UNDERSTANDING THE COST OF INSTALLING A SPLIT SYSTEM AIR CONDITIONER
The cost of installation can vary wildly simple because some situations require more time and material.
- At the front of the house – You can put it there but it just doesn’t look good.
- In narrow pathways – You don’t want to limit or even lose access for things like bins, wheel barrows, bikes.
- Deckings or entertaining areas – If you don’t want to be staring at it, its worth paying the extra to move it to a better location. Once it is installed and working, you will be glad you did.
- Drive ways or garages – Drive ways are not a good location for air conditioners. Not only is it costly to repair or replace a unit that has been backed into or sideswiped, it is extremely dangerous.
EXAMPLES OF ADDED COST TO INSTALLATION
The examples below provide an insight as to why installing split systems can get complicated.
MOVING UNITS TO THE MOST SUITABLE LOCATION RATHER THAN THE CHEAPEST
Suburb - Point Cook, Melbourne (residential house)
In this installation, the indoor unit had only one possible place to be mounted as all the other external walls had windows and sliding doors with no room above them. It could have been installed back-to-back but that would have meant the outdoor unit would have been right next to the back door and in the entertaining area.
The customer suggested that we locate the unit down the side of the house that they rarely used. A good solution!
What that entailed was pipes to be run outside, then up into the roof and across to the side of the house and back out and down the wall. A lot of extra pipe and a lot of extra care and attention need to get them in neatly.
Obviously this cost more to do but in the end, a nice neat job and a very happy customer.
Once again, this is a perfect example of spending extra to get a better outcome. Going for the cheap option would have meant an air conditioner in the entertaining area. Remember, once these units are installed, they are there for a long time.
The installation ended up needing an extra 10m of pipe and electrical cables. Running pipes through roofs like this really does take alot more time and skill. Getting the pipes in and out of the roof space without kinking them is very fiddly and making sure it is finished nice and neatly is a priority for us.
The plan was sent to us by the client and allowed us to accurately quote the length of pipe required and the extra costs involved. This job is a perfect example of a difficult installation being assessd using our online quoting tool without the need for an onsite quote. We where actually able to complete this quote on the same day we received the photos and installed the unit the very next day.
It is worth noting that the unit installed was the Fujitsu ASTG24LFCB which has a maximum pipe run of 20m. The unit comes pre-charge with enough refrigerant to cover the length required. Some units don’t allow such a long run without adding more refrigerant, which will add extra costs for installation.
We are able to advise you which unit will suit best.
AIR CONDITIONERS INSTALLED IN ROOMS AT THE FRONT OF YOUR HOUSE
Suburb - Pascoe Vale, Melbourne (residential house)
Some times when indoor units are installed on the front of a house it is possible to eliminate external duct work on the walls and also no out door unit at the front either.
To do this it requires a brick cavity and acces into the cavity by lifting tiles and in some cases colourbond sheeting.
It takes alot more time and effort to achieve this so these installations do cost more. In this scenario we were required to run the pipes to the side of the house through the roof. As you can see, an air conditioner mounted on the wall above the garage would not look to good. We were also able to run the drain down the cavity and out the side near a downpipe.
The cost involved in doing it this way was approximately $400-$500 more. Certainly money well spent when you consider the longevity of the unit and the aesthetic value maintained at the front of the house.
MOUNTING THE OUTDOOR UNIT ON A ROOF INSTEAD OF THE GROUND
Suburb - Ringwood, Melbourne (residential house)
As you may have discovered ny now, installing a split system back to back is the cheapest option. But, it is not always the most logical option.
In this install example the client did not want the outdoor unit to sit on the ground back to back. As you can see, not only would that locate the unit just outside the window but it would have meant relocating the timber benches which were home to their beloved pot plants (moved prior to install to allow access.
After browsing through our website the client was awware that it was possible to locate the condensor on the flat roof above thier lounge room.
The price to install the Samsung 5kw split system back to back was $2335
The final price to relocate outdoor unit to roof was $2635 inc GST.
The extra $300 reflects the extra labour required to lift the outdoor unit onto the roof and the time and effort required to run the pipes through the roof and weather seal the roof as well.
The upfront cost of installing the air conditioner this way is definitely worth it when you factor in the years ahead. The outdoor unit is only visiable from a small area of the back yard so it is a positive case of out of sight out of mind!
LOCATING INDOOR UNITS TO MINIMIZE MATERIALS AND LABOUR
Suburb - Greensborough, Melbourne (residential house)
This installation was for 2 x 2.5kw split systems to service two upstairs bedrooms. The indoor units were located in the positions shown in photo 1 so the we could cover the external pipe, drain and cables in the same duct.
Doing this meant that the client did not have to pay for the extra duct required if each split system required seperate ducts. It also save cost on labour as doing them seperate essentailly means twice the work on the outside of the house.
Also, another upside to this is that there is only on duct run externally so the job looks that little bit neater. The outdoor units ended up in a location that was probably not ideal but were located that way to keep the clients costs down also. The unit on the ground is sitting to the left of an access hatch for a underground tap.
The unit on the wall is sitting to the side so that the pipes could run down past it to the ground unit and also to keep it awat from the window to minimize it’s visibility form inside the house.
IS IT WORTH SPENDING THE EXTRA MONEY?
A lot of people debate over whether to spend the extra money. We can say that we’ve never had a customer complain once the installation is done.
It’s always worth it.