How much does air conditioner installation cost? 
How much does air conditioner installation cost? 
Published in January 2024
Air conditioner installation cost
How much does air conditioner installation cost? The cost of air conditioning installation ranges between $600 and $30,000, depending on a few factors.
When you want a new air conditioner for your home or office, you need to consider what will suit your personal needs and budget. In this guide, we explore:
- How much air conditioning systems cost to install?
- What do air conditioning installers charge?
- Various air conditioner brands on the market
- How to maintain your air conditioner
- How to save money on running your ac in the summer months, and more.
How much does air conditioning installation cost?
How much does it cost to install air conditioning? Aircon installation cost ranges dramatically from as little as $600 to as much as $30,000. A small split system installation is a more economical option and can cost between $600 and $750. If you want ducted air conditioning installed, expect to pay anywhere from $6,000 and up.
The total aircon installation price will depend on the type of unit you want and a few other factors. If you’re on a budget, you may opt for a portable unit or window air conditioner, but keep in mind that these units have their limitations and are not equipped to deal with larger spaces.
Let’s look at the different types of air conditioning systems and what you can expect to pay for the unit and installation.
Air con installation cost by type:
- Portable unit price: $300 to $500
- Window/ wall unit price: $300 to $1,200
- Split system unit prices: $600 to $5,500
- Ducted system price: $6,000+
When choosing the right air conditioning system for your home, it’s good to consider all your options. Ask yourself whether your household would be better fitted to having a split system installed or a ducted system to cool air.
Let’s look at the difference between these two popular types of units.
How much does it cost to install a split system air conditioner?
Split systems are the most sought-after choice for an air con installation. The reason many people opt to have a split system installed is because they’re more affordable than ducted cooling, while also being energy-efficient and quiet.
You can choose to have a freestanding or wall-mounted system in your home. A split system has the capability to cool or heat your room quickly. They come with an indoor and outdoor unit, which will require the help of a licensed professional to install.
Split system installation cost
Split system installation cost is between $600 and $5,500. Knowing the unit’s kilowatt capacity is important as it will impact the ongoing costs of running the unit. If you are getting an aircon for a smaller living space, then it makes sense to get one with a lower kilowatt capacity.
Recommended brands include Fujitsu, Panasonic and Mitsubishi. Let’s look at the split system price list for these brands (excluding installation):
- Mitsubishi: from $884
- Fujitsu: from $949
- Panasonic: from $999
Cost to install ducted air conditioning
Ducted air conditioning is a great solution if you want the ability to cool your entire home – not just a specific room. For this reason, ducted systems cost a lot more to purchase, install and run. They integrate seamlessly into your home through the ceiling, floor or wall cavities, which also means they’re easier on the eye without a bulky system on display.
Most ducted systems have the added feature of being able to set rooms to different temperatures or have the air cooling in certain rooms, while being switched off in other spaces. This is very convenient for larger homes.
Ducted air con installation cost
Ducted air conditioner unit prices alone can cost between $5,000 to $10,000, although there are more affordable units on the market. Including installation, it’s common to pay anywhere between $6,000 and $12,000 for a ducted air conditioner system. The price all depends on the size of the unit and your home.
Here is a ballpark of what you can expect to pay depending on the size of your home:
- Small apartment or house: $6,000 to $10,000
- Average one-storey house: $11,000 to $14,000
- Large multi-storey house: $15,000 to $30,000
You might like: How much does ducted heating cost?
Air conditioning installers fees
If you’ve chosen the type of ac unit you want for your home, then you’re probably ready to get it installed by a professional. But you might be wondering how much does an air conditioning installer charge per hour.
Most air conditioning installers or electricians will charge between $70 and $100 per hour. Although, you can expect to pay slightly more for commercial unit installations. In this case, budget between $75 to $140 per hour for this service.
The overall air conditioner installation cost will be influenced by a range of factors that determine the number of hours it will take to get the job done.
What determines aircon installation cost?
When you’re considering air conditioner installation cost, it’s important to understand that the amount of time it takes to be installed is determined by several factors. Essentially, the longer the installation process takes, the more the labour will cost.
These influences include:
- The size, type and brand of air conditioning unit you have chosen
- The number of units to be installed
- How much refrigeration piping and cabling is needed
- Where the units are located and the ease of access to them
- If a meter board upgrade will be required.
What size air conditioner is best for my home?
When you’re considering having an air conditioner installed in your home, it’s important to understand the capacity you need in a unit for the space you want to cool.
In a typical Australian climate, your air conditioner will need at least 120 to 150 kilowatts of power per square metre of floor space. Simply multiply the floor space by the kilowatts needed. For instance, a 5kw air conditioner will cool a room size from 30m2 to 51m2 comfortably.
These factors also influence the appropriate wattage of your air conditioner required for your home:
- Whether your home is single level or multi-storey
- Number of windows
- Height of the ceiling
- Your climate
- Insulation rating in the walls and ceiling
If you have a larger home, lots of windows and high ceilings, you will need a unit with higher kilowatts to deliver the amount of air needed to effectively cool the space. In some cases, you will need to factor in having multiple units for various spaces in your home, which increases the cost of installing aircon.
You might like: What size air conditioner do I need?
Saving money on air con running costs
At this point, you might be wondering how much an aircon will cost to run and how you can keep your energy bills down.
The average reverse cycle aircon will cost approximately 25 to 35 cents per hour to run for cooling. This rate fluctuates depending on the size of the room you want to cool. A mid-sized room can cost about 35 to 70 cents per hour to run, while larger areas will be closer to 70 to 95 cents per hour.
When your air conditioning system is installed, there are a few key things you can do to make it work smarter not harder – in order to conserve energy and save money. Closing doors to adjoining rooms means there will be less space to cool and less hot air entering the room, while keeping your curtains or blinds drawn to avoid the heat of the sun and using fans to help circulate the air will also help. And remember not to set the thermostat to a cooler temperature than is necessary.
You can also drastically reduce energy bills when operating an air conditioner by installing solar panels on your home. Most people use their aircon during the hottest daylight hours, which is the best time to take advantage of your solar energy. These helpful and easy strategies will keep your air-conditioning running costs down.
Maintaining your air conditioning system
Before the summer cooling season begins, it’s important to ensure your air conditioning system is ready to handle all that extra use. Your aircon is an investment you need to take care of for it to perform at its best and have a longer lifespan.
If you’re not keeping up with the maintenance of your ac unit, you could end up with larger bills for the cost of repair or replacement, plus higher energy bills with a system that is working at subpar levels.
It’s recommended to have a licensed professional service your air con unit at the beginning of each summer. An annual check-up will keep your aircon operating smoothly. The piping will be cleaned, leaks will be detected and managed, and the refrigeration settings recalibrated.
Ensure you clean the indoor unit filters on a monthly basis to keep your ac running efficiently. You’ll be surprised how quickly they can clog up with dust and grime. Remove them from the unit and run the vacuum over them to easily remove the built-up dust.
Get quotes from local air conditioner installers
Still wondering how much does air conditioner installation cost? Before you get your air conditioner installed, it’s a good idea to shop around for professional, licensed air conditioning installers to get the job done. Getting reliable quotes is the most accurate way to determine the true air conditioner installation cost in your local area.
At a minimum, get three quotes from different tradesman so you can compare the costs for a better indication of local rates.
On the Yellow Pages directory, you can easily compare quotes and read reviews of our listed tradesmen to help you make the right choice for your home when it comes to getting your aircon installed.
* All costs and prices quoted were sourced at the time this air conditioner cost guide was written and should only be used as an estimate.
Air conditioner installation cost FAQ
How much does it cost to install air conditioning in a 2,000 sq ft home?
The average floor space in an Australian home is approximately 186 square metres (roughly 2,000 square feet). For a ducted air conditioning installation, you can expect to pay between $11,000 and $14,000. Split systems could save you some money if you install them in fewer areas or have an open plan lounge and dining area.