What to consider when installing AC in a new house build?

Air Conditioning FAQs

Building your own home can be both exciting and stressful. There’s a lot to cover and you want to get it right to avoid expensive renovations down the track. In doing so it’s a good idea to organise air conditioning installation as the house is being built. This should add comfort and value to your new home, and ensure that the house is being built with AC in mind.

The process of getting quotes for a new build is similar to getting one for an already built home in that you’ll need to consider what type of heating and cooling is appropriate for your local weather, if you have any type of brand preference and what size of unit you need to make the system most effective (you can discuss these with an installer).

With a new build there are more specific things to keep in mind before installation, perhaps as early as the design stage. When asking for a quote you may also want to keep in mind:

  • Controlling the choice of installer: Many builders will have relationships with AC installers they sub-contract work to and may suggest you use them. However, the installer who has a relationship with your builder may not necessarily be the top installer in your area and for the system you’d like in your home. To have more control over your choice of AC, instead of relying on the builder, you may want to source your own installer. You can always call Compare Air Conditioning on 1300 944 133 if you’d like a recommendation on which installer to choose.
  • Budgeting and sourcing the air conditioning system: When building a new house the builder generally provides an allowance in the contracted budget for expenditure on an AC system. However, you should add the cost of AC into your budget from the outset, keeping in mind that many air conditioning installers require payment once the system is in.
  • Selection and placement of the AC system: The top installers are able to help you select a system that will offer you the most energy efficient options for your new home. They will consider things such as where your windows will be placed in relation to the sun to ensure you receive the most appropriate system for your space. It is especially important when building a new home that you choose an installer who can most appropriately place the system in the right spot in your home. Installers may need to work with builders and architects to make space for ducts or select the appropriate strength of the unit, as rooms will receive different exposure to the sun.
  • When is the best time for installation? It is best to get on top in this as early as possible. You can have an installer do a walk through with you at an early stage of the build, or even look over your designs. In doing so you can ensure the system is placed at a point in your timeline where your build site is secure and not likely to clog the unit’s filters with building dust. You will want to consult with installers and builders to ensure the air conditioning system is up and running prior to your move in date.
  • Once the house is built how will installers be able to access units for repairs and servicing? It’s imperative that in terms of installation that systems can later be accessed for servicing and repairs. Most installers will be aware of this but there’s no harm in raising it just to be sure. Your plans for a garden will need to be factored into placement of outside units. The person quoting should be able to establish the most effective place for your internal and external unit.
  • How will your air conditioning system be powered? As you are building a new home you may want to think about what type of energy will best suit you and your needs. No one wants to be stuck with excessive power bills while paying off a new house and you can counter these with the installation of a smart controller to maximise efficiency. You can even consider installing solar for your new build in addition to air conditioning, to offset the cost of the air conditioning. Again, these need to be budgeted for and you’ll want to find a company who is able to hook your air conditioning up to a renewable energy system. This is essential to mention to installers as it may affect your quote.
  • Selecting your installer: When selecting installers it’s good to consider their level of communication skills. You’ll need the installers to work well with your builder and electricians to schedule installation at a point in the build that is most appropriate. Be prepared to take on the scheduling yourself with input from your builders, not forgetting that builds don’t always run on time, which can make scheduling a bit tricky. If the builders and installers are able to work together on this it’s one more thing off your mind. In the process of gathering quotes ask yourself; has this company been clear in their communication so that I can pass them onto the builder as needed with confidence? If you are unsure of something; always ask. A good installer should be able to answer your questions.
  • Has the installer supplying the quote worked with new builds? This may sound obvious but different installers specialise in different fields. You may find an installer who gives you a great quote but if they don’t usually work on new builds it may be advisable to find someone who has.
  • How will the outside aspects of the unit look? It’s wonderful to be comfortable on the inside of your home but if the installation of air conditioning clashes badly with the design of your house it may not add value at all or become an eyesore. This can lead to extra costs if you need to relocate the unit once the build is done.

There’s a lot to think about in getting a quote. When building a home you have the advantage of working with a fresh canvas. This allows you the freedom to design the type of system you want from the beginning, depending on your budget. If you haven’t started the design process yet it’s always a good idea to speak with your architect and builder to ensure they allow for air conditioning being easily incorporated into your new home.

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