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Split Unit AC Cost Considerations
Let’s face it, the cost is probably the biggest factor when it comes to ac installation. Before getting into the actual process of buying the units and having them installed in your home, it is best to be aware of all the expenses a ductless air conditioning system installation may come with.
How much does it cost to install a mini-split system? Overall, a full ductless installation including the air conditioning units can cost between $1,300 to $15,500. A complete mini-split aircon system typically costs around $2,000 to $14,500 depending on the number of indoor units you want to attach to a single condenser unit.12,000 BTU systems can go for $3,000 on average. And single-zone 1-ton units with 21 SEER rating ranges between $1,000 to $4,000 per set. Usually, mini-split systems are packaged as a kit but individual components can also be sold separately for custom setups.
What are the needed components in a mini-split system?
Mini-split systems are made up of three main components. There can be single or multiple indoor units. These are connected to one outdoor condenser unit. A series of refrigerant coolant lines connect these outdoor and indoor units.
Here’s a list of mini-split component price ranges when sold separately:
Outdoor Unit $1,000 to $5,500
Indoor Wall Mount $400 to $1,000
Indoor Ceiling Cassette $500 to $1700
Refrigerant Lines $5 to $20 per foot
What material costs are there in the installation process?
Besides your mini-split aircon kits, you will also require a set of different materials needed to install your ductless system.
Your air conditioning units will, of course, need electrical power. This means that lines, wires, and sleeves will be needed to connect your mini-split system to your electrical lines.
In case there is no available circuit box for your unit to connect, your electrician will need to install one. Adding this will cost you roughly around $250.
Connection tubes will also have to run through your system. This is where the air will move from your condenser unit to your indoor blowers. These tubes may need additional sealants and insulation to ensure that no leaks will happen. Leaks will make your system less efficient and it can even shorten the life of your mini-split units.
The insulation, lines, wires, sleeves, and tubes can add around $300 to $500 to your material costs.
What are the labor costs associated with installing a mini-split system?
It is a must to have your ductless system installed by skilled professionals. HVAC experts ensure a safe and effective mini-split installation. The service should also come with warranties so you’re guaranteed a worry-free air conditioning system.
The labor costs of mini-split systems depend on a variety of different factors. The layout of how your AC units are connected is planned carefully for the aircon to run efficiently throughout the system. Making sure that these connections run smoothly requires the expertise of a proper electrician and carpenter.
A full installation may take about 5 to 10 hours of labor for single and double zone mini-split systems. Carpenter services are usually around $25 to $50 per hour. Electricians, on the other hand, can charge between $50 to $100 per hour. These fees don’t include travel expenses so you can expect them to go up to between $150 to $500 per person.
The number of hours it will take to install the whole system will depend on a few things.
First would be your space installation requirements. Some spaces will require more hours from your carpenter and electrician. This depends on where your evaporators and condensers will be installed, how far your indoor units are from the outside unit, and how your mini-split system will be mounted.
An upper-level ductless system would require the condenser unit to be installed on the same level as the evaporator units. In this case, the outdoor unit will need to have a concrete platform built so that it can be mounted against an outside wall. This does not only add to your labor costs, it will also add to your material costs.
Ceiling mounted indoor units will take a lot more time to be installed compared to wall mounted mini-splits. Some houses also opt for floor mounted blowers. This will require more labor hours and expenses.
The materials of your home walls can also be a factor. Some walls are made up of materials that are difficult to work with like logs, stone, etc. A three-inch hole will be needed to install the tube connections so expect additional work hours and materials for situations like this.
Single and Multi-Zone Systems Cost Considerations
One other thing that adds to the labor hours is the number of units and zones you will have for your home. The great thing about mini-split systems is that you can customize your cooling and heating zones. Having indoor units in different rooms of the house that don’t have to function all at once can help you save on energy costs. But, additional units mean additional work and materials.
An additional indoor unit can add around $300 to $1,000 to your labor costs. Every unit you add will also require additional sealants, insulation, tube work, and refrigerant lines that connect to your condenser unit. Additional refrigerant lines can cost around $5 to $20 per foot.
You also have to consider that you will need a bigger and more powerful condenser unit if you want to have more cooling zones attached to it. Your HVAC expert will also suggest if you need to charge your unit with more refrigerant to support your whole ductless system. This will add to your cost, too.
Other Specific Installation Requirements That Affects Costs
Your home’s location may affect the service rates of your HVAC professionals. Some areas may not be as accessible as others. It will be best to look for the nearest service providers who can do quality work for your home. This will also make it easy to reach out to them in case additional work is needed after the initial installation.
Check your home-owners association for any permits or fees as well. There are cities and residential areas that require permits before any work can be done in buildings and houses. Make sure to consider the guidelines and restrictions in your area. Missing out on these can cause work interruptions and additional penalties and fees.
Mini-split Installation Money Saving Tips
Before starting on your project, research should always be your first step. Always get a minimum of three quotes from different HVAC service providers.
The season matters as well. A lot of people have aircon units installed during the summer. The rise in demand leads to a rise in prices. To avoid the traffic, consider having your system installed during fall or winter.
Some companies also offer special promotions and discounts. Units are sometimes packaged with free installation or discounted labor rates. If such offers are given, it may be best to go to one-stop shops for both your units and your HVAC installers.
How Does The Cost Compare To Traditional AC Systems?
Traditional air conditioners can cost roughly the same as mini-split systems –around $5,000 per unit.
Although the prices are not far from each other, mini-splits are much easier to install since no ductwork has to be done throughout the house. Ductwork can also be a major renovation and this means more costs. This is where most of the cost for traditional AC Systems adds up.