How Much Does It Cost to Install Air Conditioning?

The average cost of installing a split air conditioner system for a single room is £480 to £2080. You’ll likely pay £495 to £2200 for a split A/C in a double room, or £5100 to £8650 for your entire property.

As for a freestanding or portable air conditioner, with no installation charges (as this is a simple, out of the box DIY set up), it should cost between £150 and £350.

If you wish to have a ducted air conditioning system installation, expect to pay about £1030 to £1380 for a single room, £1045 to £1400 for a double room, and you’d need to budget for £10,100 to £14,160 for an entire property.

Lastly, if you choose to have a window A/C system installed, expect the air conditioning cost to be about £545 to £1160 for a single room or £575 to £1200 for a double room.




Among the main cost factors in determining the installation price of an air conditioning system is the type/size of property, the size and type of air conditioning, the specific air conditioning model, number of tradespeople hired, ease of access, and the location of your property.

As for the last point, this is relevant because labourers charge different rates across the country.

If you live in the southeast (London in particular) you can expect to pay higher labour costs than most regions in the country and vice versa if you live, say, in Scotland or the north of England.

Cost of Installing Air Conditioning

Type of System Area Total Cost
Split Single Room £480 to £2080
Double Room £495 to £2200
Entire Property £5100 to £8650
Freestanding/Portable Any-sized room £150 to £350
Ducted Single Room £1030 to £1380
Double Room £1045 to £1400
Entire Property £10,100 to £14,160
Window Single Room £545 to £1160
Double Room £575 to £1200

What are the Supply Costs of an Air Conditioning Installation?

The material costs of fitting air conditioning will account for most of your final bill with the rest relating to labour costs. In this section, we’ll look at the supply costs of fitting air conditioning depending on the type of system.

These costs are especially relevant if you decide to fit an air conditioning system DIY.




The price of buying a split system (floor and wall mounted air conditioning unit) can range from as little as £450 to £2000. For a freestanding or portable air conditioner, expect to pay £150 to £350.

To buy a ducted air conditioner, it will cost about £1000 to £1300 with a window air conditioner likely to set you back £500 to £1000.

To have say a ducted or split system fitted throughout an entire property will cost substantially more, however, than the prices given here.

Air Conditioning Prices for Supplies

Type of System Supply Cost
Split £450 to £2000
Freestanding/Portable £150 to £350
Ducted £1000 to £1300
Window £500 to £1000

What are the Additional Costs of Installing Air Conditioning?

As with any new installations, there are a range of added costs that you may or may not incur. Let’s take a look at some common examples.

Minimum Fee

First and foremost, you may be charged a minimum fee when having new A/C installed. This may be a small additional cost added to your total bill or it may come in the form of another costing being potentially extended.

So, for instance, if you are given a daily labour fee for the installation of a new air conditioning system, then in this case, you’d pay the same for a five hour installation as you would for one that takes seven hours.

Size/Type of Air Conditioning System

The larger the system, the higher the supply costs will generally be. Further, the system type is important, as for example, a freestanding air conditioner will cost about £150 to £350 but a ducted air conditioner will cost about £1000 to £1300.

Property Type/Size

Of course, the larger your property, the bigger the air conditioning system will need to be although this will depend on how many rooms/areas of your home you’d like to have air conditioned.

Number of Tradespeople

In most cases, a single contractor fits an air conditioner but if for any reason, two or more tradespeople are hired, this will obviously mean that the total labour cost would be greater.

On the other hand, the more labourers hired, the quicker the job will take. So, to determine whether more labourers would mean a higher overall bill would really depend on how well they work together as a team.

Duration

The longer an A/C installation job takes, the more it will generally cost, as this would likely mean higher labour expenses. However, this is going to depend on how the labour costs are calculated. If you are charged per hour, then duration is very relevant to the cost.

On the other hand if you are given a set charge for the job as a whole then duration will be relevant. A third option is that you may face a daily labour fee. If this is the case, then the work time frame may or may not matter.

It will depend on whether the work carries on into another day essentially. Otherwise, a six hour job would come with the same labour cost as an eight hour job.

A/C Repairs

If at a later date, you need to have your air conditioning system repaired, you may spend less than £100 or several hundred pounds, depending on the extent of the issue and the size of the system. In some cases, it will be better to simply have an A/C system replaced.

Tradesmen Costs for an Air Conditioning Installation

We’ll now discuss the labour costs involved in fitting air conditioning. This section will break down the labour expenses for fitting different types of A/Cs and for a range of area sizes.

A gas certified tradesperson will charge roughly £15 to £20 per hour or £150 to £200 per day. To have a split system fitted, will come with a labour cost of about £30 to £80 for a single room, £45 to £100 for a double room, or £90 to £160 for an entire house.




In the case of a ducted a/c, expect the installation cost to land around £45 to £100 for a single room, £75 to £200 for a double room, or £150 to £400 for a whole property.

For a window air conditioner, you’d pay about £45 to £160 in labour costs for a single room or approximately £75 to £200 for a double room. A freestanding air conditioner requires no installation.

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

In this section, we’ll break down the timeframes involved in fitting an A/C system based on the type of air conditioning and the size of the installation area. We’ll also discuss the main time-affecting factors.

As mentioned, there is no installation time for setting up a freestanding system. It’s simply a quick several minute setup when taken out of the box.

To have a split system installed would take about two to four hours for a single room, three to five hours for a double room, or six to eight hours to cover an entire house.

For a ducted system, expect it to take three to five hours to have one fitted in a single room, five to ten hours for a double room, or one to two days for an entire house.

In the case of a window A/C system, expect it to take three to eight hours for a single room or about five to ten hours in the case of a double room.

Types of Air Conditioning Systems

We’ve looked at the costs of fitting various types of A/C but in this section, we’ll take a closer look at the features, benefits, and disadvantages of each of these options.

Portable/Freestanding Air Conditioning Cost

The most common and least expensive type of A/C is a portable or freestanding air conditioning unit. Also known as spot coolers, portable air conditioners are relatively cheap and easy to set-up alternatives to a permanent aircon system.




If you want something affordable for occasional use, then this might be the right option for you. However, in some cases, a free standing A/C will not suffice.

For instance, in a conservatory that heats up excessively during the summer months. The average cost of buying a portable/freestanding A/C is £150 to £350.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Ideal for occasional use
  • Can be moved about with ease
  • No installation

Cons:

  • Not suitable if highly effective A/C is needed
  • Less able to cool large spaces

Ducted Air Conditioning Cost

The most discreet option is a ducted system. This system consists of a fan that is bolted to the exterior of your property and the outlet itself is ducted to your ceiling, in contrast to a wall mounted system.

Ducted systems tend to come with a range of useful options such as those allowing you to activate the A/C for one or several rooms at any given time.




They are also the quietest system. However, ducted air conditioners cost about £1000 to £1300 and sometimes a lot more (depending on the quality and brand). Further, not all homes have the required space above their ceilings to install ducted A/C.

Pros:

  • Discreet
  • Perfect for a large house
  • Usually come with plenty of helpful features

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not suited to all properties

Split Air Conditioning

Next we have a floor and wall mounted air conditioning system, also known as a split A/C system. In semi-contrast to the name, these air conditioning units are fitted to a wall albeit often at a low height rather than the floor.




Split air conditioners comprise an air outlet that sits on the wall inside and a compressor that is fitted on the exterior of the home.

It is relatively easy to expand a split A/C system to more rooms by having more outlets added in the future. However, these air conditioners need maintenance at least once a year. The cost of buying a split air conditioner can range from £450 to £2000.

Pros:

  • More discreet than a portable A/C
  • Tend to the most cost-effective to run
  • Expanding a split A/C system is easy

Cons:

  • Annual maintenance necessary
  • Can be very expensive

Window Air Conditioning

Lastly, we have the choice of a window air conditioner. This system differs from a split A/C, in that it exchanges internal warm air with cooler air from outside, in turn enhancing airflow and all with a single unit.

If there are issues with planning permission making it difficult to have another type of A/C fitted, such as if you live in a listed building, then a window A/C may be the solution for you.




They are relatively quiet, can be fixed within a wall hole or window opening, and in some cases window air conditioning systems are also portable.

On the contrary, they may partially block window views, they need a sash window, and may require brackets, a reinforced framework or some other form of structural support to stay in place. The average cost of a window A/C is £500 to £1000.

Pros:

  • Relatively quiet
  • May be a match for a listed building
  • Often a better choice for apartments
  • Sometimes portable

Cons:

  • Can be quite expensive
  • In some cases will block part of a window view
  • May need structural support of some kind

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

You may decide to have an A/C system removed because you are looking to have a new type or/and product of A/C installed.




On the other hand, you may find that it is unnecessary or inefficient and thus you would rather do without it. An air conditioner can only be removed by a certified F-gas engineer.

Depending on the nature of the extent of the job, it may cost £50 to £100 or more to have an air conditioning system removed.

FAQs

Q: How does air conditioning work?

A: Air conditioners make use of the refrigeration cycle. A/C systems change the state and pressure of the refrigerant in order to either release or absorb heat.

As a result, an effective aircon system can absorb heat inside your home before pumping it outdoors. Of course a portable air conditioner is not so complex.

Q: What is manual air conditioning?

A: Manual air conditioning remains on a cooling/blower setting of your choice and continues to supply cooler air into your home until you change the setting.

This would contrast a smart/automated system that would try to achieve an optimal temperature on its own accord.

Q: How long does a portable air conditioner last?

A: Any decent free standing A/C should continue to function for about 10-15 years, if not more.

Q: Should I fit A/C DIY?

A: In general, it is best and sometimes necessary to hire a professional.

Q: Will air conditioning add value to my property?

A: In general, it may add a small amount of value to your property.

Sources

  1. https://www.orionairsales.co.uk/ducted-air-conditioning-28-c.asp
Author: Dean M

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Digital Media, I'm a freelance writer and I've worked for clients such as the British Blockchain Association and I have experience in writing articles, YouTube video scripts, online guides and newsletters. I have written and produced many short films as well as a web series and feature film. I am also currently working on a novel.