How much does an air conditioner installation cost?

Installing air conditioning in your home isn’t cheap, let alone the price of the unit itself. There are plenty of factors to consider and the different costs involved in the process. In this guide, we’ll look into the specifics and offer estimated prices that might be involved in installing a new air conditioner in your home.

Air conditioner installation costs explained

The full air conditioner installation cost includes labour and materials, with the following factors impacting the overall cost:

  • Type of air conditioner
  • Size of air conditioner
  • Number of units required to be installed
  • Piping and interconnecting cables necessary for the job
  • Cable ducting necessary for the installation
  • Upgrading the meter board if required

Once you’ve chosen your air conditioner, the rate you pay for labour may also differ depending on where you live and how easy it is to access your property.

How much does it cost to install air conditioning?

In Australia, air conditioning installers charge by the hour, and according to online service directory Hipages, you can expect the following prices for a split system unit:

  • For standard domestic air conditioning, expect to pay from $60 to around $110 per hour + GST
  • For commercial air conditioning, expect to pay about $80 to $140 per hour + GST

For a full installation, The Good Guys offers the following price guides on its website, although these costs are dependent on location, so may vary from state to state.

Size Price
<4kW Split System Air Conditioner From $600
4.1kW – 8kW Split System Air Conditioner From $700
>8.1kW Split System From $800

Source: The Good Guys, September 2021

Installing air conditioning can cost anywhere from $600 to $5,500 depending on the type of unit and the complexity of your situation.

Considerations affecting installation costs

There are a few factors which will affect how much your installation will cost:

  • The size of your house
  • The number of units being installed
  • Existing electrical issues
  • How complex it will be to install new units

As each house, unit and property will likely be different, the final cost you pay for the installation process, as well as a new air conditioning system, may vary, so it’s important to get a number of quotes from installers to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

How long does it take to install an air conditioner?

Specific requirements for each installation can differ and your installer should advise you how long it will take. Generally, you can expect a split system AC installation to take about four to eight hours, including the time it takes to remove an old unit if you’re replacing it.

Can my retailer install an air conditioner for me?

Yes, some retailers offer installation at an additional cost. Other installers include:

  • Licensed tradies
  • Dedicated ducted air conditioning installers
  • Licensed plumbers who can install, maintain and repair piping
  • Licensed electricians who can install the master control panels and any necessary wiring

However, they must be qualified and licensed to ensure trade compliance, given the importance of correct installation. Air conditioning installers will handle refrigerants, so the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) requires all installers and technicians to hold either a full Refrigeration & Air Conditioning licence or a restricted licence that allows them to only install split system air conditioners.

How much does an air conditioner cost?

Before thinking of the installation costs, you’ll also have to consider the purchase price of the unit you’re after. The cheapest air conditioners can be found for around $400, with larger, high-tech units fetching prices of $1,000 and up, depending on the capacity and brand. Here are some prices you can expect for the unit itself:

Type Price
Split System Air Conditioners $600 – $2,800
Reverse System Air Conditioners $800 – $3,000
Wall/Window Systems $400 – $1,200
Portable Air Conditioners $400 – $1,200
Ducted Air Conditioning $5,000+ (unit & installation costs)

General Guide Only

When it comes to additional air conditioner costs, it’s important to consider the energy efficiency ratings before buying a new unit. In the long run, a higher energy star rating can equate to lower electricity bills.

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The bottom line on air conditioner costs

Before buying an air conditioner, ask your retailer about the costs involved for installation. It would be wise to shop around and get quotes from a number of providers to compare, and ensure you get all the costs to know exactly how much the installer will charge you at the end of the day. It’s best to do your research so that you don’t end up with any nasty surprises after the job is done, as well as give you time to set enough money aside to properly budget for your next air con project.

Hit the link below to compare air conditioners on customer satisfaction, or check out our ratings on portable air conditioners if you’re after something a little bit more affordable.

Air Conditioner Reviews & Ratings

Picture credits: goodluz/, JP WALLET/, Andrew Angelov/

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