East Killara resident, Michelle asks
“We’re performing extensive renovations on our property at East Killara and have shifted the master bedroom to the front of the house, and that’s where the air conditioning unit is. It’s noisy so we’d like to have it moved to the rear of the house. How much does this cost?”
Great questions Michelle. There are a few things that you need to consider when shifting an external air conditioning unit, all of which can affect the cost. I’ll outline a few of those considerations below.
When we relocate an outdoor air conditioning unit on your property, it is done in two phases. The first step requires us to test the system and make sure it is working correctly. Our technician will reclaim the air conditioning gas safely by pumping the system down into the outdoor unit. We can then disconnect it and store it in a safe, dust-free location on site. It’s worth noting that you can’t avoid reclaiming the gas from the system, even if you’re only planning on moving it only a few hundred millimetres.
Every property is different, and we can only accurately confirm the scope of the job once we have completed this step. That’s why we recommend disconnecting the unit when we are called out to perform an inspection and assessment, rather than performing the move in one step. The move may also require other installation work, such as mounting it on a wall with brackets when it was previously set on the ground, for example.
Once we have evaluated the work needed to relocate the system, we will provide you with a detailed quote outlining our recommendations and the material and labour costs required. If the unit is being moved around a corner, we may have to reevaluate where the pipes are being run and rerun the refrigerant piping. Our team will also need to work on wiring for the power and the connection from the indoor to the outdoor unit.
Once the outdoor unit has been moved to its new position, it can be reconnected, and the gas can be released back into the system.
Let’s look at some of the common questions we come across with clients:
How long will it take to move my air conditioning unit?
The disconnection stage usually doesn’t take more than an hour. We will provide you with a quote within three days, and unless further parts need to be ordered, we should be able to move the unit within a week.
What is the projected cost?
The scope of the project will impact on the final cost. The disconnection phase would include a call out fee of $259 for the first hour. If it takes longer, if the site and circumstances make the process more time consuming, we will charge our standard hourly rate for the extra time spent on site.
Does the air conditioner unit have to be disconnected?
Yes, even when it’s moved a short distance, we need to disconnect it and reclaim the gas from the system. If the outdoor unit is moved without disconnecting the pipework and claiming the gas back into the system, the pipe connections can crack. This leads to a refrigerant gas leak on the system. There are two repercussions. Firstly, the gas will leak into the environment, which is harmful. Secondly, a technician would need to fix the leak, pressure test the system and re-gas it, which comes with a cost that could be otherwise avoided.
Why can’t my builder disconnect it?
We do see cases where a builder has cut the pipes to move an outdoor unit. The gas escapes (which is not good for the environment as discussed) but also cannot be reclaimed into the system later. Replacing pipes and re-gassing a system are unnecessary costs you can avoid by calling us to disconnect it professionally.
Why should I consider moving my air conditioning unit?
The most common reasons are when there is landscaping or renovation work that changes the layout of the property. For example, you may want to install a deck where the unit is currently situated. We also have situations where a neighbour requests it be moved because of noise levels. There are council guidelines that govern how far an outdoor unit needs to be from a neighbour’s property or the fence line, and we adhere to these. We advise you to discuss the air conditioner outdoor unit location when you initially install it to avoid having to move it at a later stage.
Need a quote?
Feel free to call us to discuss your circumstances and requirements for moving your outdoor air conditioning unit. If your system is old, it may be worthwhile replacing the system instead of just moving it. We’d be happy to talk you through your options.