An air conditioning system installed in the home has many benefits for you and your family. Modern heat pump systems offer year round temperature control, as well as reducing humidity and providing healthy ventilation with clean, filtered air.
But what are the costs involved with maintaining the ideal home environment? There’s two things you need to consider here - the cost of installation, and the cost of running your domestic AC system.
There are multiple factors that impact the cost of installation, starting with the size and design of your property, and the type of system best suited to your needs. For domestic use, there are two system types to choose from:
Split systems - these are the most popular, as they come with the lowest upfront cost. They consist of internal and external units connected by electrical wiring and can be either single split (one outdoor unit for every indoor unit) or multi split (one outdoor unit for multiple indoor units).
Central systems - these systems use an external unit and internal ductwork to move air around a property. The ducting is typically hidden from view in ceiling or walls, and can be configured to suit any size property.
At Loughborough Air Conditioning, our split system installations start from £1,400 for a single room. Central systems are obviously more complex, and can only really be priced once an assessment of the property has been completed.
Along with the type of system you choose, the size of the room (or rooms) will dictate the capacity of the unit (or units) required. Other factors that will influence installation costs include:
• The exact specification of the equipment, including make and model. We often recommend Fujitsu to our customers, as its equipment is both high quality and reasonably priced.
• Depending on the system, the amount of ducting, pipework and/or cabling required.
• Any additional electrical works, for example, a consumer unit upgrade if needed, or any mains electrical wiring.
• You may also need to account for building works, decorating or equipment like scaffolding if there’s restricted external access.
A reputable installer will offer guidance on costs you need to consider alongside their quotation.
Alongside the initial installation, it’s important to consider the ongoing cost of running your system. Again, there are many influencing factors here, including:
System type - as a rule, split systems are the more cost effective option. With central systems, air that travels through ducting can gain or lose heat in the process, meaning they have to work harder to create the desired conditions.
Equipment efficiency - you’ll see this referred to as seasonal efficiency, which gives a more accurate indication of efficiency over an entire year. You’ll pay more upfront the more efficient the technology, but will benefit from reduced running costs in the long run.
Property insulation - the more well insulated your home, the cheaper your system will be to run, since outdoor conditions will have less of an impact on your indoor climate.
System features and controls - there are cost savings to be had by investing in systems with advanced functionality. For example, the ability to control your AC remotely via an app, or opting for a self cleaning function that ensures maximum efficacy.
Servicing - you should also factor in a regular service, as a well maintained system is significantly more efficient (and you’ll avoid any costly repairs). An annual service is recommended, and you can take preventative steps in the interim with some simple household air conditioning maintenance.
With all of the above in mind, it’s impossible to put an exact figure on AC running costs. As a (very) rough guide, a one room split system could cost anything between 10p and 20p per hour.
The key is to reduce your running costs by sourcing the most reliable, energy efficient equipment with the appropriate output, and ensuring optimum performance through regular maintenance.