How much does it cost to install and run air conditioning in Australia?


Australia is notorious for being incredibly hot, particularly during the summer months. So hot in fact, that without an AC it can almost become unbearable for most people. However, the important question is, how much does it cost to both install and run air conditioning in Australia? And is there anything that you can do to keep your bills down as much as possible? Let’s find out! 

Is air conditioning expensive in Australia?

Is air conditioning expensive in Australia? Yes and no. It all really depends on your perspective. For example, if you have lived in Thailand for the last five years and then return to Australia, your air conditioning bills are going to be significantly different. 

On the whole, being able to remain cool and comfortable during the summer is a must. As such, your AC bill is likely going to feel worthwhile no matter what it is, because it’s better than the alternative: sleepless nights and sweaty duvets. 

That being said, when compared to other appliances, an air conditioning unit is comparatively high:

  • Fridge: 6-cents an hour
  • Washing machine: 23-cents an hour
  • Dishwasher: 34-cents an hour
  • Air conditioner: 50-cents an hour

Certainly, your refrigerator will be running 24-hours a day and thus may be more expensive than an air conditioning unit over the course of the year. However, during the summer, you’ll likely have your AC on for at least 8-hours a day (of $4.00) – times that by a month, and your air conditioning bill for the summer months will come to approx. $120! 

A fridge on the other hand costs only $1.44 per day ($43.20 a month). Thus, during the summer months, your air conditioning unit will be costing you three times as much as the fridge! 

Again, is it expensive? Yes. But, is it worth it? We believe so. 

How much does it cost to install an AC?

So, how much does it cost to install an AC unit? Let’s look at your typical split-system air conditioning unit as an example;

For the installation of a split-system AC in Australia (which must be carried out by a licensed technician) you could be looking at anywhere between $600 and $5,400.

This installation cost will typically be added on top of the purchase price of the unit itself. 

Generally speaking, a technician will charge between $60 and $110 an hour. Then for the system itself, you’ll be looking at some $600 – $750. 

That said, the final figure that you will have to pay for the installation of an AC in Australia will depend on several other different factors as well. For example:

  • Type of unit being installed
  • Size of unit 
  • How much ducting, piping, and cabling is required?
  • Any other items required for installation 
  • How much access is there? (is it easy or complicated to install?) 
  • What is the existing electrical infrastructure of the home? 
  • Do you need an upgrade to the main power board – including the installation of safety switches?

How much does air conditioning cost per month?

How much does air condition cost per month? Of course, this all depends on how often you use the unit. On average, throughout the summer months in Australia, you can expect to pay around $120 a month! We’ll look at ways you can keep this bill down shortly. 

What is the cheapest air conditioner to run?

What is the cheapest air conditioner to run? There are a number of available units in Australia, each with its own pros and cons, but here is a list of some of the cheapest units to run, for your convenience: 

  • Mitsubishi Seven-Star Model: approx. $579 over 10 years
  • Daikin Air Con: approx. $747 over 10 years
  • Mitsubishi Air Con: approx. $766 over 10 years
  • Panasonic Air Con: approx. $766 over 10 years
  • Fujitsu Air Con: approx. $784 over 10 years

What temperature should my AC be set at in Winter in Australia?

What temperature should you set your AC to during the winter months in Australia?

Generally, most experts will recommend that you set your temperature to between 18-20°C in the winter – and throughout the year. In terms of energy efficiency, this temperature is the best. 

What temperature should my AC be set at in Summer in Australia?

And what about the summer months in Australia? What temperature should you set your thermostat to? 

Typically, experts would recommend that you set a standard AC’s temperature to around 25-27°C. This will ensure that you are getting the optimal energy efficiency out of your unit whilst keeping your home sufficiently comfortable. 

How can you save money on your AC bill in Australia? 

Want to know how you can save money on your air conditioning bill in Australia? Here’s what you need to know…

1 – Turn your AC off at night and save while you sleep 

This is one of the best money-saving tips. When you keep your air conditioning unit on during the day and off at night, you should be able to save some money. The reasoning behind this is fairly straightforward: the evening is naturally cooler. 

In the same breath, you can take advantage of this by turning off the AC and leaving your window open to allow a gentle breeze in. 

Naturally, if you want to avoid as many creepy crawlies from coming in as possible, then invest in a fly-screen which can also offer additional security.

2 – Set and save your thermostat and timers 

In regard to energy consumption and reducing the overall AC bill through the summer months then every °C counts! 

One of the smartest, energy-efficient things that you can do is set your thermostat at a comfortable temp—and one that won’t make your unit have to work incredibly hard. Somewhere between 22 and 24°C is a comfortable temperature for the summer months. 

Just remember that you are saving money for every single degree of cooling that you can avoid. You’d be surprised to learn that something as small as setting your AC 1°C warmer can save you up to 10% on your energy bills at the end of the month. 

Once you find the perfect temperatures, save them, and set timers as well. You don’t need the AC running all night, instead set a timer so that shortly after you fall asleep, your AC will switch itself off. 

3 – Take full advantage of the shade 

You need to try and regulate the temperature of your home as best you can without running the AC. Treat your air conditioning as a last resort of sorts. 

Obviously, it’s not as though you can turn the sun off during the summer, but you can definitely take steps to reduce the amount of heat coming from the sun, in your home. 

A great example of this is by investing in some plantation shutters or Venetian blinds. With these louvers or ‘slats’, you can prevent the room from heating up too much, while leaving your windows open and allowing a breeze through to help circulation. 

Sure, you won’t be able to avoid using the AC altogether. But, if you are really conscious about how much you are spending and wish to save more, invest in some decent blinds that offer superior temperature control. 

4 – Turn off any appliances that give off a great amount of heat

Do you need to have every electrical appliance in your house turned on at once? That lamp in the corner? The kitchen oven? The PC? Printer? There are many household items that will generate heat and force your AC to work even harder. So, what you need to do is decide what you can do without and switch them off! Particularly when your AC is running and you are trying to bring the overall temperature of your home down. 

Similarly, lights tend to give off a lot of heat so turn the lights off where necessary. Take full advantage of daylight and make every hour count. 

You could even consider having as many BBQs as you can throughout the summer (sounds terrible right?) to avoid cooking in your kitchen. 

Keep your living space as cool as possible and your energy bills will thank you for it at the end of the month! 

5 – Clean your AC as regularly as possible 

One of the best and biggest tips for keeping your AC bills down is by simply keeping the unit properly clean. 

The fact is, as your filter begins to fill up, your AC will begin to lose its performance and won’t be working optimally. A dirty filter simply makes any air conditioning units’ job significantly more difficult, which means it has to run for longer to get the same results. As such, get your AC unit cleaned and you’ll notice the temperature regulation will occur much faster, and for less! 


And there is it! Yes, one could argue that running an AC is expensive, but if you only really need it for the summer months then it’s not so bad. That said, you can expect to pay at least $120 a month for an AC in the summer. 

There are ways in which you can keep it down though! And if you follow the steps laid out above, we are confident that you should be able to bring your bills down a fair amount. 

In any case, good luck and stay cool!

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