Young happy woman with closed eyes sitting on sofa under air conditioning and adjusting comfortable temperature with remote control at modern home

Comprehensive Cost Guide To Installing Your Air Conditioning System

For homeowners in Australia, having a reliable air conditioning system is essential for maintaining a pleasant indoor environment for you and your family throughout the year. Whether it’s battling the scorching heat of summer or combating the chill of winter, a well-functioning air conditioner ensures really does make all the difference! 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unpack the costs associated with installing both a split and ducted air conditioning system, including the factors that influence the overall setup costs. Our aim is to provide homeowners with a clear understanding of the financial considerations involved in air conditioning installation. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge needed to make more informed decisions about your home’s cooling and heating needs. 

Before diving deeper into the factors that influence installation costs, let’s start with a quick overview of the initial expenses you can expect for both split and ducted air conditioning systems.

System TypeUnit Cost RangeInstallation Cost Range
(Including Labour and Materials)
Split System$600 – $5,000 Unit$600 – $1,500
Ducted System$6,000 – $30,000$6,000 – $10,000 or more
Split system air conditioner inverter. Cool and cold climate control system. Realistic conditioning with remote controller.

Cost of Air Conditioning Units

Understanding the nuances of split and ducted air conditioning systems, and their associated expenses, is crucial for homeowners looking to invest in a cooling solution tailored to their needs, space, and budget. 

Split Systems

A popular choice for cooling individual rooms or small spaces. They consist of two main components: an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit is typically mounted high on a wall inside the room, while the outdoor unit is installed outside the property. These systems operate by transferring heat from the indoor environment to the outdoor unit, where it is dissipated. Split systems offer efficient cooling without the need for extensive ductwork, making them a cost-effective option for many homeowners, however their ability to provide a controlled temperature to a large space – such as an office or open plan living area – is often strained. 

The cost of split system units can vary widely depending on factors such as brand, capacity, and features. On average, homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $600 for a budget split system unit, to upward of $5,000 for more premium systems. Prices may vary though depending on brand reputation, energy efficiency ratings, and additional features offered by different manufacturers such as Fujitsu or Daikin. 

Ducted Systems

Ducted air conditioning systems are designed to cool multiple rooms or an entire house through a network of ducts hidden (or sometimes exposed) in the ceiling or floor. These systems offer a centralised cooling solution, which moves regulated air throughout the house, allowing for precise temperature control across all rooms. Ducted systems consist of a central indoor unit, usually located in the roof space or outside the home, connected to a series of ducts that distribute the cooled air to individual rooms through vents or grilles.

These units come with a higher price tag compared to split systems due to their complexity and the extensive installation required. In Australia, the cost of ducted air conditioning units can range from $6,000 to $30,000 or more, depending on factors such as the size of the property, brand preferences, and additional features desired by the homeowner. Often, its cheaper to setup a ducted air conditioning system during the initial property build, rather than refitting the property to accommodate for the ducts and vents. 

Factors Influencing The Cost of Units

Several factors influence the cost of air conditioning units, regardless of whether they are split systems or ducted systems. These factors include:

  • Brand reputation: as mentioned previously, well-known brands such as Fujitsu often command higher prices due to their reliability and trusted performance. 
  • Capacity: measured in kilowatts (kW), the capacity of the unit affects the cost, with larger capacity units typically costing more due to the higher energy conversion needs. 
  • Energy efficiency ratings: units with higher energy efficiency ratings, denoted by star ratings, may have a higher upfront cost but offer long-term savings on energy bills.
  • Additional features: the inclusion of features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, programmable thermostats, and advanced air purification systems can also further increase the cost of air conditioning units. However, this is wholly dependent on how much flexibility and control you’d enjoy from your couch! 

By carefully considering these factors, homeowners can make informed decisions when selecting the right air conditioning system for their needs and budget, ensuring that they invest in a solution that not only meets their requirements for comfort and control, but also represents the best long-term value for their home. 

Electrical installation of air conditioner, electrician at work

Cost to Install Your Air Conditioning System

Installing an air conditioning system is a significant investment that requires careful consideration of both upfront costs and long-term benefits. While it may be tempting to cut costs by attempting a DIY installation, professional installation is essential for ensuring efficiency, safety, and optimal performance of the system. In this section, we’ll explore the typical costs associated with installing both split systems and ducted systems, providing homeowners with a better understanding of what to expect when budgeting for their air conditioning installation project. It’s important to note that the following costs are estimates, and actual prices may vary based on specific needs and circumstances.

Installation Cost For Split Systems

Split system air conditioners are relatively straightforward to install compared to ducted systems, making them a popular choice for cooling individual rooms or small spaces. The average cost of installing a split system typically ranges from $600 to $1,500 for both labour and materials. This cost includes mounting the indoor unit, connecting it to the outdoor unit, and any additional electrical work required for the installation. However, prices may vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the installation, the location of the indoor and outdoor units, and any additional accessories or features desired by the homeowner.

Installing a split system air conditioner begins with selecting the appropriate location for the indoor unit (which a trusted installer such as Complete Electrical Service can advise you on). This unit is typically mounted high on a wall inside the room, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Once the mounting location is determined, the indoor unit is secured to the wall, and a hole is drilled through the wall to connect the indoor unit to the outdoor unit. Copper pipes, electrical wiring, and drainage pipes are then run between the indoor and outdoor units, ensuring proper airflow and drainage. Finally, the outdoor unit is positioned outside the property, typically on a concrete pad, and connected to the indoor unit via the pipes and wiring.

Installation Cost For Ducted Systems

Ducted air conditioning systems, on the other hand, require more extensive installation due to the complex network of ducts that distribute cooled air throughout the house. As a result, the average cost of installing a ducted system is significantly higher than that of a split system. On average, homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000 or more for the installation of a ducted system. This cost includes the installation of the indoor unit, outdoor unit, ductwork, vents or grilles, and any modifications needed to accommodate the system. Factors such as the size of the house, the layout of the ductwork, and any additional features or accessories will also impact the final cost of installation. It’s recommended you ensure your property is licensed before proceeding with a ducted air conditioning system. 

In summary, while the initial cost of installing an air conditioning system may seem daunting, it’s important to consider the long-term benefits of professional installation, including improved efficiency, reliability, and safety. By investing in professional installation, homeowners can ensure that their air conditioning system performs optimally for years to come, providing comfort and convenience throughout the seasons.

Although the upfront expenses of air conditioning installation may appear significant, it’s crucial to weigh them against the enduring advantages of professional setup. Opting for professional installation not only enhances efficiency, reliability, and safety but also guarantees optimal performance of your air conditioning system over time – less maintenance down the road. This translates to sustained comfort and convenience throughout the year. Don’t hesitate to schedule your professional air conditioning installation today to secure these long-term benefits.


Understanding the costs involved in purchasing and installing air conditioning units is crucial for homeowners seeking to enhance their indoor comfort effectively and provide an enduring cooling solution for their family. By understanding and researching further into the various financial considerations associated with different types of systems – such as split and ducted air conditioning – individuals can make informed decisions.

We encourage you to reach out to Complete Electrical Service for a personalised quote and consultation. Our team of experienced professionals is ready to assist you in selecting the right air conditioning solution for your home.

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