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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Electrical, HVAC & Energy Efficiency > Ductless Air Conditioner

Ductless Air Conditioner Cost


How Much Does a Ductless Air Conditioner Cost?

 
average costMedium: $2,000-$5,000high costHigh: $5,000-$7,000
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Mini-split or "ductless" air conditioners are quieter and less visible than window units, and can be less expensive than adding central air to a house that lacks ducts and the space needed to install ducts.

Typical costs:

  • Expect to pay $2,000-$5,000 to install a complete ductless mini-split air conditioning system in a 800-1,000-square foot home, or $5,000-$7,000 for a 2,000-square-foot house. Ductless systems are generally twice the cost of window systems and about 30 percent more than installing central air with existing ducts, but can be less expensive than adding central air and ductwork. Some units provide both heat and air conditioning.
Related articles: Central Air Conditioner, Upgrading an Electrical Panel

What should be included:
  • A ductless unit is a "split" system just like central air, only smaller and more flexible. The compressor sits outdoors and is connected by a pair of refrigerated lines to one or more air handlers inside the house. The hole in the wall for the lines varies, but is usually about 3 inches in diameter. ThisOldHouse.com[1] provides a brief overview and the US Department of Energy lists advantages and disadvantages.
  • Designed to blend into the decor, the indoor units are usually about 7 inches deep. They're smaller than window units, but generally not as unobtrusive as central air vents. These air handlers can be suspended from or mounted flush to a ceiling, hung on a wall or installed as a floor-standing unit.
  • Like all air conditioning, ductless systems are rated by a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and capacity is gauged by BTUs (British Thermal Units) or tons. A HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) contractor will calculate how many BTUs are needed to cool a specific area; run lines for the coolant, electricity and drainage; and charge the unit with the correct amount of coolants.
Shopping for a ductless air conditioner:
  • Mini-split systems are relatively new and, according to the US Department of Energy, qualified installers and service people may not be easy to find. Manufacturers include Mitsubishi[2] , Sanyo and Friedrich. These and other brands are sold online through DuctlessDepot.net[3] and MiniSplirtSystems.com[4] . Also try for contractor referrals through the Air Conditioning Contractors of America[5] .
  • Get several estimates. Ask about training and experience. Check references, search for complaints with the Better Business Bureau[6] and make sure the contractor is properly bonded and insured, as well as licensed in your state[7] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Carrier mini split three wall units and one outside unit
Amount: $6,000.00
Posted by: Cass in New port richey, FL.Posted: August 22nd, 2016 04:08AM
Contractor: 2coolBTUs:
First installed 18000 wall unit in living room and 12000 in master bedroom and 9000 in guest bed room , some thing was wrong because when I shut it down (18000) and turned on the master (12000) all went well until I would try to shut down bedroom and turn on living room,it would read e3 four visits from 2cool they decided to replace the 18000' with a new 18000 then they replaced the 12000 with a 9000 and that seemed to solve the problem and question ,don't they owe me the difference between the price of a 12000 and 9000 ?
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Why do you not mention Trane?
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Ronswonger in Jackson, MI.Posted: July 25th, 2016 02:07PM
Contractor: TbdBTUs: Tbd
I am considering a multi ductless system for a small (1000 square foot) existing manufactured home. Trane makes and installs units that seem appropriate and their reputation is very good. Why did you not mention them?
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1 56k btu bryant outdoor w/ 9 zones inside 5k sq ft home
Amount: $25,000.00
Posted by: incendee in Yale, MI.Posted: July 24th, 2016 10:07AM
Contractor: BTUs: 56k
Ouch!Found I could buy 2 60k btu LG units with interior units that look like pictures for the hard to reach rooms and then ducted split units for the 2nd floor for $14k not installed. Then I could have up to 16 zones.
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Estimate
Amount: $12,000.00
Posted by: espinot in Nutley, NJ.Posted: September 20th, 2015 07:09PM
Contractor: PSE&GBTUs: 8000
I did not install. PSE&G must think I'm crazy. For a family room and one bedroom split heat and air. Contractor said 8000BTU would work. A quote of $12,000. I am disgusted by that quote. Maybe they think I'm a stupid woman.
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Mitsubishi split system (5indoor/3outdoor)
Amount: $13,000.00
Posted by: [email protected] in Wilmington, DE.Posted: August 30th, 2015 06:08AM
Contractor: Dave MaichleBTUs: 2-12,000 3-9,000 51,000 total
Awesome system
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2 heat and cooling units in a home that we are purchasing
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: big guy in sturgeon lake, MN.Posted: July 26th, 2015 10:07AM
Contractor: ?BTUs: ?
He mounted the outside motors in the crawl space, wondering if this is a good or bad thing, he said summer run with door open to crawl space and close in winter when running. we are thinking of buying this lake home and wondering, thanks . let me know if anyone knows.
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LG 24,000 BTU heat pump
Amount: $2,100.00
Posted by: user in clark summit pa in clark summit, PA.Posted: June 16th, 2015 11:06AM
Contractor: BTUs: 24000
replaced a 12,000 btu hitachi heat pump
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Fujitsu Min-Split system
Amount: $11,300.00
Posted by: sit9001 in Tenafly, NJ.Posted: April 7th, 2015 04:04PM
Contractor: BTUs: 72000
Two 36K BTU A/C units with 5 indoor split units with heat pumps
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Fijisui 2 12,000 BTU and 3 9,000 BTU units
Amount: $16,450.00
Posted by: carbuff in Glen Burnie, MD.Posted: July 3rd, 2014 10:07AM
Contractor: LocalBTUs:
Got a quote for a total of 5 units to be installed i my cap cod style home. There would be one outdoor compressor on one side of the house for two of the 12,000 BTU and a second compressor for the other 3 9,000 BTU units. Seems a bit high to me for a pretty straight forward install with easy access to outside walls.
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fujisui ductless 1800 B T U
Amount: $3,800.00
Posted by: posted from n y in staten island, NY.Posted: July 21st, 2013 08:07AM
Contractor: mikeBTUs: 1800
i think its a little high
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Comfort aire mini split system coolant recharge
Amount: $1,200.00
Posted by: ArtherSaratoga in Littleton, CO.Posted: July 24th, 2012 11:07PM
Contractor: Golden WestBTUs: 24,000
The inside unit would frost over occasionally.
The system needed to have the charge installed by weight, as this was not done when it was new.
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mitsubishi ductless system
Amount: $10,000.00
Posted by: crazycanuck in warwick, RI.Posted: July 10th, 2012 06:07PM
Contractor: MPG mechanicalBTUs: 1x24,000, 2x 9000
I find this to be a high quote for a/c, heat pump, and dehumidifier. All I want is a/c can I get the above systems cheaper.
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Mitsubishi 12000 BTU
Amount: $2,300.00
Posted by: a user in Framingham, MA.Posted: May 7th, 2009 05:05AM
Contractor: BTUs: 12000
Paying $4000 for a 12000 BTU heat pump mini split installed for a sun filled family room. The unit meets the standards for the 30% rebate plus $500 from Nstar rebate. Final cost $2300
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External Resources:
  1.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/asktoh/question/0,,192764,00.html
  2.  www.mitsubishipro.com/en/professional/products/?Commercial=0
  3.  www.ductlessdepot.net/products-type-1.html
  4.  www.minisplitsystems.com/
  5.  www.acca.org/consumer/find-a-contractor/
  6.  search.bbb.org/
  7.  www.contractors-license.org/
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