Last updated 29th October, 2020
All you need to know about cost to install air conditioner, including costs of materials, labour and time frames.
The cost of having air conditioner installed in your home varies according to multiple factors; the size and type of air conditioner unit you need, the brand chosen and the installation requirements.
A permanent air conditioner installation can cost as little as £550 for a floor mounted or wall mounted unit, sometimes known as a split duct air conditioner system, to upwards of £2000 depending on the model chosen.
Window air conditioner systems typically start at around £650 for materials and labour, but again can increase dramatically in price depending on the power and size of the unit you have installed.
Below are some estimated prices for individual air conditioner installation, including materials and labour where appropriate.:
|Freestanding or portable air conditioner||N/A||£150 – £350|
|Window air conditioner||Up to 1 day||£650 – £1,200|
|Floor/ wall mounted air conditioner||3 – 5 hours||£550 – £2,100|
The prices illustrated will increase in accordance with how many units you are having installed, though some tradespeople or air conditioner firms may offer a discount for the cost of units or labour if multiple are purchased – so it’s always worth enquiring with different suppliers if you plan on having multiple installed.
The table below illustrates the cost of purchasing different types of air conditioner units, without the cost of installation.
|Freestanding air conditioner / spot cooler||£150 - £350|
|Window air conditioner||£500 - £1,000|
|Floor / wall mounted air conditioner||£450 - £2,000|
In addition to the cost o having your air conditioner installed in your home, there are a number of other costs you may incur in the process, or work that may be well paired with an air conditioner installation.
As is the case with most home improvement work that requires modifications to be made to a wall, in all likelihood, no matter how careful your air con installation expert is, there is likely going to be a need to have some re-plastering work done around the installation site.
In most cases, you’ll likely only need a small patch of your wall addressing and redecorating once set.
A professional plaster / decorator will likely charge in the region of £100 to complete the work, so a nice saving can be made if you are capable of completing it yourself.
It’s a well-known fact that good home insulation can reduce your heating costs in the winter – but the same can be said for your cooling costs in the summer.
Effective loft insulation can help reduce your AC running costs as it will help prevent the cooled air escaping through the roof.
Loft insulation prices start at roughly £2.50 p/m2.
Ineffective window glazing can cause draughts to come through your home, which can have an affect in both hot and cold weather conditions.
If your home is prone to draughting then in all likelihood your air conditioning system will have to work harder to regulate desired temperatures – so you may need to assess whether your windows and doors need replacing to make the most of you new AC system and help you keep the running costs down.
New uPVC windows usually cost around £300 to purchase.
The average cost of having air conditioning installed: £1,000
The average cost to hire a gas-certified tradesperson is between £150 - £200 a day.
Depending on the size of the installation, they may work alone to install your air conditioner, or may work in pairs, which would see the price increase to around £300 a day.
Most wall-mounted air conditioning units take around 4 hours to install, so you should anticipate a labour charge of around £75 - £150.
For window air conditioner units, which will need to be suitably positioned and secured, expect the process to take up to a day.
Labour charges will vary across the UK and will be affected by factors such as ease of access to the site, geographical location and whether additional electrical work is required inside your home to accommodate the system.
Air conditioner, frequently referred to as “air-con” or “AC”, is a central heating system that provides cool air to an interior space by removing heat and moisture and replacing it with air that has been cooled; much like how refrigerators function.
Air conditioning is a popular home addition where temperatures can become uncomfortable; for example, in bedrooms, conservatories or kitchens.
It offers an effective means of cooling spaces efficiently where traditional air circulation through open windows may not be as effective as desired.
Whether you are having window air conditioner installed, or have opted for a wall or floor mounted unit instead, the processes of installation are roughly as follows:
Depending on which air conditioner system you have installed, there are a number of factors that may affect the overall costing of the work involved.
The type of air conditioner system you choose to have installed at your home will, of course, affect the overall costings.
Larger, more powerful systems will cost more than their smaller counterparts – but be mindful when choosing your system that you purchase an air conditioning unit that is powerful enough for your needs, otherwise your running costs will be affected as the AC will be required to work harder, for longer, to achieve desired temperatures.
Depending on where in your home you are having your air conditioner installed, you may find that access to the location site is hindered, which may in turn cause the installation to take longer.
Similarly, if the area the air con is being installed has not been cleared of clutter and furniture before your installer arrives, you will likely be paying for their time to remove items in addition to their work.
It’s always advisable before a tradesperson arrives at your home to work that you make the space as clear as possible so that they can work as efficiently and quickly as possible.
Depending on your geographical location, you may find that the average cost of tradespeople in your area is higher or lower than the national average.
London and the surrounding areas, in particular, are known to cost more than other areas across the country.
Your location in relation to your desired installer may also impact the price, particularly if you live outside of their usual catchment area and you are likely to incur an additional charge for mileage and to cover their costs of work that may be lost or postponed due to your location.
You should speak to your tradesperson before hiring them to enquire about additional charges based on location.
Depending on the availability of electrical supply in your home, you may require extensive electrical work to be carried out in order to accommodate your new AC system; this may include adding an additional loop to your home circuit or modifying an existing one.
In order to comply with current IET wiring regulations, you may also need to have an RCD (residual current device) installed on your fuse box.
You may find that the time of year affects the cost of purchasing and installing air conditioning appliances for your home; many air conditioner installation companies may offer a discount if your purchase is made during the ‘off peak’ season where business is not in high demand – so it’s always worth asking your supplier if a discount can be offered on the off-chance.
The installation of an air conditioning unit comes under permitted developments in most cases and so does not require planning permission.
If you live in a conservation area or listed building, however, you should speak to your local authority before you go ahead with your installation to check whether it is permissible without approval.
Building control will need to be notified of the work carried out at your home; if you hire a person that is a member of as competent person scheme they will be able to self-certify their work and building control will not need to conduct a site inspection once the work has been carried out.
Any electrical installation, including air conditioning, does need to comply with current IET wiring regulations.
Due to the presence of refrigerant agents, installation of permanent and semi-permanent air conditioner units should be carried out by a registered gas engineer, gas-safe registered plumber, or a qualified air conditioner specialist, as these chemicals can be highly toxic and require specialist knowledge and is not suitable for DIY projects, though this will usually depend on the unit you have chosen.
In some cases, you may be able to partially install your air conditioner unit (such as mounting internal and external units and feeding pipe-works into the external space) and have a professional complete the work for you once in position, though you should only undertake partial installation if you are confident in your ability to do so correctly.
Failing to have a professional install (or at least check) test your aircon unit can result in serious risk of health and safety within your property, as well as invalidating your home insurance – so don’t assume that you’ll be okay to install it yourself.
Some air conditioner units are advertised as DIY-friendly; it’s advised that you read the installation manual carefully before you begin working and that you fully understand what is required during the process.
Air conditioning units can be quite heavy and you may require help with installing the units properly.
Make sure to follow the safety instructions provided with your air conditioner kit, including following guidelines regarding safety equipment such as wearing appropriate gloves and safety goggles and ensuring you are physically capable of completing the work yourself without risk.
To help your professional installation go smoothly, you should prepare the site of your air conditioner unit beforehand, clearing enough room so your installer can complete the job quickly and efficiently without interruption.
There are many options for home air conditioning, so consider your space, needs and budget when choosing the right style for your home.
Portable air conditioners, sometimes referred to as spot coolers, are typically used as a cheap alternative to a permanent home aircon installation where demand for air conditioning may not be frequent.
Portable air conditioner units start at a cost of around £150.
Despite what the name suggests, floor mounted air conditioner units are actually still attached to the wall, but at a lower height (usually below window level).
Sometimes known as split systems, wall mounted air conditioners consist of two main parts; a compressor located outside the home and an air outlet unit, visible inside the home.
Prices for wall mounted air conditioners start from around £450 each to purchase, but can increase to around £2,000 depending on the size, style and functions required.
Window air conditioners optimise airflow by exchanging internal warm air with external cooled air using a single all-in-one unit, in contrast to wall mounted aircon.
They are commonly used in older homes where planning permission may be an issue (such as a listed building), or in flats where installing an external compressor may be an issue.
May be considered a security risk, as your window will remain unlocked whilst the unit is in position
A good air conditioning system in the home offers a variety of benefits.
A well maintained and located air conditioner system can allow optimal control over home temperatures; ideal for rooms that are prone to overheating such as bedrooms, conservatories, living rooms and kitchens.
As well as better climate control, air conditioner systems can rid your home of air pollutants, leading to cleaner healthier air in your home.
Having air conditioning in a room minimises the need to have windows open to circulate air; meaning your home is less likely to be invaded by insects that are looking to escape the heat as well.
Many people find it difficult to sleep in a warm room, and bedrooms are notorious for overheating during the hotter months. Air conditioning in bedrooms allows for a better nights’ rest at reasonable temperatures.
Many people struggle to work in warm environments, as concentration dwindles and all focus shifts to how uncomfortably warm it is. Installing air conditioning in an office space of your home can help boost productivity.
Whether you want to upgrade your current home air conditioning system or no longer require one in your home, there are costs relating to having an air conditioning system removed.
Due to the refrigerants present in air conditioner appliances, they will need to be removed by a certified F-Gas engineer.
Typical removal times vary from 30-minutes to upwards of 2 hours, depending on the complexity of the work involved and you should expect a minimum charge of £50 - £100 for their services.
Some companies offer removal services to take hazardous items from your property once they are uninstalled; typically, for an air conditioner system, you can expect a charge of around £50 - £100 depending on the size and your location within the UK and dispose of them safely.
Alternatively, you may wish to dispose of your AC system yourself; you should contact your local sanitation.
When choosing a suitable tradesperson, it’s always recommended that you speak to family, friends and neighbours that have had similar work completed; they will give honest feedback regarding the tradesperson or company that they went through and may be able to offer insight into the process that you had otherwise not considered.
Ideally, your chosen tradesperson should have a portfolio of similar work completed; this will help illustrate their standard of work, as well as their experience completing similar projects.
Depending on the type of system you are having installed, you may require your installer to hold an “F” gas certificate, which demonstrates their ability to handle refrigerant agents and other hazardous chemicals that may be present in your system.
Your chosen tradesperson should hold suitable public liability insurance that, in the event of an accident or damage during the installation process, they will be liable to pay for damages caused.
When choosing a suitable air conditioning technician, you should aim to get a minimum of three quotes from traders in your area; this will not only help you find the best deal but will help you determine the expected cost of such a project in your area.
You can use this tool to get three free quotes from trusted, reliable traders in your area.