Cost to Fit Air Conditioning in a UK Home

Update to home air-con prices 2022: As has been reported in the media and confirmed by our own research, the cost of materials and other economic factors have pushed up prices considerably since we last updated this page in 2020. Below are the revised prices for fully installed home air conditioning units, these prices are subject to change and as always we urge consumers to shop around and compare quotes, if you’re in a hurry, we recommend this price comparison service (updated April 12th 2022).

The United Kingdom isn’t exactly the hottest country in the world but with more extreme weather being experienced around the globe, it’s likely that there will be more frequent heatwaves in the future.

Also, if you have a conservatory you’ll be all too aware of how uncomfortably hot it can get in the summer, loft extensions and south-facing rooms can also benefit from home air conditioning.

If you’re thinking about installing air conditioning in your home and want to know how much it costs, you’ve come to the right place.

In 2022 we researched the cost to install a home air conditioning unit and below you can see the prices.

We’ve also partnered with Bark, who can match you with a local installer.

On this page you’ll find:

  1. The three types of air-con you can choose from and their key differences
  2. Optional-extras you’ll want to consider.
  3. The most popular places to install air-con units.
  4. A detailed look at air con prices.
  5. A feedback form so you can let other visitors to our site know how much you’ve been quoted.
  6. How long it takes to install and any likely disruption.
  7. Maintenance frequency and costs.
  8. Running costs.
  9. Places where you can get a customised quote.

All in all, we think this page is the most complete guide to home air-con prices and ongoing costs as of 2022, but we’ll let you be the judge of that.

The Three Types of Home Air-Con to Choose From?

You have three options to choose from when deciding which air conditioning unit to install; freestanding units, wall-mounted systems and ducted systems.

Freestanding Units

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

Here are the pros and cons:

  • The cheapest of the three options.
  • Ideal for small rooms.
  • Portable so you can move it into another room.
  • Takes up valuable floor space.
  • Nowhere near as effective as larger built-in systems.

Wall-Mounted Systems (aka a split system)

Wall-mounted systems are by far the most popular option and you’ve probably seen one before. A panel is fitted near the ceiling in a room, usually well above head height and a hose connects the unit to a fan outside.

Here are the pros and cons:

  • Very efficient (if you choose the correct unit for the size of your room).
  • Doesn’t take up any floor space.
  • A 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 but 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 space above the ceiling for this system (some flats/apartments).
  • The cost, this system must be installed above the ceiling and the installation is disruptive.

Optional Extras You Should Consider

Not every air-con system will have all of these options; the cheapest products rarely do, so 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 back 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 aircon 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 and double-check the decibel level of the device before you buy.

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.

A split system with a wall-mounted unit:

Room:Wall mounted split system (as per the product recommended by the installer)
Single system to a small office£1750
Single system to a larger double bedroom upstairs£2100
Two units, one in a double bedroom and one in a front living room£3200
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Ducted system:

Room:Ducted system
Single system to a small office£2500
Single system to a larger double bedroom upstairs£2750
Two units, one in a double bedroom and one in a front living room£3800
Get a Custom Price Here
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About these prices: We sourced quotes from a selection of air conditioning installers and firms (large and small) from several locations around the UK. The figures shown are an average of the prices given to us and they include VAT. We saw a significant price increase compared to early 2021, when we last researched air con prices in the UK.

Let Us Know Your Air Con Prices

As part of our research into home air-con prices, we asked past visitors to this page how much they’ve been quoted for an air-con unit installation.

The responses are shown in the table below and you’re welcome to add your own answer.

Martin F (Newcastle)I had air conditioning installed for my elderly mother. 1 in the front room and another in the bedroom (2022)£2600
Carl (Denbighshire)Conservatory air conditioning unit and fan out side around the corner of the property (2021)£1700
Keely T (Portsmouth)One downstairs and another in the master bedroom. (2020)£2300
Daniel W (Hants)Fan in bedroom and unit outside (2020)£1800 inc vat
Jerry (Cambridge)Four room multi split system (Daikin) running through a five split level home, all indoor units needing pumps and a lot of work for the large installation team. New electrical supply running through the house back to the consumer unit, over two floors. A massive, complex job, including ceiling removal for pipe work, and complex routing and hiding of pipe work. Twelve much needed man days of labour and a day for an electrician too, plus follow up making good from builders separately. Given what has been involved, this is not a project for the faint hearted and needs proper professional care and expertise. (2019)£8500
Manoj (Edgware London)we are looking to install Multi-split 27000 BTU Smart Inverter Air Conditioner system with three 9000 BTU indoor units to a single outdoor unit. Building work is taking place so it will be easy to install. (2018)£2000
Leena (London)2 medium sized bedrooms in the loft for mitsubishi appliances.. This price is with discount. (2018)£3150 inc VAT
Bex (Dorset)One 3.5kw mitsubishi heavy industries premium range wall mount for bedroom plus install and materials by independent professional fitter (2018)£2316
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 (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! (2017)£2400 (2 rooms)

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 4-5 hours to fully install, which includes cutting through the wall, and 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 if not more, depending on how difficult it is to access the space above the ceiling. The work may involve moving furniture, lifting carpets and some replastering work.

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 so it 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 a residential system is rarely 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.

Ai-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.

We found several installers online who have published their maintenance prices and the going rate appears to be around £65 per unit for a standard service and up to £125 per unit for a major service.

Calculators – Work Out How Much Power You Need

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

Try this handy unbiased calculator, it will give you a power rating for your room. All air-con units are rated in BTUs so it’s easy to see which unit best suits your needs.

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 use more electricity.
  • 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.

Will a Fully Fitted Air Con Unit Increase the Value of My Home?

With global warming and more extreme, hotter summers, air conditioning units are more in demand now than at any other point in history.

A professionally installed system could appeal to many buyers and you may get some or all of your investment back should you sell your home in the future.

The Best Cooling Fans You Can Buy

We previously looked at the best free-standing portable air-con units and fans you can buy online. While not nearly as effective as a professionally installed home air-con unit, they are a lot cheaper.

Check out our guide to the best cooling fans here.

Get a Custom Price For a Home Air Con System

Looking for a fixed price for air conditioning the home?

Tap the link below to see how you get a quote online in minutes:

Get a Quote Online

This guide was written by and was last updated in April 2022.

Don’t forget; we have price guides for hundreds of home improvement projects.

Explore our full list of detailed price guides here.

Author - Danny Woodley
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