Advice and News •
How much does air conditioning installation cost? There’s no hard and fast rule about fees for installation but there are ways to make sure you get the best price. Whether you’re a home or business-owner, air conditioning is one of the must-haves if you live in Queensland’s beautiful south-east corner. Unlike the southern states, alternative types of cooling systems such as evaporative systems just don’t cut it in our humid climate. Air conditioning is the only way to guarantee a constant, reliable flow of dehumidified cool air. But there are traps for the unwary in the form of hugely inflated costs if you haven’t done your homework first. It’s essential to know where things can go awry in the installation process.
The cost of installation is affected by many variables. They can quickly suck your hard-earned dollars into a budgetary black hole. Understanding the factors that affect the cost of installation insures you against skyrocketing costs. Be wary of hard and fast quotes that fail to address these variables. Here are just a few of the most common factors likely to inflate the cost of air conditioning installation:
The size of your home or business premises
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to air conditioning. Perhaps one of the biggest factors affecting the cost of installation is the size of your home or business, based on:
• The number of rooms you need to cool,
• The ceiling height of those rooms, and
• The total area involved (length x width x height)
Size is a major consideration to accurately calculating how much your installation will cost. It also directly affects the price of the air conditioning unit itself. A bigger, open-plan area will necessitate a more powerful unit than say, an enclosed space. Also, the bigger the premises, the more ducting, electrical cabling or copper piping needed to install your air conditioning. All of these come at a cost, which must be factored-in to ensure the accuracy of your quote. Ensuring that the air conditioning installer has easy access to the installation points will help minimise your fees. If you require additional tradespeople to make building alterations, your installation fees can increase. When planning air con installation, talk to a fitter about placement that balances unit effectiveness and installation costs.
The quality of materials used in installing your air conditioning system
Of course it will be cheaper to install your air conditioning if you opt for less-costly materials. But the reality is that you get what you pay for. A system that relies on inferior materials such as electrical cabling or ducting is a time bomb. Any savings gained by using dodgy materials in the installation of your air conditioning system will be quickly swallowed up by inconvenient breakdowns, costly repairs or worse. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently formed a taskforce to oversee the urgent recall of a brand of electrical cabling that could potentially cause house fires or even deaths. Read more about the recall here .
You don’t want your installer’s cost cutting to sacrifice your safety and that of your family or employees. Opt for a reputable installer who takes pride in the quality of both their workmanship and the materials they use.
Layout of the premises affects air conditioning installation costs
The layout or configuration of your home or business also has a significant impact on the cost of installation. There are many variables here: Single or double storey? Apartment living or fully detached dwelling? Open plan or closed living? These factors must be taken into consideration in order to accurately project the installation cost of your air conditioning. Site accessibility is also a relevant factor. How hard is it to move equipment into place? How many installers will be involved? A non-standard installation is also likely to cost more because labour costs will be higher. Also, if the site necessitates that your installers work at a greater elevation (for example, up on a high roof) then there may be additional costs of ensuring their safety and yours, such as harnesses and safety barriers.
Where you live and when you install air conditioning
Your air conditioning installation costs will also be affected by where you live. If it takes an hour for your installer to come to you, you can be rest assured that those additional costs; time, fuel and tollway fees, will be factored into the cost of installation. For those reasons, opting for an installer who is local to your area will save you money in the long run. This is particularly true when you’re embarking on a long-term relationship with them whereby they’ll happily maintain and service your air conditioner for years to come. What’s more, reputation is everything in this business and word of mouth travels fast at a local level. You are sure to find H&H Air Conditioning is local to you and proudly part of your community.
Tip: Waiting until summer means possible delays in your air conditioning installation. Getting your air con done in wintertime can minimise delays and possibly even save you money – especially for large business premises. Air conditioning manufacturers regularly offer “deals” in winter to get you to buy – it’s worth talking to us in winter. Like pool companies, air conditioning companies have busy and quiet seasons; it’s always worth checking out winter deals!
The type of air conditioning system: Split or ducted?
The type of air conditioning system you choose also has a direct bearing upon the cost of installation. It’s tempting to fall into the trap of presuming that the installation of a split system will be cheaper than a ducted system. However, that’s not always the case. For example, if you go down the path of a multi-headed split system, your installation costs may well be higher, as labour and equipment costs increase with the installation of each additional unit. You would also need to factor in the cost of any cosmetic measures necessary to hide the air conditioning unit from view if it can’t be located unobtrusively. These factors need to be considered prior to commencing work. An experienced air conditioning installer will anticipate and alert you to these contingencies.
How long it will take to install your air con system
The more difficult or unconventional an installation, the longer it may take. Naturally, the longer it takes to install your air conditioning, the more it will cost. One of the benefits of choosing an experienced and reputable, industry-accredited company is that installation won’t be unnecessarily drawn out by mistakes and stuff-ups along the way.
Tip: While we’re one of the most reliable air conditioning companies in Brisbane, getting your air conditioning installed in winter will help ensure there are no delays at the manufacturing level!
Unforseen difficulties encountered in the process of installation
One of the variables impacting on the cost of installing your air conditioning are the potential hazards your installer may uncover during installation. A common example is where you’re installing air conditioning in an older home or building. If your existing electrical system is in a poor state it will have to be rectified to ensure that it’s safe, complies with Queensland regulations and meets Australian standards. How do you, as a layperson, ensure that this won’t be a costly hiccough in the installation of your air conditioning system? A thorough site inspection prior to obtaining a written quote is essential. It will specifically look at potential hazards or obstacles to installation such as these.
Some companies will give you a quote based only on an uploaded floor plan of your premises or even over the phone. A floor plan alone doesn’t show the idiosyncrasies of the property in sufficient detail to assure you of an accurate quotation. In certain circumstances you’ll need an experienced Site Assessor to visit your home or business to ensure that any potential nightmares are identified before work is commenced. That way, those contingencies are recognised and taken into account well in advance of any financial outlay.
The skill level and experience of the tradesmen involved in installing the unit
The last thing you want to have is an air conditioning system that has been installed by someone who is unqualified or uninsured. Shoddy installation work doesn’t just affect the efficiency of your system. It can damage your property and leave you and your family vulnerable to fire or electrocution. You may find cheaper installation services offered elsewhere but you’ll have greater peace of mind in knowing that you have chosen to have your air conditioning installed by industry qualified installers and not a dodgy fly-by-nighter. In order to protect yourself, you should check that your installer holds a refrigerant licence issued by the Australian Insulation Council. Electrical work must also be carried out by a qualified electrician. Your installer should be able to give you a warranty for the installation, not just the unit. The price of air conditioning should never come at the expense of safety.
Why getting a quick quote can give you the peace of mind you’re after
These are just a few of the variables that will affect the cost of air conditioning installation. There are many other factors that may increase or decrease your costs. The only way to guard against unforseen costs and to know where you stand is to talk to a friendly and well-established, reputable company such as H&H Air Conditioning. We can set your mind at ease. Contact us today for a quote.
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