Cost to Fit Air Conditioning in a UK Home

The United Kingdom isn’t the hottest country in the world but there are occasions where it can get uncomfortably hot for some people, especially for those in warm and well-insulated houses.

Conservatories are also hot spots that could benefit from an installed air con unit.

Are you thinking about installing air conditioning in your home?

This page contains example prices for the most common air conditioning installations in the United Kingdom.

On this page you’ll discover:

  1. a poll – we want to know how much you think air con will cost
  2. the three types of air con and their key differences
  3. optional-extras you’ll want to consider
  4. the most popular places to install these units
  5. a detailed look at air con prices
  6. a feedback form so you can let other visitors to our site know how much you’ve been quoted
  7. how long it takes to install and any likely disruption
  8. maintenance frequency and costs
  9. running costs
  10. places where you can get a customised quote

Poll – How Much Do YOU Think Air Con Will Cost?

We are conducting research into how much consumers think air con will cost.

The question below is entirely optional, you can skip it if you wish and all answers are anonymous.

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(You can find a list of all our polls here, feel free to vote in as many as you wish)

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Air Conditioning – Your Three Options

You have three options to choose from when deciding which air conditioning unit to install.

Freestanding Units

Freestanding air conditioning units are very popular and are often seen in conservatories.

Here are the pros and cons:

  • cheapest of the three options
  • ideal for small rooms
  • portable so you can move it into another room
  • takes up valuable floor space
  • not as effective as larger systems

Wall Mounted Systems (aka split system)

Wall mounted systems are by far the most popular option. A panel is fitted in a room, usually above head height and this circulates air over a refrigerant which cools the air.

Here are the pros and cons:

  • very efficient (if you choose the correct unit for the size of your room)
  • doesn’t take up floor space
  • large fan unit must be fitted outside the home
  • not as discreet as a ducted system

Ducted System

Ducted systems are the most expensive option and are also the most discreet.

This system has a fan bolted to the outside of the home, but instead of a wall mounted unit, the outlet is ducted to the ceiling.

The photo below helps to explain how discreet this system is:

Ducted air con ceiling unit

Here are the pros and cons of this system:

  • the most discreet system
  • lots of options, choose just one room or several split into controllable zones
  • the quietest of the systems
  • ideal for larger homes
  • not every house has the space above the ceiling for this system

Optional Extras You Should Consider

Not every air con system will have these options; the cheapest products rarely do, so you should choose your product carefully:

  • remote control.
  • a timer so you can pre-programme the system.
  • app access so you can cool down the home whilst on the way from work etc.
  • silent modes (aka night mode) where the system runs quietly and more efficiently.

Most Popular Locations in the Home

Here are the most popular places consumers choose to install air con units:

Conservatories can get very hot in the summer, sometimes even unbearably hot. Blinds and fans can help but aren’t nearly as effective as an air con unit.

Bedrooms are a very popular place to fit a unit. If you struggle to sleep during the night when it’s hot, then choose either a wall mounted or ducted system.

Home offices are places where homeworkers spend up to 10 hours a day. There’s also computers and other equipment that could warm up the room. Many home workers choose either a portable system or a wall-mounted unit.

Cost Guide For Air Con

The prices below are for a fully installed air conditioning system, apart from the portable system which doesn’t require installation.

Split system with wall mount:

Room:Wall mounted split system (budget range)Wall mounted split system (premium range)
Small Home Office£950£1500
Double Bedroom£1100£1750
Conservatory£1300£2100

Ducted system:

Room:Ducted system (budget range)Dusted system (premium range)
Small Home Office£2000£2800
Double Bedroom£2250£3250
ConservatoryN/AN/A

Let Us Know Your Prices

This is your chance to let other visitors to Job Prices know how much you’ve been quoted for an air con system.

Whether you’re still making your decision or you’ve recently had one fitted, you can fill out the form beneath this table:

Name:Desc:Price:
jon (Lanc)for a wall mounted panel in our small new conservatory, the best price so far is £725 but the item cost alone is around £450 so I shouldn't have to pay someone £275 just for a couple hours work to fit it. think i might try and plumb it in my self (July 2017)£725
Michael Arkwright (London)We need two rooms fitted with air con from a single outside box but locating a suitable place to fit the external unit is problematic for us. We've had air con before in a previous home and it was very noisy so I advise your readers to spend a little extra and get a quieter system, especially if it will be installed in the bedroom! (July 2017)£2400 (2 rooms)
Carly (N EsastOur conservatory gets so hot in the summer, last year our candles melted into a blob, other items have warped. We were quoted £1200 for a fully fitted system with a 5 year guarantee, this for a large conservatory. (June 2017)£1200
Derick (Kent)You need to calculate the BTU of each room before suggesting prices as each room is different, this isn't based on just size but location and how many windows the room has. Head over to [redacted] and use our handy calculator. Derick from [redacted] (May 2017)N/A

Want to add prices you’ve received? It’s easy, just fill out this form, no email required.

How Long Does it Take to Install?

ClockThe easiest system is the freestanding unit, this requires no installation and works “out of the box”, this is ideal for anyone that needs air con quickly.

The wall mounted system usually takes about 4 hours to fully install, that includes cutting through the wall, fixing the wall unit and the outside fan.

The ducted system takes the longest amount of time to install and for a four bedroom house, expect the work to take around a day.

What About Maintenance Frequency and Costs?

The fans in the exterior unit can become clogged with dirt and leaves, this reduces the efficiency of the system and should be cleaned every year. A visual inspection will usually reveal any issues.

The refrigerant (coolant) in the sealed system also needs to be topped up every now and again. If the system runs out of coolant, not only will it not work but rubber hoses may crack and become brittle. The coolant acts as a lubricant as well as a refrigerant.

Because the climate in the UK is fairly cool and the system won’t be in continuous use, you shouldn’t need to top up air con more than once every 2 years. If you do, then it may be a sign that you have a leak somewhere and that should be investigated first rather than continuously topping up with coolant.

Air con units that are in constant use (offices) or are located in areas of high pollution/contaminants (kitchens) should be serviced more frequently, usually twice per year.

Calculators – Work Out How Much Power You Need

Thanks to Derick for this tip: to ensure you install a system that can effectively cool the room, you first need to take into account the size of the room, the number of occupants, location and size of windows and any heat emitting items.

Try this handy unbiased calculator, you can work out the required BTU which will be clearly advertised on any air con system you intend to install.

If you don’t do this, then you could end up with an underpowered system that will be overworked, could become noisy, might fail early or need more frequent maintenance.

Running Costs

To put it bluntly, air conditioning isn’t cheap to run but you can take some steps to reduce the costs:

  • purchase the best unit for the area that needs cooling, too underpowered and it will struggle while overpowered units will cost more.
  • air con is a great option if you have solar panels, running costs will be minimal during the day and even during summer evenings.
  • for large areas and multiple rooms, install a zoned system.
  • if you leave doors and windows open, the air con will be running at 100% power, all of the time. Consider buying door closure devices to shut the door automatically.

If you want a rough guide to how much air conditioning costs to run, try this calculator.

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