Ductless Air Conditioner Installation Cost 2019

Note: This guide focuses on pricing. Our Mini-Split AC/Heat Pump Buying Guide for the current year is a comprehensive resource. In addition to ductless mini split costs, it covers sizing your system and choosing the right efficiency, brand reviews, reader-submitted prices and much more.

Installed ductless heating and cooling systems cost an average of $3,400 for a single zone system and $7,100 for a multi-zone system.

The possible range of costs is wide – from less than $2,000 to more than $10,000.

Single Zone Mini-split System Costs

Single-zoneLow CostAverage CostHigh Cost
$1,950-$2,900$3,000-$4,900$5,000-$7,000
System Size (BTUs)5K-18K12K-30K24K-48K
Indoor UnitWallWall or CeilingWall, Ceiling, Floor
BrandStandardStadard or PremiumStandard or Premium
SEER Rating15 - 1815 - 2118+
InstallationEasyModerate or HardModerate or Hard

Multi Zone Mini-split System Costs

Multi-zoneLow CostAverage CostHigh Cost
$2,875-$4,150$4,200-$7,400$7,500-$10,000+
System Size (BTUs)18K-24K24K-48K48K+
# of Indoor Units2 or 33-54-8
Indoor UnitWallWall, Ceiling or FloorWall, Ceiling or Floor
SEER Rating15 - 1815 - 2118+
BrandStandardStadard or PremiumStandard or Premium
InstallationEasyModerate or HardModerate or Hard

Cost factors are discussed in detail below. They and pricing tables below will help you closely estimate what your ductless heating and AC system cost will be.

Introduction to Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems Cost

We believe the prices in this guide are the most accurate anywhere.

Many sites use prices for the equipment and add a “ballpark” installation cost to come up with pricing. Most estimates, unfortunately, are low.

Our ductless HVAC prices are accurate because we cover every detail: Equipment prices, installation supplies and extras and installation labor costs with specific cost factors.

When our readers get ductless heating and cooling system prices, they’re not shocked by the numbers.

Ductless Air Conditioner (with Heating) Cost Breakdown

More detail on costs is given below. Here’s an itemized summary of mini-split heat pump prices.

Single Zone Systems:

  • Size: 6,000 BTU to 48,000 BTU
  • Outdoor unit and one indoor unit: $900 – $5,700
  • Refrigerant line set, thermostat, supplies and permit: $160 – $600
  • Installation labor charge: $800 – $2,300

Multi-Zone Systems:

  • Size: 18,000 BTU to 72,000 BTU
  • Outdoor unit and 2-8 indoor units: $1,100 – $8,000+
  • Refrigerant line set, thermostat, supplies and permit: $450 – $1,200
  • Installation labor charge: $1,600 – $5,000+

See our Thermostat Buying Guide for comprehensive details on your thermostat options and costs. It includes links to our Thermostat Brand Reviews for nest, ecobee, Lux, Honeywell and other top thermostat brands.

Ductless HVAC System Cost Factors

Your mini split system price will be determined by these factors.

  • Single zone or multiple zones: This is the largest cost factor. Multi-zone equipment costs and installation costs are higher for obvious reasons. Each zone needs its own indoor unit, and each indoor unit incurs installation costs. The more zones, the higher the cost.
  • Type of indoor units: You have options for the indoor units, also called evaporator units. Wall mounted units are the most affordable. Floor units are next, but are only made for large systems. Ceiling cassettes, in-duct units and ducted units cost more.
  • Heat pump efficiency: The principle is that the more extreme your weather is, especially very hot and humid summers, the more efficient your ductless system should be.

See the Efficiency section of our Ductless Heat Pump buying guide to pinpoint the best efficiency for your climate.

  • System size: In short, you need more BTUs per square foot of home in hot climates and in cold climates than you do in moderate regions of the country. There is information on this topic in the Buying Guide too.
  • Ductless heat pump brands: Brands like MrCool, Klimaire, Gree and Blueridge are standard brands. Their prices are lower than premium brands like Mitsubishi, LG, Daikin, Toshiba-Carrier, Friedrich and Trane/American Standard.

Installation Cost Factors

Whether the system is a single-zone or multi-zone system is a top factor and has been addressed. Here are a few other factors related to installation.

  • Installation complexity: Floor and wall units are easier to install than ceiling, in-duct and ducted units. Secondly, stucco, brick and stone siding is more difficult to bore holes in and run lines through, so the cost goes up.
  • Time of year: When HVAC contractors are super busy, costs are going to be higher. In slow times of the year, they often offer discounts and other incentives to get your business. If you’re not in a hurry, it might save you money to plan the installation or replacement during the slow season where you live. Common slow periods are mid to late spring and early to mid fall depending on where you live.
  • Cost of living: Like the price of a gallon of milk, ductless heat pump system costs reflect the cost of living. It’s highest in Alaska, Hawaii and major cities and metro areas along the Coasts. Next most expensive are large metro areas “inland” such as Atlanta, Chicago and Dallas/Ft. Worth. Cost of living tends to be lowest in small towns are rural areas of the Midwest and South.
  •  Who installs your system: Most ductless systems are installed by certified HVAC pros since a refrigerant license is required. In fact, not using pro installation will void most warranties.

However, a few brands are now making DIY systems that do not require pro installation. They are fully charged with refrigerant. The homeowner installs the indoor and outdoor units, runs the line set and drain line to each, connects it to power and turns it on. It’s not quite as easy as it sounds, but if you’re very handy with mechanical equipment and power tools, you might consider a DIY system.

Ductless Mini Split System Cost by Zones

This table shows common single zone and multi-zone ductless heating and cooling systems cost.

ZonesUp to 24,000 BTUMore than 24,000 BTU
1$1,950 - $3,600$3,300 - $7,000
2$2,875 - $4,000$3,750 - $8,800
3$3,900 - $4,875$4,200 - $9,4000
4$4,750 - $6,000$4,950 - $10,500
5-8N/A$6,100 to $12,000+

Tips for Buying a Ductless Heating and Air Conditioning System

Your HVAC system purchase involves finding a qualified contractor, choosing a system that meets your heating and air conditioning needs and getting the system installed at a fair price.

In a minute, we’re going to suggest getting estimates from several ductless heat pump system specialists in your area. But first, here’s what you’re looking for in each step:

The Installer: An experienced ductless AC/heat pump installer will prove invaluable. The pro will:

  • Determine what size system is needed for your project. This might involve a Manual J load test or similar.
  • Provide advice for how many zones would provide the best heating and AC – one or two large zones, for example, or 3+ smaller zones.
  • Give you cost estimates for various system configurations for you to compare.

Getting a fair installation price: As you meet with installers and each gives you an estimate, you can evaluate the experience of the pro and the cost of the system.

When installers know you are getting multiple estimates, they’ll give you their most competitive prices. This is another reason to avoid having your system installed at peak season – When installers have all the work they want, prices are generally higher.

The equipment: What you learn from getting estimates will influence your decisions about system size, zones, efficiency, brand and other important considerations.

Many homeowners buy their ductless system online or from a home improvement store. Some installers supply equipment.

We Can Help

Would you like a fast, convenient way to meet with and get estimates from certified installers?

There is no obligation or cost to you for using our Free Local Quotes system. It takes just a minute to fill out the form or make a phone call.

You’ll receive written estimates from pre-screened, experienced ductless HVAC installers that are licensed and insured. It’s an opportunity to ask for their system recommendations and to evaluate their expertise and customer service. Again, it’s free and without obligation to accept any of their quotes.

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