Last Updated Feb 1, 2018 · Written by Craig Gibson
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, the price of a ducted air conditioning system can vary. 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. Expect to learn:
© 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.
A number of factors contribute to the efficiency of a ducted air conditioning system, specifically the energy efficiency of the unit and the thermal efficiency of the ducting. If inferior ducting is used it simply loses precious heat or cool air as it travels around your home.
Ducted air conditioning uses a system of insulated pipes or ducting installed in your floor or ceiling cavity to circulate cool air around your home
© Top Class Comfort Air Conditioning
If you are looking for an efficient way of getting cool air to all points in your home, ducted air conditioning is more efficient than other cooling systems. It is more effective at cooling large areas than other split systems. And if you are worried about noise or unsightly air con units on your wall - ducted is unobtrusive and very quiet. However, if you are only looking to cool one or two rooms a wall mounted split air conditioning system is likely to be more suitable.
A number of factors will determine how much your running costs are, specifically:
If you are concerned about the cost of running a ducted air conditioning system, there are ways to cut your usage. Start by opting for an energy efficient system, by keeping the temperature a degree or two lower and by improving the insulation of your home. You could also make sure you are getting the best deal with your current electricity provider, and shop around for a better deal.
Read more: Ducted or air con split?
© CVM Architects
When it comes down to the nitty gritty, ducted air conditioning prices are determined by a number of factors, 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.
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?
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 ducted air conditioning 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 someone else's quote may be for a more basic system. You also need to check what the warranty is on any system you are considering purchasing.
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.