A Guide To Ducted Air Conditioning Cost & Efficiency

A Guide To Ducted Air Conditioning Cost & Efficiency

With Australian summers heating up, it might be time to make the long-term investment in ducted air conditioning.

Discrete, durable and energy-efficient, ducted air conditioning offers lasting comfort with zoned temperature control. The cream of the crop for whole-home cooling, its long-term benefits are reflected in its initial outlay. But exactly how much does ducted air conditioning cost? 

While a common question, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. That’s because the cost of a ducted air conditioning system ranges according to several factors, from the size of your unit to the location of your home.

Below, we break down the price considerations of installing and running this type of air con system so that you can weigh up its upfront expense with its cost-effective cooling. 

How much does ducted air conditioning cost?

Ducted air conditioning generally ranges from $7,000 to over $20,000, depending on unit size, type and brand, as well as the location and size of your home. 

Once you understand the factors that influence the cost of ducted air conditioning, you’ll be able to choose the most appropriate system for your property, lifestyle and budget. 

Building size

Not surprisingly, a bigger building needs a larger, more expensive system. Essentially, the more rooms, floors and outlets to cool, the most extensive the ductwork.

For example, a two-bedroom home with one lounge area may require a 9KW ducted air conditioner that costs around $8,000, whereas a five-bed house with multiple living spaces could need a 20KW unit costing upwards of $20,000.


Properties within three kilometres of the ocean are susceptible to salt air corrosion. Essentially, salty sea air breaks down lime mortar between bricks into dust that can settle within your air conditioning system. This will corrode its components, reducing system efficiency and even causing malfunction. 

However, certain brands of ducted air conditioning systems offer protective coatings that can strengthen resistance to this coastal damage. And when it comes to different brands, you can expect big variations in price.


When comparing brands, remember that a lower price tag does not necessarily mean overall savings. In fact, it’s often the opposite, with many cheap air conditioning systems eating up power.

In contrast, more expensive units sold by established, high-quality brands like Mitsubishi, Fujitsu or ActronAir are designed to run with greater energy-efficiency. And that can translate into significant long-term savings on your electricity bill. 

Unit size

The larger the unit required, the more you can expect to pay for your ducted air conditioner system. To give you a rough idea of what size unit your space requires, a standard 130m2 home will need at least a 24,000 BTU unit. 

How much is it to install ducted air conditioning?

In ducted air conditioning, a central compressor funnels cool air through a network of ducts in the roofspace or walls of your building. Due to these many parts, this system is relatively expensive to set up. With NewAge Air, supply and install starts from $6,900. 

From there, the cost of fitting a ducted air conditioning system depends on the degree of ductwork needed, the complexity of the job at hand and the amount of space we have to work with. For example, retrofitting a unit in an existing building is more complex and costly than a planned installation in a new build. 

On a related note, we’ll need access to roof or subfloor space to install your ducting. If your building has been constructed on a slab or with a flat skillion roof, you may need to install split system air conditioning instead. Learn more about the cost of installing different types of air conditioning systems here.

How long does ducted air conditioning last?

Once this system has been installed, it’s durability will validate your initial investment. Built to last, ducted air conditioning units can run for up to 15 years before any key components have to be repaired or replaced.

The cost of running ducted air conditioning

In general, ducted air conditioning adds about $250 to $500 to the average household’s annual electricity bill. That said, the exact expense will vary according to your unit, provider and tariff structure.

Cost-effective cooling

Considered to be the most energy-efficient system available for homeowners, ducted air conditioning can save you considerable costs in the long run. How so? A system with separate ducts for zone control enables you to set distinct temperatures throughout your home, meaning you won’t have to waste energy on cooling rooms that you’re not actually using.

What’s more, all ducted air conditioners in Australia must meet Minimum Energy Performance Standards. In other words, you can be confident in their guaranteed efficiency. So, although ducted air conditioning is more expensive to purchase than various alternatives, its cost-effective cooling makes it well worth your while. 

So, is ducted air con worth it?

When choosing an air conditioning system, it’s natural to gravitate towards the cheapest option. But if you really want to maximise your savings over time, don’t compromise on quality at the outset. 

Although the cost of ducted air conditioning makes it an expensive investment, make sure to consider its long-term benefits to your electricity bill. Careful number crunching now could save you heaps in the future.

At NewAge Air, we offer expert advice tailored to your layout and lifestyle so that you can choose the right air conditioning system. We also offer finance options if you’re interested in purchasing a ducted air conditioner for your home or commercial premises. 

Want to install this energy-saving system in time for the scorching summer heat? Call us today and we’ll come out to inspect your site or complete our quick form for a free online quote.

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