How Much Does it Cost to Install Ducted Air Conditioning?

Air Conditioning
Isaac Jamieson
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The cost to install ducted air conditioning typically ranges from $5,000 to $20,000, with the average falling around $8,000 to $15,000. However, it’s essential to note that the final price can vary significantly based on several factors.

System Size and Capacity

The size and capacity of the ducted air conditioning system are crucial factors in determining the installation cost. The larger the property or the more rooms you wish to cool, the more extensive the system will need to be, leading to higher costs. The required cooling capacity is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) or tons, and a professional HVAC technician can perform a load calculation to determine the appropriate size for your specific needs.


As the name suggests, ducted air conditioning relies on a network of ducts to distribute cool air throughout the building. The cost of the ductwork will depend on the size of the property and the complexity of the duct system. Older properties may require modifications to accommodate the new ducts, which could add to the installation expenses.

Unit and Brand

The cost of the actual air conditioning unit will depend on the brand, efficiency rating, and features it offers. High-quality and energy-efficient units may come with a higher price tag upfront, but they can result in long-term savings on energy bills. Opting for a reputable brand with a proven track record may also provide better reliability and performance.


One of the significant advantages of installing ducted air conditioning is the ability to divide the property into zones, allowing for independent temperature control in different areas. Zoning helps optimise energy usage and can enhance comfort. However, the addition of zone controls will contribute to the overall installation cost.

Labour and Installation

The complexity of installing a ducted air conditioning system requires the expertise of qualified electricians. Labour costs will vary depending on the project’s size, the number of technicians required, and the duration of the installation process. Obtaining quotes from multiple companies can help you compare prices and select the most suitable option.

Additional Components

Several additional components can impact the overall cost of installation. These may include thermostats, grilles, registers, dampers, and insulation. Each of these elements plays a vital role in the efficiency and functionality of the system, so it’s essential not to compromise on their quality.

Duct Material

The material used for the ductwork can affect the cost of installation. Sheet metal ducts are a traditional option, but flexible ducts may be a more affordable alternative. However, it’s essential to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each material with your HVAC installer to ensure optimal performance and durability.


The cost of installing a ducted air conditioning system can vary significantly depending on numerous factors such as the system size, brand, ductwork complexity, zoning, labour, and additional components.

While the initial investment may seem substantial, you also need to consider the long-term benefits of energy efficiency, improved comfort, and enhanced property value.

To determine the most accurate estimate for your specific needs, it is advisable to consult with reputable HVAC professionals who can provide personalised quotes and guidance throughout the installation process.

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About Isaac Jamieson

Electrician, and refrigeration mechanic with over 12 years of experience, Isaac is the founder, director and driving force behind Tenmen Electrical.

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