Ensuring the effective thermal insulation in regions, where the cooling requirement of building with respect to heating requirement is dominant, is very important from the aspect of energy economy. In this study, the influence of thermal insulation on the building cooling load and the cooling system in case of air-conditioning by an all-air central air-conditioning system was evaluated for a sample building located in Adana, based on the results of three different types of insulation (A, B and C-type buildings) according to the energy efficiency index defined in the Thermal Insulation Regulation used in Turkey. The operating costs of the air-conditioning system were calculated using cooling bin numbers. Life-cycle cost analysis was carried out utilizing the present-worth cost method. Results showed that both the initial and the operating costs of the air-conditioning system were reduced considerably for all three insulation thicknesses. However, the optimum results in view of economic measurements were obtained for a C-type building. The thickness of thermal insulation for the buildings in the southern Turkey should be determined according to the guidelines for a C-type building. Crown Copyright (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.