Summer in Australia calls for a good, reliable air conditioning system. If you don’t have one in your home or business yet, you’ll know what we mean.
The air conditioner installation process
How do you go about installing an air conditioner? The first step is to hire a professional, licensed electrician in your area.
An air conditioner (AC) is not something you want skimp on, especially if you want it to last. It’s best to leave the choice to a professional – someone with a good reputation in your neighbourhood who can do it right. Otherwise, you’re risking the lifespan of your appliance, as well as your own safety.
Once you’ve hired an electrician, they’ll come out to your house and do a thorough inspection. It’s essential that they check your power source and existing lines before recommending new systems for your home or office space. Part of this check-up will be identifying any code violations or safety concerns, so that the installation goes smoothly and safely.
After the inspection, your electrician will give you a cost estimate for the installation based on the appropriate type of AC unit. They’ll also discuss options with you to decide what’s best for your family’s needs. This could cover the number of vents you want, and which rooms need more consistent temperatures than others, for instance.
The physical installation will more or less follow this process:
Step 1: Identifying the best spot. Your electrician will first help you find the right spot for your AC unit – ideally a cool, dry place with electricity. Some people prefer to put their units in the attic.
Step 2: Installation. Your electrician will install and secure your new AC unit.
Step 3: Wiring. Your electrician will then connect the wires from your new air conditioner to the right terminals on your breaker panel or fuse box, following local electrical codes and the AC manufacturer’s instructions. The cables can either run through or underneath a wall from outside.
Step 4: You can now turn on the power and test your AC.
If you’re replacing your existing AC, your electrician will need to disconnect any wiring from the old system, and remove it from the main power supply. They will then connect the wires from your new AC to your breaker box. Additional wiring can be installed as your electrician sees fit. Some parts may need to be replaced due to wear and tear.
Costs of aircon installation
AC installation may be a bit costly, but for good reason. It’s more than simply buying a new unit and plugging it in. The installation isn’t as complicated as others, but it still requires a skilled electrical professional.
Hiring an electrician, installing a new outlet, and assessing existing wiring are some of the tasks that take time and expertise. Service costs, permits, material, and insulation are other requirements that add up financially.
For split systems, AC installation can cost anywhere from $600 to $6,000, depending on the type of unit. Smaller units start at $700, while larger or ducted systems can go from $2,400. Other factors also play into the total cost – wiring may need to be replaced or added, and the unit may need cleaning, for example.
Portable air conditioners cost significantly less to install, playing at around $150 to $500. On the pricier side are evaporative cooling ACs at $3,000 to $5,000. Ducted systems can cost up to $12,000.
Choosing the right aircon unit
When choosing an AC unit to purchase, consider more than pricing. You’ll also want to look at other factors like:
- Size: If you have a bigger home, your unit will need a higher capacity to cool the entire area. It’ll help to look at the specification of different units. Perhaps consider buying more than one, especially if you have a multi-storey home.
- Windows: Sunlight can contribute up to 40% to a home’s heat, so your AC unit must be able to offset that and keep your house cool, even with the blinds open.
- Ceiling: High ceilings require larger capacity ACs, as you’ll need to generate a larger volume of cool air to maintain the temperature of your home.
If you’re having trouble identifying the right unit you need, you can call your electrician to look at your home and its existing wiring. They can give you proper recommendations and suggest the best size and system type for your house or commercial space.
We know what it’s like to live in Melbourne during the summer months. You want nothing more than to come home from work and relax in your cool, quiet home. So let us take care of everything for you.
Call STL Electrical for easy AC installation at your house or office building. We’re Melbourne-based and open 24/7 for any electrical work you might need help with. Check out our full list of serviceable areas.