How Much Does It Cost to Install a Ductless Air Conditioner?
If you’re in the market for a ductless AC system, you might be wondering how much you’ll pay for it. The cost range to install a ductless system is from $5,000 to $28,000 with $12,348 being the average cost.
Ductless air conditioners (also known as mini-splits) give homeowners considerable control over the temperature of their home’s individual rooms and can slash a home’s annual cooling costs by up to 50%. They’re particularly beneficial for older homes without ductwork or for homes that have had additional rooms built into them.
As you see above, there’s quite a large range when it comes to the cost of installing ductless air conditioners. Cost depends on four major factors:
- The number of rooms you want cooled
- The size of the air conditioning system
- The system’s efficiency
- The contractor you choose
We’ll look at each of these factors in more detail below.
Looking for a quote on installing a ductless air conditioner in your Colorado home? Contact Cooper today for a free estimate!
Factor #1: The number of rooms you want cooled
The number of rooms you want to be cooled will determine how many ductless units you should get. The more indoor units you need, the more expensive the overall cost of the installation will be.
Each room that you want cooled will require an indoor unit and an outdoor unit. The system’s indoor units can range from one room or “zone” to up to ten rooms or more. Let’s say there are four separate spaces in your home that you want cooled: your kitchen, your master bedroom, your living room and the garage. In that case, you’d want a four-zone indoor system and at least 1 outdoor unit. Note: one outdoor unit can support as many as 8 indoor units. However, if the zones you want cooled are far apart, you might need more than one outdoor unit.
To give you an example of how this affects the system’s cost, a single-zone mini-split from a manufacturer such as Friedrich, LG or Carrier usually costs from $5,000 to $7,000, while a four-zone mini-split will usually cost $7,000 to $10,000.
Not sure how many indoor or outdoor units you’ll need? An HVAC professional can help you determine exactly how many units would be best for your home based on the parts of your home that you’d like cooled.
Factor #2: The size of the air conditioning system
The “size” of a ductless air conditioner doesn’t refer to physical size, but to the amount of heat that the air conditioner can remove from a room per hour, which is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units).
The higher BTU output of your system, the “bigger” and more expensive it will be.
That being said, you’ll want to make sure the mini-split system you install is large enough to cover each room. A qualified HVAC professional will be able to help you select the best fit for your home by taking into account various factors specific to your home. The following estimates will help you understand what system size you’ll require:
- A room that is 400 to 600 square feet, will usually require a 12,000 BTU mini-split
- A room that is 600 to 1000 square feet will usually require an 18,000 BTU mini-split
- A room that is 1000 to 1300 square feet, will usually require a 24,000 BTU mini-split
To determine the proper size of system that your home needs, an HVAC professional will consider the following factors:
- The climate where you live
- The number of people living in your home
- The insulation in your home
- The number of doors or windows in a room
- If there are any rooms in your home especially in need of cooler air
- And much more
Getting the right size system is important because a system that’s too small for your home will struggle to cool your room(s), leaving you uncomfortable. And a system that’s too big will cool your room or rooms really quickly and then shut off, leading to higher power bills.
Factor #3: The system’s efficiency
More efficient systems usually cost more than less efficient systems.
A mini-split’s efficiency is measured by its SEER rating, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Basically, the SEER rating is a measurement of the system’s cooling output divided by its energy consumption. A qualified HVAC professional will be able to determine the energy efficiency that best fits your home.
Keep in mind, ductless units with higher energy-efficiency may cost more upfront, but they use less energy to cool your home. In the long run, this efficiency saves you money via lower monthly electricity bills.
Factor #4: The contractor you choose
One last factor that can impact the cost of your ductless AC installation is the company or contractor you choose. Typically, more experienced and skilled contractors will charge more for installations.
While higher-quality contractors charge a little more for their labor, they typically don’t cut corners and their experience dictates the quality of the installation work itself.
Installing a ductless air conditioner is definitely a job for a professional technician as installations may involve upgrading your home’s electrical capacity or require the use of carpenter’s tools to cut spaces that refrigerant lining can be run through. The ideal technician will be one who:
- Is licensed and insured
- Has experience in installing mini-splits
- Can provide you with a written estimate of costs
- Can provide positive testimonials of their work from Yelp, Google Reviews, their company’s website, or through the referrals of past clients
Want a quote to install a ductless AC system in your home? Contact the Cooper Green Team
At Cooper, we always take the time to understand your cooling needs and perform the necessary SEER calculations before recommending a ductless AC. That way, you end up with a system that perfectly fits your home and your budget.
Luke Cooper is the General Manager of the Cooper Green team and son of Gary Cooper, owner and CEO of Cooper HVAC. After years in the field, Luke took his talents to management and has helped thousands of Colorado homeowners during hot summers and frigid winters. His decade of experience in the field and guiding the company makes him one of the most knowledgeable individuals in Colorado on HVAC, plumbing, electrical and other home services.