With summer around the corner, it’s important to have air conditioning in your home to keep you cool. In this article, you’ll find out more about the cost of installing ductless air conditioners or mini-split systems.
We’ll also explore the factors that come into play in installing these systems. Finally, we’ll provide the average installation prices for these air conditioners.
A Brief Definition of Ductless Air Conditioning System
A ductless air conditioner is also called a mini-split system. It’s an air conditioning system consisting of an indoor evaporator and an outdoor condenser/compressor unit. Power cables and refrigerant lines connect both parts of the air conditioning system. These refrigerant lines and power cables pass through a small opening in the walls.
Ductless air conditioners are perfect for people without ductwork in their homes. It’s also beneficial for house owners in Vaughan who dislike window AC units. You don’t have to break through walls with ductless AC units or spend so much money installing ductwork before installing your air conditioners.
Related Article: Air Conditioner Repair: AC Not Getting Cold
Advantages of Installing Ductless Air Conditioners
When you install a ductless air-con, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
- It’s easy to install
- It’s not as noisy as window AC units or central AC systems
- Ductless AC units don’t occupy much space
- Since it does not need ductwork installation, you’ll save extra money.
- Ductless AC units are more compact and technically advanced than central air-cons or window AC units.
- You don’t need complex tubing or wiring in installing ductless AC units.
- If you want to install multiple ductless AC units, you can customize them. For example, it’s possible to connect a condenser to up to four evaporators. These evaporators are controlled independently and can be in different rooms.
- Ductless AC units are useful in all seasons because they can cool and heat your room.
Where Can I Install Ductless Air-Con?
If you want to install a ductless air conditioner in your home, there are several places you can do so. The location of the system will determine the cost to install ductless air conditioning in your home.
You can install ductless AC units in your ceilings or high up on your wall. In recent times, homeowners now conceal these AC units within their ceilings. If you choose to install the unit within your ceiling, you can either suspend, recess, or conceal it. Most homeowners with smaller units recess or conceal them.
Average Price of Ductless Air Conditioning Installation
The average cost to install ductless air conditioning is between $4,000 to $8,000. This average price range covers the installation cost and the cost of the ductless AC unit.
The amount you will pay to install your ductless air conditioning unit depends on the following factors:
The Labor Costs
You must leave your ductless air conditioning installation to a professional. The amount an HVAC professional will charge for installation varies from one location to another.
Your best bet to get different pricing quotes for ductless air conditioner installation from installers within your locality. You can check online for HVAC installers near you and compare prices.
In terms of labour, the cost to install ductless air conditioning also depends on how long it’ll take. You also have to consider the number of evaporators you want to install. Based on these considerations, you should expect to pay between $200 and $1500 on labour.
Installing multi-zone ductless air conditioning systems takes about five to ten labour hours. If you wish to install a split AC unit on the second or third level, you’ll probably need to spend more money.
This extra cost comes because you’ll need more conduit, wiring, and refrigerant lines. Such expenses amount to an additional $8 to $25 per foot for the materials needed. It will also cost an extra hour or two of labour.
Sometimes, you may need a carpenter during installation. For example, if you want to install your ductless AC’s indoor unit on the wall and mount the outdoor unit on concrete, it may increase your expenses. This is also the case if you have to remove a previously existing HVAC unit to install the new ductless system.
The Number of Units
The number of units you want to install can increase the labour costs by about $200 to $1200. Additional units require extra refrigerant and electrical lines that pass through a conduit attached to your home’s exterior wall.
Before installing your ductless AC unit, ensure you ask your professional contractor if it requires a permit or license. Check with your local authorities before you begin the installation process. If the installation requires a permit, your contractor may provide such permits.
Sometimes, you may have to pay for such permits, adding a few more dollars to your expenses. Meanwhile, the HVAC installer should have a license. Don’t hire one without a license.
Your Home’s Size
The size of your house is a critical factor to consider when making a price estimate for ductless air conditioning installation. The size and cost of your ductless system are directly proportional to your room’s size. Hence, the higher the square footage you have to cool, the more expensive and larger your ductless system will be.
Most times, a single room ductless air-con unit has one indoor air handler. The air handler is connected to an outdoor condensing unit. This connection passes through a wall to connect both units.
To save on the cost of installing ductless air conditioning, you can connect several air handlers to the single outdoor unit. Such a connection will cool most parts of your property effectively.
The Type of Wall Material
The installer has to make a hole through your exterior wall to install your ductless air conditioning system. Creating a hole for the ductless air-con will add to your expenses depending on your wall’s construction material. If your house’s exterior wall has wooden framing, vinyl, plywood, or metal siding, it is easier to drill a hole through them. However, walls made of logs or stucco are more complicated.
Carpenters may charge you between $15 and $40 per hour for making the hole. The duration for drilling the hole through the wall is less than three hours. The hole should be three inches in diameter, which is enough for every line and wire to go through.
The Ductless AC Unit’s Efficiency
SEER ratings measure the efficiency of HVAC systems. SEER means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Ductless AC units with high-efficiency ratings are more expensive at first. However, they save you money in the long run by reducing your utility bills. Therefore, despite the high cost of efficient ductless systems, they are a good investment.
Ductless air-con systems are either single, double, triple, or quadruple zone systems. These zones have their respective SEER and British Thermal Unit, BTU ratings.
BTU ratings measure an HVAC system’s heat energy. Here is a table showing the SEER and BTU ratings for ductless air-con units and their respective equipment costs.
|Ductless System Type||SEER Rating||BTU Rating||Equipment Cost|
|Single||17 or greater||24K||$1800|
|Double||16 or greater||18K||$2500|
|Triple||16.2 or greater||24K||$3000|
|Quadruple||16.5 or greater||24K||$3800 or higher|
You will need to install a great ground fault circuit interrupter of 220 volts if you don’t have it already. Your ductless system should not run if you have outdated home wiring. You need to ensure your home is up to code before changing the HVAC unit. If you fail to do this, you will suffer major damage.
Hence, you need to hire air conditioner installation services to either change the whole circuit or install an exclusive outlet. Doing this adds $300 to $1000 to your cost to install ductless air conditioning.
Additional Material Cost
You need to purchase some additional materials like insulation and tubing when installing your ductless AC unit. These additional materials increase your expenses by about $30 to $100.
Season of Installation
The season in which you install your AC unit plays a role in how much you’ll spend. For example, if you install your system during winter, you will find that air conditioner installation services have less to do. Less work may mean lower installation costs. You may also look out for installation companies offering promotions and take advantage of their discounts.
How Much to Install a Ductless Air Conditioner Based on System Type
A ductless air conditioning system has single, double, triple, quadruple, and more zone systems. The average price of ductless air conditioning varies according to these zone systems. Therefore, you can calculate the cost for each zone system and have an idea of the cost estimate.
Multi-zone and Single-zone Ductless AC Units
The size of your house determines if you’ll need a single or multi-zone ductless AC unit. For example, if you have a small home or house with an open floor plan, a single-zone unit can cool it efficiently.
However, if your home has multiple rooms or levels, single-zone systems will not cool it efficiently. In that case, it’s best to use multi-zone ductless systems. The external compressor for such systems accommodates up to four indoor handlers.
Due to their increased functionality, multi-zone ductless AC units cost more than single-zone systems.
On average, a multi-zone system costs about $7,000. On the other hand, a single-zone ductless system costs between $3,500 and $4,500 on average to install.
Price Estimate for Ductless Air Conditioning by Number of Zones
Your home’s cooling needs greatly determine the cost of installing a ductless mini-split system. In addition, your home’s cooling requirements determine the number of zones your ductless mini-split will cover. Note that one zone represents a room in your home.
If you want to cool a room, you’ll need a single mini-split system. Therefore, you’ll require multi-zone ductless mini-split systems for multiple rooms. The higher the number of zones, the higher the installation cost. Below is a table showing the number of zones and the average installation cost.
|Number of Zones||Average cost of installation|
Cost to Install Ductless Air Conditioning Based on The Type
Based on your budget and cooling needs, the HVAC installer you contract to install your system will recommend a particular type of ductless system. Sometimes, you may have to install several ductless system types within your home.
Whatever the case may be, you should note that all ductless system types don’t function at maximum BTUs simultaneously. Each unit has its characteristics and cost, which you have to consider.
Before you purchase and install, an HVAC professional should review these considerations with you and help you conclude on the best system for your home.
Below is a table showing various ductless system types and their average costs.
|Ductless System Type||Average Cost|
|Vertical Air Handler||$3,500-$9,000|
Cost to Purchase Ductless Air-con by Brand
The price at which you buy a ductless air conditioning unit influences the overall cost of installing it. The cost of a new ductless air conditioning system varies depending on the brand. Some brands may offer more features and may be efficient than others. Such brands with greater features will cost higher than those with less.
Some of these features that may increase the cost of the AC unit include:
- Higher SEER rating
- Low noise
- Programmable features
- Smart and innovative functions and more
The table below contains a list of top-rated ductless air-con system brands and their average prices.
|Brand Name||Price Range (Average)|
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions people usually ask about the cost to install a ductless air conditioning system.
Can I install my ductless AC unit myself?
It’s possible to install your mini-split unit by yourself, but that is not the best step to take. It’s always best to leave the installation to a professional trained in such tasks. If you install the system yourself, you may damage something unintentionally and lose the warranty on the system.
Professional installers help to determine your home’s cooling needs and tell you the best unit size to purchase. Therefore, unless you are trained in installing HVAC systems and have a license in doing so, leave it to the professionals to handle.
How long can ductless AC units last?
If you maintain your AC unit properly, you can use it for at least 15 years. Hence, you should practice regular maintenance practices and also service your system when you should.
Can ductless AC units be used for heating?
Yes, they can. One of the advantages of ductless air conditioning units is that it serves dual purposes. Hence, it cools you during summer and keeps you warm in winter.
Do I need a permit to install a ductless air conditioner?
You may need a permit to install your ductless AC system. This depends on the requirements in the area where you reside.
Related Article: Common Air Conditioner Faults and How To Repair Them
There are many advantages of installing a ductless AC unit. Hence, though the cost to install ductless air conditioning can be high, you’ll get good value for your money.
Many factors influence the cost of installation. Based on these factors, the price you pay for installation may either increase or reduce. The key here is to make sure you’re getting good value for your money.
You can only do that with professional installation services in Vaughan. Here at ALP Heating, we’re home to experienced technicians who’ll install your ductless air-con system for optimal services. Contact us today!