How to retrofit air conditioning into homes

Air conditioning can make a dramatic difference to the levels of comfort within a home. With the UK climate being so unpredictable, and with longer hotter summers gradually becoming the norm, having the means to regulate the temperature in your home is increasingly important.

Domestic air conditioning systems are now frequently fitted into modern and new build homes at the development stage. What if your home is older and you want to install an air conditioning system. How easy is it? Do you need any kind of permission and what other issues should you be aware of? Is air conditioning suitable for council and social housing homes?


Do you need planning permission to retrofit air conditioning?


As a general rule, you won’t require planning permission for smaller air conditioning units. This means you won’t need to file planning permission prior to having your air conditioning installed. There are some things to bear in mind, however, if you’re installing a unit that has any kind of exterior presence.

Your external air conditioning unit will need to follow these regulations:

  • It isn’t bigger than 0.6m³
  • It’s at least a metre away from any property boundaries
  • It’s more than a metre away from the edge of a flat roof
  • It isn’t fitted on a pitched roof
  • You also need to ensure that there isn’t a wind turbine on the property.

If you have any doubts about your air conditioning system and where it stands as regards planning permission you should contact your local authority prior to installation. It’s better to wait for a response than to have to remove or replace your system once it’s in place.


Are there any exceptions?


UK planning laws are famously complicated and there are some situations where any air conditioning installation will need to follow specific regulations. These tend to be when your property is on any type of designated land. This might include:

  • A Conservation Area
  • An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • A National Park
  • A World Heritage Site

Always check with your local authority planning office before you install air conditioning in any of the above settings.


Larger units


If you have a large home and are looking for a larger air conditioning unit then you might have to follow additional rules. You might also have to follow additional rules if you’re planning a larger commercial air conditioning installation. In the case of most domestic retrofit installations, it’s unlikely this will be applicable.


How do you retrofit air conditioning systems?


It’s a common misconception that retrofitting air conditioning systems into a home can be a difficult task. In fact, in most cases, it’s a relatively simple process. The key considerations are ensuring that the air conditioning unit doesn’t look out of place or ugly. Modern air conditioning units are suited for a wide variety of different settings and a professional installer can advise what will be the most appropriate for your property.

If your property is a council home, social housing or rented it may still be possible to install an air conditioning system with appropriate permission from your landlord.


What are the benefits of modern air conditioning units?


Modern domestic air conditioning units allow you to maintain a steady, comfortable temperature all year round. It makes your home a comfortable retreat whatever the weather outside is doing. They will also help improve the overall air quality in your home, removing pollutants from the air and reducing the health risks.

Air conditioning will help you sleep better at night, as well as dehumidifying your home reducing damp problems. A domestic air conditioning system can also make your home more appealing to a range of potential homebuyers.



Enviro Chill is the North West’s leading supplier and installer of domestic air conditioning units.


Enviro Chill is based in Liverpool and have clients across the North West of England. Whether you’re in Chester, Skelmersdale, Warrington, St Helens, Birkenhead, or elsewhere in the region, we can get your new air conditioning system up and running safely in no time at all.

Our team of experienced and qualified engineers can install the perfect air conditioning system for your home. Whatever your requirements, we provide an efficient and professional installation service that is tailored to your needs.

Contact us today to find out more or call the team at Enviro Chill directly on 0151 285 1818 to discuss your air conditioning requirements.