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Is Ducted Air Conditioning Expensive to Run?

Getting cool air during the summer is a breeze when you have a ducted air conditioning system at home. This air conditioner makes every corner of your room  a great spot to be in when the dog days kick in as it distributes cool air evenly around your home. And not only that—it is also very quiet and lets you have full control over your home’s indoor temperature!

But while ducted air conditioning has a whole slew of benefits, many people tend to shy away from it because of the high operating costs associated with it. Considering how it works, it is normal to feel a bit concerned about how much using this aircon might cost you. But then, that can be very tricky.

In this article, you will discover how much ducted air conditioners actually cost to run.

How do you calculate your ducted air conditioning running costs?

The operating costs of a ducted air conditioner vary from household to household due to several factors. These factors include the following:

  • The energy efficiency of your air conditioning unit
  • Your selected thermostat temperature
  • How long you use your unit
  • What time of the day you operate it
  • How big your home is
  • How many storeys your home has
  • The orientation of your rooms
  • How high your ceilings are
  • Whether or not your home is insulated

While these factors will definitely affect the running costs of your ducted air conditioning system, you can estimate yours by taking a look at the energy star label of your unit. This label gives you an idea of the “power input” of your system in kW. By multiplying that power input by the kilowatt hour cost listed on your power bill, you can calculate the cost per hour of using your ducted aircon. That means if the rating of your unit is 2.68 and the kWh cost on your power bill is $0.35/kWh, then the cost per hour for running your unit would be at least $0.98 per hour.

If that sounds a lot, you may want to take the time to consider if you really need a ducted air conditioning system for your home. If you think you can get by without having to cool all the rooms of your home at once, you can opt for other types of aircon that let you cool just certain areas of your home. That will help dramatically lower the running costs of your air conditioning system.

We cannot stress enough how important the energy rating of your unit is in determining how much you will need to run your air conditioning system. Remember that when it comes to this, any increase in energy rating means a significant cost difference! As a rule of thumb, smaller units are costlier to run than bigger ones, so it is best to opt for a bigger unit which, despite its slightly more expensive market price, is more energy efficient in the long run.

How do you reduce your ducted air conditioning system’s running costs?

Depending on the brand of air conditioner you choose, you will find that most aircon units today already integrate Smart technologies into their products to improve their energy efficiency. Some of these technologies include the ability to set the temperature of each area of your room, the ability to cool one room and heat another, the ability to monitor your air conditioner remotely through apps, and the ability to turn off by themselves when they detect that no one has been in the room for a certain period.

While these pre-installed features can help you control the running costs of your ducted air conditioning system, there are a lot of things you can do to cut the overall operating costs of your unit. If you already have a ducted aircon installed in your home, you may want to consider the following tips to help you reduce your power bills:

  • Install insulators in your home

A great way to boost the cooling efficiency of your aircon is through insulation. This will not only help keep your home cool during the warm months, but it will also make it easier to keep your home warm during the cold months.

  • Maintain the thermostat throughout the day

If installing an insulation system for your home is not possible, you can reduce the impact of your ducted aircon on your power bill by adjusting the thermostat of your unit. Did you know that for every degree lower or higher you set your system, the cost of running your ducted air conditioner increases by up to 15 percent? So if you want to save on operating costs, it is best to set your air conditioner at a fixed temperature during the summer and winter seasons.

  • Make sure your windows and doors are closed

One of the reasons why air conditioning units struggle to produce cool air is too much heat. That is why when using your air conditioner, it is important that you keep all the doors and windows closed. This will help keep the heat out and prevent your unit from having to work too hard.

  • Have your unit serviced regularly

Another effective way to reduce your electricity bill is by keeping your ducted air conditioner well-maintained. Twice a year, hire a licensed HVAC professional to clean and conduct a thorough inspection of your unit to make sure that there are no issues. That will not only ensure that your aircon is running smoothly but it will also let you identify possible issues and address them before they take a toll on your next power bill.


A ducted air conditioner may be costlier than other types of air conditioning systems, but there are things you can do to keep its running costs down. Before you give up on the idea of purchasing this type of aircon, remember that how it will affect your electricity bill depends on many factors—many of which you can control. Unless you don’t want the running costs of your unit to come as a shock to you, remember the abovementioned tips as you enjoy the benefits of your ducted air conditioner.

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