For years, the British summer has had a bad reputation. We’ve all spent July afternoons watching the rain pelt down outside. But recently, things have changed, and the summers seem to be getting warmer and sunnier.
And while this is excellent news for people who love weekend barbecues, it isn’t so good when you want to relax at home or get some work done in an office. That’s where air conditioning units come in.
They can turn a humid, stuffy room into a cool, calm oasis where you can live normally. If you want an air conditioner, but you don’t know how much they cost, nor do you know what one is the best air conditioning unit for you, then you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s have a look at the three most common types of air con units available, as well as how much they cost.
What Types of Air Conditioning Units are Available and How Much Do They Cost?
There are, of course, a huge amount of air conditioning systems available, and most of them aren’t suitable for a homeowner or small business owner. There is also the possibility of an outdoor unit, but this is only suitable for some people too.
We’re going to be looking at the air conditioning units that you’ll be most likely to buy. These are sometimes referred to as air cooling units, but the key feature of each of them is that they’ll turn the stuffy, stifling air inside your home or office into cool air that makes summer a breeze.
Freestanding or Portable Air Conditioners
A freestanding air conditioner unit is perhaps the cheapest air conditioner that you can buy. You’ve most likely seen one before. Many of them have built-in dehumidifiers too, which can be handy if you live in a damp home, as it will remove the humidity from a room quickly and effectively.
As the name suggests, a freestanding air conditioning unit can be placed wherever you want, and it will just sit there. Years ago, these units tended to make a lot of noise, and also had high running costs because of the amount of electricity they used. Nowadays, you can get free-standing air conditioning systems that are built to be efficient, as well as silent.
At the low end, you can purchase one of these air conditioning units for little more than £100. But, if you want a good air conditioning system that can do more than cool air, but also act as a dehumidifier, you could expect to pay a lot more. There are some great free-standing air conditioning systems for around £500.
Window Air Conditioners
Another common choice for the home or office is a window air conditioning unit. The reason why a window air conditioning unit needs to be placed in a window opening is that they suck up air from outside, cool it, and then pump it into your room. This type of system is easy to install.
Air conditioning units like this are more expensive than free-standing air conditioning systems but a lot cheaper than needing to fit a whole complicated system inside your home that involves ducts. You can only fit one window air conditioning unit in one room at a time, so if you want multiple window air conditioning units, you need to keep in mind that the cost will go up.
A single window air conditioner with installation cost will set you back at least £500, but you could expect to pay a lot more. It’s worth it, though, as you’ll get a good system that will work for a long time.
Ducted Air Conditioners
A Ducted air conditioning cost is a lot higher than with our previous two types of air conditioning systems. Installing an air conditioner that’s run through ducting will set you back a lot more as you’ll need to pay for more labour time.
The cost of materials will need to be added on top of the system. It’s important to note that this form of air conditioning is only recommended to people who live in large houses or for offices. The ducting will transform the looks of your home, and you’ll need to find a room to put the air conditioning unit inside.
This unit can be very large. It will also make noise. But if you’re after a more advanced air conditioning system, then you’ll probably be aware that ducted air conditioning with installation will cost about £2,000 for the unit and another £1,000 to £2,000 for the labour. It could even be more expensive than that, depending on how much work you need to fit the ducting and install an air conditioner.
How to Make Your Air Conditioning System More Efficient
It isn’t the installation cost that is the biggest financial worry when it comes to an air conditioning system. It’s running costs that you need to account for, as these can be extremely high. Air conditioning uses up a lot of electricity.
There are some ways that you can keep these costs down.
Firstly, you’ll need to make sure that your home or office has the right insulation. As you’ll know, if a building isn’t insulated properly then heat can escape. It can also allow cool air to escape, too, meaning that your air conditioning system will do more work than it needs to.
Insulating your home or office should be done at the same time as getting an air conditioning unit if you want to ensure that you don’t get a huge electricity bill each month during the summer.
It’s also worthwhile to get a regular service done. There are some excellent companies around that specialise in servicing and maintaining air conditioning systems. Getting them to have a look at it regularly will ensure that it’s working properly and that it’s working as efficiently as it should do too.
You should also acquaint yourself properly with all the controls on your unit. In winter, we can often get a big heating bill because we’ve left the radiator on too long or kept it too high, or even because we’ve set the central heating timers wrong.
This is the same with air conditioning. Make sure you’ve got it set to the right temperature, so that the correct timer setting is on, and then you should be able to avoid a big electricity bill.
Remember, air conditioning units can cost you a lot of money on electricity, so it’s best to keep this in mind before investing in one.