How Much Does it Cost to Install Ducted Air Conditioning?

North Manly resident, George asks
“We’re interested in having a ducted air conditioning system installed in our home but we’re unsure if it’s within our budget. Is it possible to give an idea of how much it costs to install ducted air conditioning and what else we might need to consider if we go ahead with it?”

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Are you considering installing ducted air conditioning (or replacing an existing system) at home?

One of the most common and initial questions we get asked when someone is considering having ducted air conditioning installed into their home is – how much will it cost me?

Below we provide some insight into the key factors to take into consideration that affect the cost. But first to answer your question on how much ducted air conditioning will cost, here is a quick break down:

A closer look at the numbers

Every home is different; therefore, each home will require a tailored solution to suit its design and layout. In which case, making it impossible to give anything more than a ballpark figure for the cost of installing a ducted air conditioning system until we carry out an onsite assessment.  Therefore, here is a little tip: never ask for a quote over the phone, via email or through the online calculator tools. They will never be as accurate as the price provided after a thorough onsite inspection that considers the roof space, sizes of the rooms and their orientations, the insulation and more.  If you would like to book a free onsite inspection and receive an obligation free quote, call our friendly team on 1300 889 309.

In the meantime, to provide you with some insight into the ballpark cost of ducted air conditioning let’s look at some of the options and their estimated associated costs.


Example 1: You have a two-storey home, and only choose to install ducting on the top floor. In this scenario, you are likely to have three or four bedrooms upstairs.

  • Solution for three-bedrooms: A 7.1-kilowatt system – $7,300 to $8,900
  • Solution for four-bedrooms: A 10-kilowatt system ­– $8,500 to $10,000


Example 2: You have a two-storey home and want to install ducting on both floors. This calls for the use of droppers between levels. The sizes of the units will also need to be bigger to accommodate the downstairs floor.

  • Solution for a three to four-bedroom home (upstairs), with variable spaces downstairs:  A 14 to 16-kilowatt system = $11,000 to $12,900.
Example 3: A single-storey home.
  • The solution for a three to four-bedroom home, with additional rooms:  A 14 to 16-kilowatt system = $10,700 to $11,900.


Note: if the system is installed under the floor expect to pay an extra $1,000.  This is because this option requires us to use brushed aluminium grilles, which cost more than plastic grilles that are used for ceilings; and a jigsaw is also needed to cut the holes in the floor, which takes more time.

There is so much to consider when deciding which air conditioning system is best for you and what price is right, to ensure you get the best system for your property as well as value for your money. Read on to discover key factors that influence the price and how to get the most accurate price quote.

Interested in getting a quote for a ducted system near Northern Beaches, Eastern Suburbs, North Shore or Inner West?

Contact us and we will come out, inspect the property, make recommendations, and provide you with a detailed interactive obligation-free quote.

Factors affecting the price of ducted air conditioning.

As you can see, how much ducted air conditioning costs depends on the type of property and a range of other factors that need to be taken into consideration before being able to provide an accurate quote.  Let us have a closer look at some of those factors.


  1. Layout and size

This is an important factor, imagine installing an air conditioning unit in your entrance and it doesn’t even reach your living room or any other space and merely cools down your front door. Not ideal. Therefore, the size and layout of your home are of utmost importance as this will determine the size and type of unit. For example, a one-bedroom apartment with one floor may only need a small 6 KW wall-mounted unit.

Architecturally designed houses, on the other hand, pose a unique scenario. These homes tend to be built with minimal ceiling space hence requiring the air conditioning units to be installed in bulkheads in individual rooms or areas.


  1. Location

Here in Australia, many have the privilege of living by the sea and whilst this has its many benefits, it also has its drawbacks – salt damage. Saltwater not only corrodes brickwork, but the salt and moisture can also settle into your air conditioning system, corroding the condenser coil. This in turn drops the efficiency of the system and can lead to a reduction in the lifespan of your air conditioning unit.

Not all brands are built with corrosion-resistant coating, which is why here at Peninsula Air Conditioning, we use trusted brands such as Daikin. We use stainless steel brackets that not only look nicer but also provide better protection against corrosion.


  1. Brand

Like with many products and services, some brands cost more than others, as they say, you pay for quality. Likewise, you will come across a range of air conditioning systems, some at a lower price point than others. One thing to note is the brand of the air conditioning unit they provide. Some may come across to be more affordable but in the long run more expensive to run and replace if the unit malfunctions.

As mentioned above, here at Peninsula Air Conditioning, we use only the best – Daikin. Not only are they reliable, efficient, cost-effective to run and provide resistance against corrosion, but the parts are also easily sourced and replaceable, should anything go wrong, which is not the case with many of the cheaper brands. Saving you money in the long run and the hassle of replacing entire systems.


  1. Controllers

Everyone likes to have features that meet their desired requirements and with air conditioner controllers having evolved to become more advanced, the options are endless. Such tailored controller options may include:


  • Standard controller: Offering the basic functions – on/off switch and timer.
  • Zone controller: Along with the basic features this also offers zone controlling so you can control the temperature in different parts of your home.
  • Airbase: Compatible with ducted air conditioning systems, airbase puts frequently used functions at your fingertips through an easy-to-use app. Through the Airbase app you can operate your air conditioning unit via your in-home Wi-Fi or remotely with an internet connection.
  • E-zone: The main advantage of an E-zone controller is that it allows to provide year-round comfort for the home or office by allowing you to control temperatures in different zones at a touch of the screen. With the E-zone controller, not only can everyone set the temperature to their liking you can also maximise energy efficiency and by reducing air flow in empty rooms reduce your energy bills. E-zone is simple to use through the free E-zone app which is available on the Android and Apple stores and compatible with both Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
  • CoolMasterNet: Recommended for larger installations, this system seamlessly combines different types of air conditioning (VRV/VRF/split air condition) into a single controller. Furthermore, the solution enables integration to centralised control systems such as voice control devises and mobile apps, allowing you full control of this high-quality air conditioning system.

However, bear in mind, additional features equal additional costs. It’s a good idea to do some research and ask the professional to determine what features are worth spending the money on and which are not.


  1. How difficult it will be to install

Some jobs are not so simple. They require getting into tight, awkward spaces and more work to install the ducted air conditioning system. Several factors influence this such as the layout of the house. Whether this will add additional costs to your quote can only be determined by a site visit. Again, this will allow us to provide you with detailed insight into what is involved during installation and to provide you with an accurate quote.


Getting the right quote

Interested in getting a quote for a ducted system near Northern Beaches, Eastern Suburbs, North Shore or Inner West?

Contact us and we will come out, inspect the property, make recommendations, and provide you with a detailed interactive obligation-free quote.

If you are looking to get a quote for ducted air conditioning, we will work with you to tailor a solution that is exactly right for you and your home, while ensuring you are provided with the most accurate quote. Below are some key questions we ask before providing a quote, along with a few pointers for you to consider. 

1. First to answer some key questions

Usually, when we are asked by a homeowner to provide a quote to install a new ducted air conditioning system, we typically ask the following three questions.


  1. Do you have room in your roof or sub-floor for an air conditioner?

To install the unit, we need to have space in the roof or sub-floor to work.  If your home has a flat roof and built on a slab, for example, your only option is to install split or multi-split air conditioning systems.  Split system units would be placed on the walls as an alternative, as there simply wouldn’t be enough space to accommodate a ducted system.


  1. Do you want it primarily for heating or cooling?

This can also be a factor that helps us decide whether it’s best to install the system on the roof or under the floor.


  1. Is your home single or double-storey?

If it is a house with two floors, we would have to run ductwork between the ceilings of the first floor to reach the ceiling of the ground floor. We refer to the connections as ‘risers’ or ‘droppers’, and, when one does that, the ducts must run through wardrobes or cupboard spaces. 


If it is a single-storey home, with room on the roof, it’s a much simpler installation.


2. Planning can make all the difference

If you are in the process of or considering building a new home, we have a couple of suggested tips that will help reduce costs when it comes to installing your desired air conditioning system.


  • If you are keen on a ducted aircon system in your home, and it’s a new build, we recommend you work with an HVAC contractor from the planning stage of construction. Modern homes often have slanted roofs or designs that do not take cooling and heating needs into account.
  • As installers, we are usually the last trade to be called to quote on work. This can lead to more costly solutions to make a system fit in the infrastructure. Alternatively, you would be required to make structural changes to accommodate the desired air conditioning system, in which case, for example, you may have to consider adding bulkheads to the design if you want ducted air conditioning.

As you can see, it is more cost-effective to factor the air conditioning in before the house is built. 


NOTE: Your contractor will only be able to supply you with a ballpark quote before the roof is on. This is because as a build progresses, architects or builders can make adjustments that change the scope of the installation.  You may also decide to change the specs of the grilles or other features once the build is underway.  These changes can influence the final installation cost.

3. A site visit is essential

As we mentioned earlier, never ask a contractor to give you a quote to install a ducted air conditioning system over the phone or by email.  At Peninsula Air Conditioning, we always visit the property and give it a thorough inspection to consider all factors. The only way to do it is to get us to come out and have a look, and we will give you an obligation-free quote.  It is as simple as that.

Before you make your final decision and pay

So, you think you might be ready to make a decision. Before you go ahead and make your selection, here’s some advice to consider.


  • Ensure you have got two to three quotes for comparison. This will also allow you to get a sense of what the current market rates are.
  • If one quote is for a drastically lower capacity system, be careful, as the system will not work to cool the house as required.
  • You may notice that different systems of the same capacity may have different prices. Before choosing the lowest price quote, take a careful look at every detail and ask why their package may cost more or less than the others.
  • Ensure your installer is licensed.
  • Look for someone with plenty of testimonials and happy clients.
  • Most importantly, the air conditioning industry is guided by regulations placed by the Department of Fair Trading. It allows contractors to charge a maximum deposit of 10%. If a contractor asks for higher deposits or phased payment, refer them to the department’s rules. 


At Peninsula Air Conditioning we strongly abide by these guidelines and you will only receive a final bill only once the installation is completed, usually a day or two afterwards.

Interested in getting a quote for a ducted system?

If you have been considering having a ducted air conditioning system installed in your home, give us a call on 1300 889 309 and we will come out, inspect the property, make recommendations, and provide you with a detailed interactive obligation-free quote.

Call: 1300 889 309

Email: [email protected]

Free, No Obligation Consultation.

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Schedule a time with us to organise a quote for your home or business.

One of our technicians will perform an inspection and provide you with an obligation free quote.