A ductless mini-split AC can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $14,500 or more to install (as of 2023).¹ It provides zoned air conditioning without ductwork or intrusive window ACs. If you’re considering hiring a contractor for ductless mini-split installation near you, here’s a look at how your HVAC company may determine their quote.

The Average Cost of a Mini-Split Is $3,000²

A mini-split consists of an outdoor unit connected to indoor evaporator units. Each unit can serve a single room or area and is controlled with a separate thermostat. Therefore, you can control the temperature for that zone without affecting comfort in other areas. A mini-split can be installed in a home where ductwork would be difficult to install, or in one with ductwork but that needs additional temperature control for a room or two.

When providing mini-split AC installation near you, the overall cost is generally 50% less than a central AC. But no two installations are the same since each home and occupant may have different cooling and heating needs; that’s what zoning is intended to address. The factors considered when calculating the cost of a mini-split include:

System Size

The size of a mini-split AC is one of the biggest influences on its price. A basic model costs around $2,000 to $3,000 to cool one room, while a mid-range unit costs about $4,000. For a top-of-the-line system, the cost goes from $6,000 and up (cooling up to eight rooms).¹ A 12,000 BTU-capacity unit, the most common size, costs from $700 to $3,200.²

Not counting the cost of labor, the average prices for individual system components are as follows:

  • Outdoor Condenser Unit: $1,000 to $5,500¹
  • Indoor Air Handler: $400 to $1,800¹
  • Refrigerant Lines: $5 per foot¹
  • Accessories (Lines/Wires/Drain Tubes):  $300 to $500¹
  • Condensate Removal Pump: $120 to $280²
  • Drain Pan Heater: $140 to $560²
  • Wireless Remote Controller: $50 to $300²

The number of zones also affects system size. A multi-zone system is more complex than a single-zone unit suited for one room or a home with an open floor plan. Here’s a general breakdown of the cost of mini-split installation near you by zones:

  • 1 Zone: $2,000 to $8,800
  • 2 Zones: $2,700 to $11,100
  • 3 Zones: $3,400 to $13,400
  • 4 Zones: $4,100 to $15,700
  • 5 Zones:$4,800 to $18,000²

Type of Unit

A wall-mounted mini-split unit is typically more affordable, at $400 to $1,000 each, but is also the most visible. It can take up valuable space you’d otherwise use for storage or artwork. While the typical wall-mounted unit fits near the ceiling, a floor-mounted unit is mounted on the wall closer to the floor. More suited for multi-zone systems, it can cost from $1,300 to $4,000.²

Ceiling-mounted units provide a couple of options. The standard ceiling-mounted mini-split unit costs from $700 to $2,000 and extends 14 to 16 inches from the ceiling. A ceiling cassette, which runs $500 to $2,000, recesses the mini-split unit within the ceiling and is covered by a grill, so it’s out of sight.²

Brand

Higher-quality, well-known brands of mini-split units are more expensive. For example, you’ll likely pay more for a Mitsubishi or Rheem air conditioner than a Daikin or Panasonic. There are lots of mini-split AC unit brands to compare. Others include Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, LG, and Samsung, to name a few.

Location In Your Home

Where you place a mini-split unit depends on your needs. Placing indoor units on higher floors adds to the cost of installation and materials. But if you only need a front room or outside patio air-conditioned, installing an air handler near the condenser will cost a bit less.

Labor

Labor doesn’t take up as much of the total cost of installation as with, for example, a central HVAC system. Hiring a technician to install a mini-split system ranges from $300 to $1,500. The work can take five to 10 hours to complete.²

Additional Considerations

Aside from equipment, materials, and labor, mini-split installation near you comes with other cost considerations. These include:

  • Hiring Other Contractors: Electrical updates to support your mini-split AC can cost you $40 to $100 per hour. Installing a dedicated electrical circuit can cost $250.¹
  • Permit: Installing a ductless mini-split AC system usually requires a permit. Check with a local agency to determine your municipality’s requirements. Permits average $250 to $400.²
  • Old System Removal:  If replacing your central AC system, old equipment must be removed, which costs much less than installation; it ranges from $80 to $150.
  • Carpentry: You may need a carpenter to cut holes through walls and siding, which can cost $140 to $600. Carpenters may charge between $35 and $100 per hour.²

How to Save on Mini-Split Installation Near You

You can save on installation by reducing the number of zones, determining whether you need just heating or cooling, and considering upgrades such as automatic shut-off functions. Shopping around allows you to obtain quotes from different companies. Compare pricing and what services are included for accuracy and to find what works for your budget. Also, consider installing the system during the off-season when prices tend to be lower.

Other cost-saving considerations include:

  • Efficiency: A more efficient system costs more upfront but will save you over time with lower electric bills. Mini-split systems also avoid air and energy loss associated with ductwork.
  • Tax Credits/Rebates: Installing an energy-efficient mini-split AC system can qualify you for federal or state tax credits. Equipment manufacturers often offer rebates, so ask your installer about these.
  • Warranty: Manufacturers usually provide a warranty on a professionally installed unit. You can also purchase a separate home warranty. Warranties can help save on high AC repair or replacement costs.

Schedule Mini-Split Installation Near You

Homeowners in Clifton Park, NY, and surrounding areas can trust Grasshopper Heating & Cooling for ductless mini-split installation. A mini-split system is one of the most efficient cooling options. In addition to sizing, planning, and installation, our licensed technicians provide maintenance services to extend the life of your mini-split AC. Call (518) 252-7939 to schedule installation or service.

Sources:

  1. https://www.angi.com/articles/how-much-does-it-cost-install-ductless-mini-split-ac.htm
  2. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/mini-split-installation-cost/ 
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