Last Updated Oct 18, 2016 · Written by Rob Schneider
Looking for a cooling solution for your home?
If you have done any research you will have come across portable, wall mounted and split systems - but what about ducted air conditioning? They are the gold standard for a whole-home cooling system, but you must be prepared to pay for the privilege.
How much? Like anything, it depends.
This article will give you a ballpark figure to work from. You can then approach installers with some knowledge and be able to make an informed decision.
© Peter Hull Architects
A ducted system is typically installed when a new home is built, but you can retrofit, especially if you have room in your ceiling cavity.
Ducted air conditioning uses a system of insulated pipes or ducts in your floor or ceiling cavity to circulate cool air around your home. Vents or grills are installed in the rooms you want covered, and a programmable control panel allows you to specify the temperature and when your system runs.
If you are looking for an efficient way of getting cool air to all points in your home, ducted is more efficient than other cooling systems. It is more effective at cooling large areas than other air cons. And if you are worried about unsightly air con units on your wall - ducted is unobtrusive and quiet.
If you are only looking to cool one or two rooms a split or wall mounted system will be more suitable.
Read more: Ducted Air Con or Split?
How much is it going to cost to install ducted air con?
There are a number of factors that will determine the cost of a ducted air conditioning system, specifically the brand you pick, its energy rating and what size system you require. Other factors to take into account include:
The more points and zones you add the more expensive your ducted air con system becomes.
© Top Class Comfort Air Conditioning
#hiptip: A number of factors will affect the cost of your system, specifically the size you require and how many zones you want
As a rough guide, expect to pay:
Some typical prices quoted online for ducted air con systems are:
Read more: How much does ducted heating cost?
© CVM Architects
Melbourne-based electrician Peter Bailey of Advantage Air Conditioning and Electrical points out that although there is a significant cost difference between a 2.5 star rated unit and a 6 star rated ducted system, the smaller unit will be more costly to run. So it makes sense to opt for the larger unit, which will be more energy efficient and cost effective over time.
You need to use properly trained and licensed installers for your job. Anyone who handles refrigerants and installs air conditioning units must hold a licence issued by the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC).
Get several quotes for ducted air conditioning will help you get the best price, and reputable suppliers should be for systems of roughly the same capacity. If one quote is for a drastically lower capacity system, it may be because the supplier is trying to win the job.
You will probably notice that different systems of the same capacity will have different prices. Before choosing the lowest quote, look at all the quotes carefully and ask why their package cost more or less than the others. One might be quoting for a more expensive, but also more cost-effective inverter system while anothers quote may be for a more basic system.
#hiptip: Always get at least three written quotes before you decide to hire a business
What to look for when it comes time to getting quotes? Besides making sure your installer is licensed, look for someone with plenty of testimonials from happy clients. You also need to make sure you get a quote in writing - if they can’t provide that, don’t bother.
A good way of getting a sense of cost is to a range of quotes for ducted air conditioning. This will enable you to get a sense of what market rates currently are.
* All the costs and prices quoted were sourced at the time this article was written. They are indicative, may vary locally, are subject to market forces and should only be used as a guide.
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