It’s summer again, and your home can quickly turn into your current air conditioning unit and start to wear down. If you’re considering investing in a new energy-efficient system, a ducted air conditioning system should definitely be one of your options.

What is a Ducted air conditioning system?

Often referred to as central air conditioning, a ducted air conditioning system is a type of air conditioning that uses ducts to circulate cooled or heated air throughout a building. The cooled or heated air is then delivered through vents in the building’s walls, ceilings, or floors. Ducted air conditioning can be used in both commercial and residential buildings. Ducted air conditioning is popular for homeowners, but it can be expensive to install and maintain.

This blog post will look at the cost of ducted air conditioning and determine whether it is worth the investment. We will also explore some of the other cooling options available to homeowners and see how they compare in price and efficiency. So keep reading to have an informed decision.

 What are the 4 Types of Air Conditioning Systems

The quality and features of each air conditioner vary widely, even within the same class. Because a new, energy-efficient multi-head split system unit may be more efficient than an older one, it is vital to investigate each unique model thoroughly. If you’re trying to compare the energy consumption of air conditioners, the energy rating star system is a wonderful starting point. However, the output and input capacities can provide even more detail.

  1. Portable Air Conditioners

Portable air conditioners aren’t as easy to move as their name suggests, but they’re nonetheless convenient. They are normally placed on the floor and come with an installation kit for a quick and easy installation. If you’re looking for something that can be moved around the house, a portable air conditioner might be just the ticket.

Portable air conditioners typically have modest initial expenses. However, you may pay more for electricity over time if you choose this type of air conditioning. If you regularly move, have a limited area to chill, or don’t intend to use it frequently, you should check into other models.

  1. Wall Hung or Multi-Head Split Air Conditioners

Split air conditioners are powerful and cost-effective, noted for their silent efficiency compared to window, wall, and portable air conditioners. There are actually two types of split air conditioners: single-split air conditioners and multi-split units.

A multi-split air conditioner is a form of a split air conditioner. You can cool numerous rooms at once with a multi-split air conditioner instead of a split one. For this reason, a multi-split AC is more efficient than a single-split AC since it has numerous (up to five) compressors and air outlets all coupled to the same compressor. Planning to upgrade your air conditioning system with a wall hung or multi-split AC? Schedule your AC installation with us now. Sidepost is a trusted air conditioning service provider which offers installation, repair, and maintenance across Australia. Whether you are in Brisbane, Melbourne, or Sydney, our accredited technicians are ready to serve you.

  1. Window Air Conditioners

For a long time, this was the most popular option for regulating the temperature in a small space. The compressor, condenser, coils, and evaporator are all integrated into a single unit in these units. Since window air conditioners are built to fit inside a window, they don’t typically require major renovations to the home to be installed. 

And when you compare window AC to wall AC, keep in mind that window ACs are installed on a window sill, whereas wall ACs are installed on a wall. When the desired temperature is reached, most window air conditioners automatically switch off and begin cooling or heating the room again. Whenever the temperature in the room changes, they automatically come back on. Generally speaking, they aren’t very energy-efficient.

  1. Ducted Air Conditioning

This type of cooling system can be the most cost-effective in many cases because of its ability to distribute cold air over an entire room. Condensing units and vents are used to distribute heated or cooled air throughout the building, with a huge compressor located outside and an evaporative unit located inside. To install a ducted system, you’ll need to make some big changes to your house and expect to pay a hefty installation fee.

Installing and operating these systems can frequently be less expensive than using several mini-split systems and window units to regulate the temperature of a complete house or office. Despite the fact that they require a massive compressor on the exterior, they are virtually undetectable inside.

Ducted Air Conditioning Cost Guide

If you are wondering how much central air conditioning systems cost, there are a few factors that you should consider in your purchase decision. For example, the size of your home, the model or brand, installation fees, and operating costs all play a role in determining the cost of ducted air conditioning.

The cost of ducted air conditioning is typically more expensive. As a result, larger homes or multi-level homes tend to be more expensive as a whole. As an estimate of the usual cost for ducted air conditioning in homes with a certain number of zones, below are some cost estimates:

  • Small, single-story house (2 to 3 bedrooms): Approximately $9,000 to $11,500
  •  Medium, single-story house (3 to 5 bedrooms): Approximately $12,000 to $14,500
  • Large, multi-story house (4 to 6 bedrooms): Approximately $15,000 to $20,000

Nevertheless, you must have all the necessary information to get an accurate ducted aircon price estimate. Additionally, it would help if you considered factors such as the property size, the number of zones in your home, the number of electrical outlets and occupants, the construction material type, and so on. Because there are so many variables, it would be best to consult with a professional contractor about this.

Ducted Air Conditioning Installation Cost

When it comes to how much-ducted air conditioning costs, as mentioned there are numerous cost factors before an exact price can be given. Let’s go through some of them in more detail.


If your house is located in the countryside or in a remote area that is hard to reach, you might need to pay more than the average cost. You may have to pay extra for delivery and installation. So it’s important to get quotes from several different contractors before making a decision. Also, be sure to ask about any hidden costs or fees, such as permits or labor.

Property Size

Your house size determines how many air ducts and grilles are needed during installation. In order to cool or heat many areas, more ducting will be required. Additionally, the number of floors in your home influences the number of vertical duct lines or droppers required for the air conditioning installation. Along with increasing the cost of materials, larger properties also have an impact on the amount of time it takes to complete a project.

Unit Type

To put it another way, reverse-cycle air conditioners are more expensive than traditional systems. Another example, window air conditioners are the most affordable on the market, and they don’t require any installation. Once you’ve purchased it, all you have to do is to set it up in your window.

Ducted air conditioning systems need a complex installation and may cost more since it may be necessary for professional help.

Roof space and layout

In some cases, the roof trusses may need to be rearranged to allow for access and ductwork installation. This entails more time and resources.


Zoning your ducted air conditioning system may initially increase the cost of installation, but in the long term, it will save you money. Because your ducted air conditioner doesn’t have to operate at full power all of the time, you can save money on your utility bills by dividing your home into zones.

Distance between indoor and outdoor

In general, the closer the indoor and outdoor units are to one other, the less material is needed. Installation costs can be reduced as a result of this.

There are no exact costs to this as each ducted air conditioning installation project is unique. However, it would be best to know the industry averages; you will know how much money to anticipate.

How much does it cost to run a Ducted Air Conditioning Unit?

The typical annual electricity bill for ducted air conditioning is the following: 

  • A small ducted air conditioning unit of up to 4kW costs around $300-450 per year.
  • A modest ducted air conditioning 4-6kW unit costs between $400 and $550 per year.
  • A large ducted air conditioning unit with more than 6kW can cost anywhere from $300 to $600 per year.

Your electricity provider and tariff structure will significantly impact the final price.

Due to the fact that you can manage the temperature in individual zones, ducted systems are often more energy-efficient. For example, if you only need to cool the living room during the day, you can set the temperature in that zone without affecting the rest of the house.

The cost of running a ducted air conditioner can be affected by various factors. Size, energy efficiency, temperature, duration of operation, and insulation quality are all factors to be considered.

Let’s look at an example to see how this might be used. 

A 20 kW ducted air conditioner with a six-zone design and a 6 kW average output is used by a household. During each quarter, they utilize their system for 80 hours and pay 24 cents per kWh used.

This unit’s maximum power is 20kW, but it won’t be working at full capacity to cool their home; therefore, it will only be able to produce an average output of 6kW. This means that if they only use their ducted unit for about 80 hours per quarter, the system will be utilizing about 480 kW of electricity. It would cost an additional $115.20 each quarter or $450 per year if the use rate was set at 24 cents per kWh.

What is the Cost of Running a Ducted Air Conditioning System?

If you want your ducted system to work as efficiently as possible, you must schedule a service appointment at least once a year.

Here are the services you might want to consider to maintain your ducted air conditioning system:

  • Temperature, airflow, and motor zone operational checks
  • Changing or cleaning the grill material of the return air filter
  • Checking the level and pressure of the refrigerant
  • Cleaning and de-scaling

It would be best to depend on professionals regarding this matter.

While there may be a lot of cost factors to consider, this is still a good investment for you to live a comfortable life. However, it would be best to consider those aspects before coming up with a decision. You have to make sure that you can afford the energy bills it would cost and the maintenance fees you would encounter in the future.