The mini-split air conditioning system is a great alternative to a traditional whole-house air conditioning system when it comes to keeping your home cool and comfortable. These efficient systems don’t require the ductwork that a central air system requires, which is perfect for older homes that don’t have ductwork already in place. It is also a wonderful option for new additions to your house. The thing homeowners enjoy the most is the ability to cool individual rooms. You no longer have to have the entire house set at the same temperature.

Mini-Split Costs by Unit

All ductless mini-split systems need an outdoor unit as well as anywhere from one to multiple inside units. The number of units you need depends on how many areas you wish to cool. Inside units are referred to as air handlers or heads.

The installation of a basic mini-split system that will cool only one room will require the outdoor unit and only one single indoor air handler. These single-head systems are wonderful when it comes to heating an attic or one additional room, while the rest of the home uses the central AC system. Single zone mini-split systems range in cost from $2,000 to $8,800.

The more heads you include in your installation, the more it will cost for your mini-split AC system. You’ll need to install numerous air handlers if you want to use this system to cool multiple rooms or the entire house. You can use up to eight air handlers with each outdoor unit. Average costs with professional installation are as follows:

  • 2 Zones = $2,700 – $11,100
  • 3 Zones = $3,400 – $13,400
  • 4 Zones = $4,100 – $15,700
  • 5 Zones = $4,800 – $18,000

The benefit of having multiple zones installed is that you can have individual settings for each room. This can save money on your monthly energy bill, and it should be taken into consideration when evaluating the cost of installing your ductless mini-split system. For example, you could wait to cool the bedrooms until nighttime in order to avoid paying to cool them all day long when no one is in the room.

Ductless AC Components

Your mini-split AC system will require an outdoor condenser. This unit moves the hot air out of your home. The average cost of the outdoor condenser ranges from $1,000 to $6,000. We would need to install this on a concrete pad or affix it to the side of the house. Consider the concrete pad’s cost when figuring out the total cost of a ductless system.

Indoor air-handling units are used to blow the cool air into your home. These will run you somewhere between $400 to $4,000 per unit. We can place the indoor units near the floor, mount them on your ceiling or wall, or use ceiling cassette units that we install into the ceiling, like recessed lighting.

An indoor wall-mounted unit can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,000 each. These are the least expensive, but they are more noticeable than other options. Ceiling-mounted units typically range from $700 to $2,000, and floor-mounted versions can cost anywhere from $1,300 to $4,000.

Ceiling cassettes are between $500 and $2,000. They blend in beautifully with their surroundings because they fit flush with the ceiling. Labor costs are usually higher when installing this type of unit.

The BTU Affect on Mini-Split Costs

The cost of your ductless system also depends on how many British Thermal Units (BTUs) you need. Except to pay $450 to $1,600 for a 6,000 BTU system. On the other end of the spectrum, a 60,000 BTU system can range between $3,500 and $10,000. The most commonly used mini-split system is a 12,000 BTU unit. The average cost for this system is $3,000.

The larger the area that you want to cool, the more BTUs you’ll need. We can help you calculate the BTUs you’ll need according to the square footage of the areas you wish to cool. In general, you can figure 12,000 BTU for every 500 to 600 square feet. This is assuming a typical ceiling height of 8 feet, located in an average climate.

Labor Costs for a Ductless System’s Installation

Professional HVAC installation costs depend on the system you choose. If your project involves multiple interior units, expect labor charges to be more than if you have only a one-unit system installed.

Labor charges will vary by location as well. Where your indoor units will be placed, and the accessibility of their locations affect how long it’ll take to complete the installation. Typically, installing a single zone system takes five to ten hours.

In certain situations, you may also need to hire a local carpenter, electrician, or possibly both. On average, electricians charge $50 to $100 per hour. When it comes to a mini-split installation, expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $500 for the electrician.

Carpenters typically charge $35 to $100 per hour. Hiring a carpenter for your ductless system’s installation usually costs $140 to $600. A carpenter will be needed if you have to cut through siding that is difficult to work with, such as stucco, logs, or cement boards. The carpenter will have to make a three-inch hole which is needed for the system’s line to pass through. A mason may be required when cutting through a brick wall.

Other Factors to Consider

An accessory kit will be needed for the installation of your ductless system. This averages $300 to $500. The kit includes the drain tubes, wire, sleeve, and box.

Plan on buying refrigerant lines too. These are roughly $7 per foot and are used to connect the outdoor unit with the indoor units. The more indoor units your system includes, the more line you’ll need.

A system’s seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) indicates how efficient the system will be while running. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the system will be. While models with a high SEER number will save you money on your monthly energy bills, their initial cost is higher.

Your Professional Ductless AC Installer

Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning is your heating and cooling expert when it comes to keeping your home comfortable all throughout the year. Our team of highly skilled technicians can take care of all of your HVAC systems needs, such as installation, routine maintenance, and any necessary repairs, as well as offer heat pump care. We can service all makes and models, but we specialize in reliable Lennox products, including high-quality furnaces, air conditioners, thermostats, and packaged systems.

We’ve proudly been serving the residents of San Marcos, California and the surrounding areas since 1998. Our team is NATE certified, and we have had the best training available when it comes to mini-split installation. Our company started with two brothers, Les and Cris, and we are still family owned and operated today. We can handle all of your humidifier and dehumidifier needs, air purification needs, whole house fans, and smart thermostat installation in addition to your traditional heating and cooling needs.

Contact Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning today to learn more about our mini-split system installation.

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