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Compare Mini Split Ductless AC Costs

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
The average cost of a ductless mini split air conditioner is $3,300, installed by a professional. The complete price range is $850 to $10,500. It starts with DIY systems and tops out with few high-end, professionally installed systems.

How Much does it Cost to Install a Ductless AC?

Low
$850 – $3,400
Average Cost Estimate
$3,500 – $6,000
High
$6,100 – $10,500
Retail Cost $800 – $2,500 $2,600 – $5,200 $5,300 – $8,500
Efficiency (SEER) 14 – 17 17 – 20 20 – 26
Features Standard Standard or Premium Premium
System BTUs 9K – 24K 12K – 36K 24K – 42K
Indoor Unit Type Wall Wall, Ducted or Ceiling Ceiling Cassette
Brand Rating Good | 2-3 Stars Better | 3-4 Stars Best | 4-5 Stars
Supplies $200 – $400 $500 – $1,000 $1,100 – $1,800
Installed By DIY Or Pro Pro Pro
Permit & Inspection $0 – $200 $50 – $200 $50 – $200

Sections: Overview | Product Costs | Installation Cost | DIY or Pro | Web Compare | Shared Pricing

Overview of Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner Systems

Most mini split AC-only systems are single zone systems, designed to cool smaller areas of your home or office. Multi-zone systems are usually heat pump systems, with a single outdoor unit, and multiple indoor air units.

It’s possible to buy the components separately and build a multi-zone AC-only system. But for about the same cost, you can buy a heat pump package with outdoor unit and 2-8 indoor units and have heat included. Additionally, if you go as far as multi-zoned units, you should consider a complete central ac system at the same time.

Ductless air conditioner packages include the outdoor (condensing) unit, indoor (evaporator) unit, thermostat remote control or wall control. Installation supplies such as the refrigerant line set, drain, wiring and electrical connection are sold separately.

There are three variables in choosing a ductless mini split AC system:

  • Capacity: Outdoor units are available from 9,000 to 42,000 BTUs.
  • Configuration: Single-zone systems have outdoor and indoor units with the same capacity. If you choose to build a multizone system, the total of the indoor units must be equal to the outdoor unit. For example, a 42,000 BTU outdoor unit could support two 12,000 BTU and two 9,000 BTU indoor units.
  • Cost: Multizone systems cost more, even if capacity is the same, than single-zone systems because of the added labor to install multiple indoor units.

Indoor unit options are: Wall mounted, ducted, suspended and concealed ceiling mounted units. Ducted indoor units are shown and explained in this video. They are self-contained ducts up to 48” in length. The name might confuse – these aren’t traditionally ducted units.

This ductless mini split cost guide includes itemized prices for systems, accessories and installation. Cost factors are given with more detail to assist you in accurately estimating what your cost will be. Mini split AC prices from other sites and costs paid by other readers are found below. You’re invited to share your project costs too.

Product Cost Details

Mini Split AC Cost Factors

Your total project cost will be determined by these factors;

  • Outdoor Unit Size – Ductless AC condensing units range from 9,000 to 42,000 BTUs.
  • Number of Indoor Units – As noted, these are usually single-zone systems, but multizone systems can be individually configured. Material and labor cost rises with each additional indoor unit.
  • Type of Indoor Unit – Your options are wall mounted, ceiling suspended, Ducted and ceiling cassette.
  • Efficiency – The SEER rating range is 14 to 26 SEER. As a rule, price rises with efficiency.
  • Brand Quality — Brands with superior quality like Samsung, Mitsubishi, Friedrich, Toshiba/Carrier, Daikin, Trane, LG and Panasonic cost more than standard-quality brands like MrCool, Gree, Pioneer, Klimaire and Blueridge.
  • Removal and Disposal of Old Equipment – Typically included in estimates, but if you do that part yourself, you might save $50-$250.
  • Cost of Living – Prices tend to be higher in metro areas along the Coasts, average in other metro areas and lowest in small towns and rural areas.

Retail Cost Range (Equipment Only)

As you shop, you’ll see these ductless mini split air conditioner costs. Here are retail costs by indoor unit type and by capacity. Prices include indoor and outdoor units and control.

Efficiency, quality and features are the major cost factors within the price ranges.

Complete system by indoor type:

  • $800 – $7,200 |Wall mounted 9,000 to 36,000 BTU single Zone mini split air conditioner systems
  • $3,200 – $7,600 | Concealed duct 12,000 to 42,000 BTU single zone mini split air conditioner systems
  • $4,400 – $7,000 | Ceiling suspended 24,000 to 42,000 BTU single zone mini split air conditioner systems
  • $5,400 – $8,500 | Ceiling cassette 24,000 to 42,000 BTU single zone mini split air conditioner systems

System by capacity:

  • $650 – $1,200 | 9,000 BTU
  • $800 – $3,200 | 12,000 BTU
  • $1,100 – $3,700 | 18,000 BTU
  • $1,200 – $5,500 | 24,000 BTU
  • $1,900 – $6,500 | 30,000 BTU
  • $2,600 – $7,400 | 36,000 BTU
  • $3,300 – $8,500 | 42,000 BTU

Cost of Installation Supplies

The indoor unit needs a refrigerant line set, line set cover, surge protector, wire whip, disconnect box and drain tube. Some or all the accessories can be bought in a kit.

  • $175 – $800 | Installation accessories
  • $50 – $200 | Pad for ground installation
  • $60-$175 | Rack and hardware for wall installation of an outside unit.
  • $65 – $115 | Electrical wire, and/or new breaker switch for connecting to power.

Permits, Inspection, and Unit Installation Costs

$50 – $200 | Installation of a mini split ductless air conditioner requires an electrical permit

Installation Labor Cost and Factors

Now that we’ve covered equipment and accessory costs, here are mini split air conditioner installation costs for the required labor.

  • $800 – $2,300 | Single zone air conditioner installation – one outdoor unit and one indoor unit
  • $200 – $400 | Installation of each additional indoor unit

Installation cost factors are:

  • Installation Difficulty – Things that make a job more difficult and costly are second-floor installation, hanging a wall bracket instead of ground installation, working under a deck and cutting through brick or stucco.
  • Time of Year – When installer demand is high because it is the busy season, cost will go up. Discounts on installation are often available during slow seasons for installers.

Installation Time

Mini split air conditioner installation takes about 1 day when there is only one indoor unit. Add two to four hours per additional indoor unit.

DIY or Hire a Pro

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You have two options for mini split AC types:

DIY-Ready: A few brands like MrCool, Pioneer, Ideal-Air and Senville make units that are pre-charged with refrigerant. These systems are made for DIY installation. These brands also make non-DIY systems, so be sure you purchase a DIY system if you intend to install it and you aren’t certified.

DIY-Prohibited: Most air conditioner mini split systems must be installed by a certified contractor with a license to handle refrigerant. DIY installation by a non-certified person voids the manufacturer warranty.

It might be possible during contractors’ slow season to find one that will work with you on a DIY-prohibited system. In such a scenario, you would do everything that doesn’t require a license. The certified installer would then connect then connect and charge the system. It’s rare, but we’ve known it to happen.

Installing most ductless ACs is not a DIY Project. What do You Think?

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Installed Costs from Around the Web

Compare mini split air conditioner costs from around the web.

Average
Cost Range
Costimates $3,300 $850 – $10,500
Improvenet $2,850 $500 – $5,000
Remodeling Expense $2,525 $1,875 – $3,125
Modernize $4,500 $3,000 – $8,000
Total Home Supply $3,150 $1,700 – $12,000
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