Pros and cons of installing an air con unit in the UK and how to run it efficiently

Boy cooling his face with an electric fan

With summer finally on the way many of us are looking forward to enjoying the best of the warm weather. However, with more of us working from home keeping your home office space at the perfect temperature can be a real challenge over the summer months.

Home air conditioning units are a great way to beat the heat and are suitable for most homes. It can also have many benefits to your health, comfort and well-being. With more of us able to meet indoors from the 19th of July well-maintained home air con units can reduce the spread of COVID-19.[1] But is it worth it just for a few months of those balmy days?

The great news many air conditioning units have a cooling and heating function. So, when it comes to getting more out of your air con you can use it in winter months to heat a space without the need to fire up the central heating. Not only that, modern-day units are energy efficient and have smart connectivity meaning you can control them remotely.

Air Conditioning - the pros and cons

There are lots of benefits that come with an air conditioning unit.

Our favourites are:

  • Cleaner air in your home – high-density filters work extracting both large and fine dust particles, fibres and animal hairs as well as helping to reduce viruses, bacteria and allergens
  • You can use your home air con unit to heat the room in winter and avoid turning on the central heating
  • Modern units are nice and quiet, meaning you won't be disturbed when you're working or trying to sleep
  • Smart controls make energy efficiency easy with functions that let you control units from your phone meaning you don't have to worry about forgetting to turn it off
  • Get the built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to optimise for you based on learning from your preferences and usage patterns
  • Many also act as climate control which means the system starts and stops when it has reached the desired temperature

And the cons...?

  • They're a relatively expensive purchase
  • Energy usage could increase in summer

So how much does air conditioning cost?

Buying a single air con unit is likely to cost you somewhere between £1250 to £2700[2]. This will depend on if you go for a budget or premium product, and the size of the unit vs. the size of the space you are looking cool.

Running your air con can cost anywhere between 14p to 30p per hour[3]. This works out at roughly £25 - £36 per month based on 6 hours of usage per day for a single unit.

Modern systems have come a long way, over time the unit will pay for itself.  A++ units are a more energy-efficient way of cooling and heating your home. We've teamed up with BOXT to offer customers Samsung units that include fast cooling and smart controls, helping you set the perfect temperature.

How to get the best out of your air con unit and keep the costs down

Here are our top tips for keeping you cool at home with your air con whilst minimising the impact on your wallet and the environment:

What temperature should you set your air con at?

Whilst it's tempting to blast the cold air, this isn't very energy efficient, so we would recommend setting your unit to around 18-19ºC, which most people find comfortable.

Use your smarts!

Most modern air conditioning units come armed with various smart tech. Whether it's remote control over your smart thermostats or intuitive AI and timers you can just set, sit back and relax.

Keep it clean

Regular servicing and changing your air filters helps to save energy whilst removing dust particles which can prevent damage to your unit.

While you were sleeping…

Adjust the temperature at night when you're sleeping. Even consider letting mother nature pick up some of the slack by opening a few windows when the air is already cooler which will stop your unit from working when it doesn't need to be.

All a bit shady…

Sounds obvious but closing blinds or pulling curtains too can have a huge impact in lessening how hard your air-con unit works saving you energy and money.

The heat is on…

Limit heat-emitting appliances where you can. All of our day to day essential appliances emit more heat than you’d think causing your air conditioning to work harder. Turn off any TVs, computers, printers, tumble dryers where you can and save on your energy bill and on your wallet.

Location, location, location

Consider where you place your thermostat. If it's too near to heat-producing appliances or sunny widows it will have an impact on how it accurately gauges the overall temperature of the space you are trying to cool, again, making your air con work harder.


It may seem counterproductive, but insulation does more than just keep the cold out; it also helps to keep the cool in. Seal gaps in windows and doors or consider a more permanent solution of cavity wall insulation, loft insulation or energy-efficient windows.

Learn to switch off

Take the hassle out of remembering to switch off your air conditioning and set your smart controls, especially if you know you are not home at certain times. And don’t forget, with all that smart tech you can turn off (or on) your unit remotely.

Thinking about buying? Great news is we currently have an offer - Save £50 off any new air con unit

We've teamed up with BOXT to offer you fixed price air conditioning including installation.

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