Can my area of installation affect my split system air conditioner purchase and install price

We live in a lucky country; we hear that all the time, but truly we do. Australia has beautiful cities, beaches, wildlife and weather conditions that sometimes are so great, they drive us indoors to hide underneath our new split system air conditioner.

Wherever you live in Australia, be it inner city, regional hubs or perhaps a rural area, we are all used to paying a different price for things. Petrol, food even utilities are different between states, between regions and even sometimes between suburbs thanks to varying cost of products, services and the vast distances that people may need to travel to provide these services. Traditionally, people in regional and rural areas get a raw deal when it comes to paying for items. The costs involved in getting them to and from areas outside of the capital cities are factored into pricing models of businesses large and small.

split system air conditioner

man installs indoor unit of the air conditioner

That being said, people who live in and around the major capital cities of Australia – especially in the east coast cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne – experience extremely high costs of living, therefore often the provision of trades and service – such as split system air conditioning may cost a lot more than in a regional area! But what about installation of a split system air conditioner unit? Is there a chance that the area I live in may affect the installation price and/or the purchase price of the unit? After all, the same unit may be installed in Adelaide City and also in Mount Gambia, but the costs may vary quite dramatically.

In this article, we take a look at the factors that may affect the price of your split system air conditioning unit installation and purchase and how you can manage them as best as possible to get the right price!

Regional vs. city prices

When you are shopping for items, be it petrol, coffee or split system air conditioners, there will always be additional costs added for items that have had to travel.

This rule applies both to goods as it does for services. If someone or something has to travel further to get to your, them presumably it will cost more. However, when it comes to the provision of many services, such as air conditioning installation, where the expert may live locally in a regional area, that their services are $60 per hour, whereas another contractor in a metropolitan area with the same skill sets and is set to install the same unit in a similar home will charge $120.

To put it bluntly, trades and service providers will usually charge a: what the market dictates it should and b: what they can get away with. In the instance of the metro contractor charging twice the amount for the same service, this can be the case in a market that is highly competitive, and the costs of living are so much higher than in regional or rural areas.

Because of that, these regional or rural contractors are happy to charge a little less, to get a good name and repeat business.

Have you thought about delivery?

When it comes to a split system air conditioning unit, as the name suggests there are two large pieces, plus a range of pipes cables and associated items. All of this generally won’t fit into the back of the car – not to mention they are extremely heavy.

So in many cases, retailers will offer delivery – in most cases for a fee. Depending on where you live, that fee may be free, it may be hundreds of dollars depending on the retailer and where you live. This again can have a significant bearing on the overall cost of your split system air conditioning unit.

Local deals

Just because a product may have a recommended retail price (RRP) of $1250, a local air conditioning store may have it available for $999 when no one else does!

Some retailers are happy to offer lower margins on their sales, to drive more volume and get a name out there that they can offer the same product as cheaper. This form of pricing may affect the price between stores, regions or simply towns – all in the name of competition.

It is illegal for a manufacturer to ‘tell’ a retailer what they can sell their products at, therefore it’s up to the owner or manager of the store to dictate what they make and how they make it.


As we previously mentioned, there are a range of factors that may influence the installation costs of a split system air conditioning unit. These could include things such as access to the walls, heights of the building and outside areas, required brackets, pipes and other materials, all of which will add costs to the overall installation of your split system unit depending on your specific situation.

As contractors may have different rates even within the same area, it is always recommended to ‘shop around’ take a few looks at different options and find the right retailer and installer for your needs. At the end of the day, a contractor may bump up the quoted installation cost due to the fact that they are limited for time or don’t want to take on the job, so be sure to get a few quotes before you go ahead with any work.

So, how can I avoid these differences?

To put it simply and bluntly, in many cases you can’t. There are factors outside the control of the retailers or installers – such as the cost of transport or the high cost of living that put too much downward pressure on the prices to have to increase and thus change the price from region to region.

However, should you be looking to install a split system air conditioning unit the first step is to do your research. Find out how much you could purchase the unit you ‘think’ you need online, including delivery to your home or business address.

Step two, go and visit a couple of stores, retailers and air conditioning specialists, look for costs get some quotes and ask around – find out all the information your can.

Step three, now it is time for a little work. Compare the quotes and ensure they are in their entirety. Is delivery, installation and spare parts factored into the quote you have received?

Step four, get wheeling and dealing. Go and speak with your retailers and air conditioning specialists about what quotes you have received elsewhere as see who can match or beat what you have.

Remember in many cases, some retailers or ‘full-service air conditioning specialists’ may have access to deals, incentives or offers from manufacturers that you may not know about, which could add to your pocket! Ask what they can do and play the game – don’t be afraid, the additional savings are better with you than in a retailer’s pocket.

Finally, when you are good to go, make sure everything is documented, everything is signed or confirmed by both parties in an email and book in a date to have cool air circulating around your home.

With all this in mind, there is one last thing the consider

Everyone in retail, service or a combination of the two when it comes to split system air conditioning units is in it to sell as many systems, install as many systems as they can. There is always room for negotiation, but the ones who have the most room to move are the full-service providers.

Rite Price Heating and Cooling are one of these full-service providers. With access to the best pricing – due to purchasing in bulk – as well as quality installer networks and brand names, customers can be sure wherever they are that they will be getting the best deal available.

Living in regional or rural areas usually means everything will always cost more. This is true if it has to get to you on a truck or train. When it comes to installation costs, usually it is the other way around as the costs associated with providing a service in a major capital city such as rent, parking, insurance and cost of living far exceed that of living in a regional or rural area. Essentially both areas have the dis and advantages depending on which way you look at it.

The key is to research, do your homework and speak to professionals that can take care of the whole purchase, installation and service of your split system air conditioner. By investing in the right people from the start, you will, in the long run, save yourselves time, money and heartache.

To find out more about the range of air conditioners available from the team at Rite Price Heating and Cooling, speak with one of our expert team of air conditioning specialists to arrange a free quote and a detailed overview of the performance and features of the air conditioning system of your choice. We offer the option of an onsite quote or come in and visit our showroom to test our systems and find out more information on heating and cooling options for your property.

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