The best type of air conditioning is ducted air conditioning, but it does come at a price. The cost of a ducted air conditioning system is higher than that of a portable or wall mounted cooling system and the cost of installation drives the cost up even more. Then you have to factor in the operating costs. Do their benefits outweigh ducted air conditioning prices? Most users would say they do, but read this short guide before you contact your local ducted air conditioning
service and make an informed decision.
Ducted Air Conditioning Prices
The price of your ducted air conditioning system is going to depend on several factors. Are you looking for reverse cycle air conditioning or cooling only? A reverse cycle air conditioner costs more than a cooling system, but offers more as well, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer. Since their price can vary from around $2000 to up to $10,000, it's worth taking a careful look at your options before you buy.
As a rule, the price of a ducted air conditioning system depends largely on its kilowat (kW) output. You can find air conditioners with ouputs as low as 4.2kW to systems with as high as 25kW. Most homeowners choose systems with outputs of between around 5kW and 9kW and the majority of ducted air conditioning systems made are roughly within this range.
Since lower kilwatt output equals lower price, does this mean you should choose the lowest possible kW output? No. The most economical and efficient way to choose an A/C system is to match your kW output with the size of the space you are going to be cooling and/or heating. For a smaller home, a 3.5 to 4.8kW ducted split system is usually more than adequate, while a larger home will require something with twice the output, at roughly twice the price.
Other Factors in Ducted Air Conditioning Prices
When buying an air conditioning system, pay close attention to the energy rating label. Some systems are far more energy efficient than others without costing more. In the long run, these will save you a great deal of money and help save the environment as well.
An inverter system costs more, but may be worth paying for if you use your air conditioner frequently. An inverter (also called a variable speed drive) automatically adjusts its output according to the ambient air temperature. The downside to an inverter is that it is not energy or cost efficient if you only intermittently use your air conditioner.
An evaporative ducted air conditioning system is cheaper to buy and run than a refrigerative cooler, but because it can increase the humidity in the air is only recommended for dryer climates. Evaporative units are for cooling only, but if you live in a hot, dry climate, one of these may be perfect for you.
Other features that may influence ducted air conditioning prices include:
- Air filtration: The two most commonly used filtration devices are carbon filters, which need occasional replacement and electrostatic filters, which need periodic maintenance, but not replacement.
- Electronic controls may cost a little more, but they are convenient and arguably improve energy efficiency, since you are more likely to change the settings when the room is at an optimal comfort level.
- Economy mode air conditioners often cost little or no more, but can help reduce energy consumption.
Your local air conditioning
supplier can fill you in on more of the details and help you decide which ducted air conditioning system is best for you or even if an alternative system may be more advisable for you.