main types of air conditioning units- Split air, Ducted and Freestanding air conditioners.

Split air conditioner/ wall mounted

Split air conditioner systems have two distinct parts. One is installed outside the home while the other is left inside.

The two air conditioning parts are interconnected with cables and copper wires. The exterior part is mainly comprised of a compressor, while the internal part is the channel in which the cool is filtered into the home.

This air conditioning unit's advantage is that the noisiest and space-consuming component (the compressor) is kept outside.

You should, however, know that the installation of the compressor unit on the outside can be unsightly and could compromise the aesthetic properties of your home.

In addition to space-saving and high working efficiency, split air conditioners are operated through a remote control that can alter the temperature, fans’ power and other air conditioning features such as air control, night mode and timer.

Ducted air conditioner/central air conditioner

These are the most expensive air conditioners to install and run. The good thing with ducted air conditioners is that they are highly effective and discreet to use.

The working principle for these air conditioners is similar to that of split air conditioning systems, just that the cool air is filtered into the space through a ceiling duct.

A central conditioning unit can be installed in a strategic place in your home where air conditioning outlets spread across the home can be connected. With this, you can efficiently control the temperature of your entire home from a common place.

Like a split air system, different outlets can also have their own control systems operated individually.

Freestanding/ portable air conditioner

Do you have a plug-in heater in your home? Well, you already know how having a freestanding air conditioner is like. These air conditioner types are sold in shops for non-tradespersons and you just plug it into a power outlet (just like a plug-in heater) for it to perform its air conditioning role.

Portable air conditioners are the cheapest to purchase and are perfect for small areas. They can be easily moved around and hence are also highly convenient.

The downside of freestanding air conditioners is that, unlike wall-mounted and ducted systems, they can be unsightly and can take up much floor space. Also, these conditioners are not highly effective like their large counterparts and are not suitable for large spaces.