Ductless air conditioning can be a great option for older homes without existing ductwork or for cooling any rooms or areas that are not connected to the home’s central HVAC system. Often referred to as ductless mini-splits, these systems are by far the most energy-efficient cooling option available and will typically use up to 50% less energy than a central AC unit. Another advantage is that they tend to be cheaper to purchase and install. With this in mind, here is a full overview of how much you can expect to pay for a ductless AC system and the varying factors that can influence the total cost.
Average Price of Ductless AC Installation
The average cost to purchase and install ductless air conditioning can vary quite a bit based on the type, size, brand, and efficiency of the unit. You should typically expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $15,000 for the ductless system itself plus an additional $1,000 to $10,000 for the installation and labor.
Types of Ductless AC Systems
The most basic type of ductless mini-split is a single zone system that has one outdoor condenser unit and one indoor air handler. This type of unit can provide cooling for one room or area of the home. However, there are also so-called multi-split systems that can provide cooling for up to eight different rooms or zones from the same outdoor condenser unit. As you might expect, this type of system is much more expensive since you’ll need to pay extra to both purchase and install each additional air handler.
Multi-split systems can be a great option for cooling even an entire home. However, they are not always suited for larger homes. The reason is that each air handler typically needs to be located within 100 feet of the condenser unit. This means that if your house is very large, it may be necessary to install more than one condenser unit.
How Is Ductless Air Conditioning Installed?
One of the biggest advantages of ductless air conditioning is that these systems are relatively easy to install without the need for any major construction work. After mounting the condenser unit on a concrete pad outside the home, the technician will then cut a small hole in the exterior wall of the home to allow a conduit to pass from the condenser to the air handler. This conduit contains the unit’s electrical wiring as well as the refrigerant and condensate drain lines. Once the conduit is run, the final step is to mount the air handler over the hole in the wall.
A single-zone mini-split can usually be installed in just a few hours. For multi-split systems, you’re usually looking at an extra two to four hours for each additional air handler. One factor that can affect how long the job takes is whether or not you already have a suitable concrete pad for the condenser unit. If not, you will first need to have the concrete poured and wait several days for it to fully cure before starting the installation.
Additional Factors That Can Affect the Price
The brand, size, and efficiency of the ductless system you choose will be the primary determining factors in how much the unit itself costs. In terms of installation, the biggest factor is usually what contractor you choose since hourly rates can vary quite a bit from company to company.
Another factor that can influence the overall installation cost is the type of air handler you choose and how it is mounted. Most ductless AC systems have the air handler mounted high up on an exterior wall, and this is definitely the cheapest and easiest installation method. You can also choose to mount the air handler on an interior wall, but this will add to the cost since it will be necessary to run the conduit through the inside of the walls or in the ceiling.
Ceiling mounted air handlers are also available, and these can even be recessed inside the ceiling so that all you see is the vent. This is definitely a great option for aesthetic reasons, but it can also add quite a bit to the installation cost.
One last factor is whether or not you already have a suitable location for the outdoor condenser unit. If not, the additional concrete work will add at least a few hundred dollars to the job unless you decide to do this part on your own.
Exceptional Cooling and Heating Services
If you’re considering ductless air conditioning for your Franklin home, the team at Dugan Air Heating and Cooling is happy to answer any questions you might have. We are a Mitsubishi Preferred Diamond Contractor, and we carry a range of ductless systems suitable for almost any home and any budget. Our certified HVAC technicians also work on all types of central heating and cooling systems, and we can help with any of your repair, maintenance, or installation needs. For more information about ductless air conditioning or any of our other services, give us a call today.