Air Conditioning Unit Cost

Air conditioning installation costs differ depending on the type of unit you want and how extensive the work will be. For example, having several units added to different rooms of a building – each of a certain size and structure – will come at a high cost. Many factors could complicate even a simple transfer of a unit from one space to another.

AC setup - Air conditioning installation prices
Setting up – Air conditioning installation prices

Air conditioning installation prices grow further still if you go for the latest AC innovations, like geothermal heating and cooling. This system would need a lot of garden space and, so, a much larger budget. We’ll discuss all kinds of air conditioning options below, and you can work out for yourself which system would work best for your property – whether a household or office.

To help you decide exactly which unit you should save up for, we’ve put together this handy 2024 price guide, filled with lots of extra information and tips so you can make the right decision. You’ll find an approximate range of individual AC unit prices, as well as the cost of the whole installation.


Eight top air conditioner brands

There are loads of great brands ready and waiting to give you the best deal for your home. But the search can be overwhelming if you don’t quite know what you’re looking for yet. So, here are eight popular companies to get you started. Air conditioning installation prices from these brands do vary along with their range of products and services, however the list below should give you some inspiration and a better understanding of the kinds of decisions you need to make.

1. De’Longhi

Experts in almost every household appliance in existence, including the Artista Series espresso machines. Founded in 1902, their main AC products are portable units, such as the PACN86 and PAC N77 ECO models. But they also supply air conditioning parts – filters, stoppers, remote controls and more.

2. American Standard

A US manufacturer founded in 2008 specialising in many different household departments. The heating and air conditioning branch will interest you for this kind of home improvement. Highly rated central AC models to explore include the AccuComfort Platinum 20 and Silver 14.

3. Carrier

Another popular brand based in North America. Their experience goes back to 1915, encompassing air conditioning, heating and ventilation, as well as refrigerators and other kitchen equipment. They tailor their available AC systems – the 39CPL, 39CPH and 39HQ – to domestic, commercial and industrial use.

4. AEG

A giant of the electrical industry that originated in Germany and has been transforming since 1883. Electrolux eventually took the AEG name in 2005 and has continued to provide us with some of the best household services on the market. Their key portable range is the Chillflex Pro.

5. Goodman

A US subsidiary of Daikin designing air conditioning and heating solutions since 1982. Their focus on reliability, comfort and affordability, as well as their decades of experience in the industry, has produced AC units of great quality well-worth your attention. Take a look at the GSXC18 and GSX16 split unit models.

6. Meaco

This brand not only provides good value for money but has an interesting history too. Their business began in 1991, focusing on manufacturing equipment for museums and galleries – they made the first ever radio monitoring system. The least the company can give you today is the super-efficient MeacoCool MC series of portable air conditioners.

7. Challenge

A small brand but with products that have impressed homeowners. If you’re looking for portable air conditioners, this is a good name to turn to. The 5K and 8K units are being praised the most, so make sure to include them in your search for cheap AC solutions.

8. ElectriQ

Another economic but dependable brand. The company entered the market in 2015 and currently deals with a range of appliances, from juicers to halogen ovens. In terms of air conditioning, there are standalone and wall-mounted units to choose from, such as the Multi-split 27000 BTU Smart Inverter system.

Do your research

Market research - Air conditioning installation prices
Market research – Air conditioning installation prices

Make sure you do plenty of research into the kind of air conditioning your space actually needs, as well as how they work and what you can afford. The size and overall design of the room are key factors. They determine the effectiveness of the unit and its running costs.

The most common systems are standalone, window, split and central, but there are several other designs on the market that may interest home or business owners. Exploring each unit’s specifications ensures you make the right choice for your building’s space and structure.

Each type and model will vary in price, another important factor to keep in mind while researching. Don’t forget to look specifically at whether the service includes installation. Check the different air conditioning installation prices out there anyway, from independent tradespeople to companies.

Assess which type of unit you really need and how much the whole set-up is going to cost you. As part of your research, you may want to look into home insurance options as well – just so you know what cover is available for air conditioning projects.

Types of air conditioning cover

For this specialised kind of household equipment, either an insurance or warranty will serve different conditions. Their differences are small but vital when deciding what is worth investing your time and money in. That is, if you choose to go down this route.

You can typically depend on home insurance if vandalism, falling trees, fire, lightning or flooding has damaged your AC. But it doesn’t deal with normal wear and tear. Then again, not all insurance or emergency providers cover the same range of damage, so it’s worth browsing each company’s provisions, terms and conditions.

A home warranty, on the other hand, can be tailored to cover the repair or replacement of an air conditioning unit that has simply broken down. This service is often included in a general cover of household contents and with a price to match. But a warranty accounts for far more likely reasons that a new unit would be needed. So, as far as AC peace of mind is concerned, this is the best option.

Types of air conditioning systems

Standalone units – also known as freestanding, single and portable – are basically self-contained devices you can plug into any room. They take up floor space and don’t perform as well as high-tech AC systems, but they’re by far the cheapest option. And you won’t need to spend any money to get these professionally installed! They’re super easy to get working – just follow the included instructions.

split unit is mounted on the wall but doesn’t need a window. It comes in two parts, so the price can be high depending on brand and model. The part installed on the wall’s exterior contains the compressor. This feeds into the inside part’s evaporator, which helps cool the room. Both these wall-mounted systems are reliable choices, available across the market.

Keep in mind that the more expensive models tend to look better. Visual appeal sells products as much as performance, so manufacturers will go the extra mile to give their best models an impressively smooth design. They may even come in different sizes and colours so you can choose a unit that perfectly matches the room. If you’re happy and able to spend a bit more, you won’t need to settle for a device that stands out awkwardly or gets in the way.

window system is also mounted and involves a single unit, specifically near a window. One face of the unit is placed on the outside of the room and the other on the inside. While the price range is really varied and sometimes quite steep, this type of AC can be an economic and efficient choice, very common among UK homeowners.

Central AC systems are the most expensive because of their compactness and efficiency. All the important components that cool a room are contained in one sleek unit. It does require the building to have ducts, however. Through these, the air is circulated and refreshed, keeping the room cool and comfortable. If your home is ductless, then this AC won’t be suitable.

But it is an option to keep in mind if you’re about to remodel your home. In this case, put a bit more thought into creating a structure that’ll best accommodate the AC system you want. This is a great way to ensure the completed project is cost-effective as well as functional.

New innovative systems

Hybrid air conditioners, also known as solar units, are designed for energy efficiency. They switch between fossil fuels and electricity as their smart system changes its functions when in hot or cold temperatures. You can save on bills and reduce your carbon footprint while enjoying a cosy home in winter and summer. The installation costs are quite high, but if you have the budget it’s worth considering.

The geothermal or ground source system is another exciting addition to the AC market. As the name suggests, it uses the ground as a source of heat and coolness. In terms of heating, the installation involves burying geothermal collectors or probes, which send solar energy from the earth into a heat pump. The cooling feature is a recent addition, utilising cool air from outside. Geothermal systems are growing in popularity as a great form of renewable energy. Don’t expect it to come cheaply, however.

Set a budget

Plan your budget - Air conditioning installation prices
Plan your budget – Air conditioning installation prices

Depending on the system and installation service you want the air conditioning installation prices will vary. Make sure you have enough funds to cover the upgrade to your home or business. Even consider saving a bit extra in case of expensive surprises.

Once you have a realistic budget, stick to it, so you don’t end up in difficulty. Getting a reasonable insurance or warranty can reduce some of the expenses and spare you the stress if things don’t go according to plan.

Unit Costs

These six types of air conditioning systems differ in complexity and price:

Type of air conditioning unit

Approx. cost 

Standalone unit

£300 – £5,773

Split system

£500 – £1,200

Window system

£500 – £6,668

Central system

£800 – £5,717

Hybrid system

£5,000 – £7,500

Geothermal system

£10,000 – £20,000

Air Conditioning Unit Cost in 2024 

In addition to the price of the air conditioning unit you choose for your home or business, calculate the expense of its installation as precisely as possible. £1,500 is a rough minimum of what you’re likely to spend. But extensive professional works on a large house could reach over £8,000.

Quotes from services can vary depending on their charging rate and the amount of work they’ll need to do. Things like the type of AC and extent of installation throughout the building will up your budget. Getting multiple quotes – around four will do – gives you more choice and a better idea of where the market stands.

Not sure what to expect from the installation process? There are a few steps involved, so remember to clear the room of breakable items and allow the tradespeople easy access to the site. You may also want to lay down some protective sheets to collect dust and debris.

Here are key stages to prepare for:

  • In the case of an AC replacement, the old unit will need to be removed – device, wiring and all
  • If ducts are part of the project, they’ll be inspected and repaired as necessary. Adding ducts to a building would be a major and costly job in itself
  • The new system and its components are then installed. Each unit type has a different process and effect on the building while works are being carried out. If you have multiple installations around the house, expect greater disruption
  • Don’t be surprised if extra requirements and possible expenses pop up before the project can be completed
  • When finished, you’ll receive instructions on how to use the new air conditioner, including maintenance advice. Remember these and read through the manual provided to keep the system in working order for longer
  • The tradespeople should patch up most of the damage caused during the process. They also do their best to tidy up after themselves. But be ready to clean, paint, repair or even redecorate completely

Ground source installation

This is another major commitment and process. A large garden can fit a horizontal network of collectors, but for a smaller space you’ll need to opt for vertical boreholes – or vertical closed-loop geothermal heat exchangers. While this option actually provides more heat, the installation costs are steeper, drilling equipment needs easy access and the ground must be suitable for digging. The last two points are just as important to the horizontal system.

Pipes, heat pumps and several other components will eventually connect the ground to the house. The completed project will clearly make an impact to your property and bank account, so be sure you’re ready to deal with the process and able to then maintain the system. If you are, you’ll not regret the advantages to follow.

Running costs

Air conditioning is convenient and refreshing, but it’s also costly. Just installing a system can be a major investment, so you don’t want to end up regretting it all when the bills come round. The good news is that there are steps you can take to keep these low or at least manageable:

  • Install the right system that won’t struggle or waste energy while cooling the room
  • Keep doors and windows closed when the AC is on
  • Insulate the house as well as possible
  • Set the unit to the right temperature
  • Maintain the unit to keep it from clogging up and overworking
  • Make full use of smart and energy efficient features that come with almost all air conditioning models today
  • Don’t use the air conditioning unless absolutely necessary
  • Take extra measures to reduce energy waste, such as buying thermal curtains and turning off household appliances

Extra air conditioning advice

AC happiness - Air conditioning installation prices
AC happiness – Air conditioning installation prices

Avoid common air conditioning mistakes, like not changing the filter or having a humidifier and AC on at the same time. Also, keep in mind that installing an air conditioning system can take hours, if not a few days, to complete. So, make sure you, the house and perhaps your neighbours are ready for the disruption. Surprises can make the working time even longer, which is why good preparation and research can save you a lot of hassle. For example, check with the service if there’s anything you can do to speed up the installation.

Your new air conditioning unit may not include certain luxuries that high-end products do. If you want programming or smart abilities, make sure you narrow down your search to models that feature them. Big, popular brands like the ones mentioned above are your best bet for getting lots of handy tools. They tend to be more expensive, but the performance and cost-effective perks you get make them rightfully popular among home and business owners.

Take your time sifting through all this information and pick out the tips that fit your situation most. Pay special attention to brands and types of air conditioning so you can come to a well-informed decision when trying to pair your space with the right system. In terms of budget, narrow down the best air conditioning installation prices UK services have to offer. Once extra details are sorted, you’ll be ready to get yourself the perfect air conditioning upgrade.

If you’re looking for quotes, simply fill out the form below and we’ll put you in touch with up to four air conditioning companies who’ll be able to give you prices for an air Conditioning installation.