How Much Does it Cost to Install a Ductless Heating & Cooling System?
$1,300 - $8,000
$1,300 - $8,000
Cost data is based on research by HomeAdvisor.
Updated December 7, 2020Written by HomeAdvisor.
A ductless heat pump, also called a mini-split, runs between $1,300 to $8,000 or more. Complete 5-zone kits can reach $13,000 in materials. Basic single zone units run $700 to $2,200 but can vary depending on brand and location. Labor runs an additional $500 to $2,000 or more. Complex installations increase labor time. You'll need a concrete pad for an additional $125 average and an electrical circuit at $200 to $500.
A ductless heat pump, commonly referred to as a mini-split, provides zoned heating and cooling to your home without needing to install new ductwork. The system is composed of two main parts, the outdoor unit and up to eight indoor evaporative units with refrigerant lines connecting them. You'll need a concrete pad outside to place the exterior unit on and a dedicated 220-volt circuit.
System kits range from $875 to $6,000. Some 5-zone systems reach $12,000. For a customized setup, consider purchasing each component individually.
|Evaporative Wall Mount||$300-$1,000|
|Evaporative Ceiling Mount||$700 to $1,800|
|Indoor Ceiling Cassette*||$500-$1,700|
|refrigerant Lines||$5 per foot|
* A ceiling cassette sits recessed into your ceiling to provide air flow without taking up wall space.
With dozens of brands available, it pays to go with a locally-supplied, big-name brand. This makes service easier and means more available parts for maintenance. Mitsubishi, Daikin, LG, Trane, Carrier and Fujitsu are a few. Mitsubishi, Daikin, Panasonic, Frigidaire and a few other global brands offer a mini-split air conditioner unit for homes with heat only. Read our guide on ductless air conditioning costs for in-depth information.
|Daikin||$1,000 to $8,600||Low to Average|
|LG||$850 to $7,300||Average to High|
|Fujitsu||$1,175 to $9,300||Low to Average|
*Warranties may be voided with DIY Installations.
Professional HVAC installation runs $300 to $2,000. Multiple indoor units can push that beyond $2,500. Installation will take anywhere from 5 to 10 hours or more. You're HVAC professional may need the help of an electrician and a carpenter. Location, accessibility and permits may also increase your installation budget.
Carpenters charge an hour rate of $25 to $50 plus trip fees. Expect to pay a total of about $200 to $300. This is to create the 3" pass through hole for the lines that connect the indoor and outdoor unit. A siding specialist may be required for custom siding work.
Electricians charge $50 to $100 per hour or about $200 to $500 total for this project. Heat pumps require their own dedicated 220-volt circuit. Running a new circuit may also require you to budget in the cost of upgrading your electrical box.
Higher floor installations require more conduit and wiring. Expect to pay $10 to $20 per foot for materials. Add an extra hour or more of labor for higher floors and hard to access areas.
Permits are usually unnecessary. If required in your location, your installer will know the cost. Typically, your project quote includes any necessary permit costs.
Always check with your HOA before installing anything outside your home.
Ductless heat pumps and PTACs, packaged terminal air conditioner units, are a flexible option for homes where installing ductwork is impossible or cost prohibitive. An HVAC installer will know specific pros and cons for your area, climate and home type, consult with one before deciding.
|Ductless Mini-Split||PTAC Wall AC Units|
Ductless systems operate like a standard heat pump would but with a split system – splitting the condenser from the air-handling unit. It can either heat or cool the home by moving heat from one location to another.
The condenser unit located outside the home removes heat from the air and condenses it into a refrigerant. The refrigerant moves the heat into the home where the indoor unit releases it into the cooler air. The process can also work in reverse, taking heat from inside the home and moving it outside, thus cooling the interior of the house.
These systems work extremely well in milder climates without cold extremes. Below about 10 degrees Fahrenheit, most systems are no longer able to pull heat from the air and a supplemental system - like baseboard, a fireplace or space heaters - helps keep the home warm. Some higher end systems work in zero or below zero temperatures.
The cost to install a ductless heat pump versus a ductless ac unit are almost the same. Your homes layout, location, accessibility and heating and cooling needs will determine the actual costs.
For extreme climates that drop well below zero, you should use mini-split wall mounted units equipped with more traditional electric heating elements. Mini-split heat pumps don't work well in extremely low temperatures and need a supplemental heat source. Talk to your HVAC pro to determine which one is right for your climate.
The best way to determine the size of pump you need for your space is to have a professional HVAC installer inspect your home and provide you with a quote. For a rough estimate, you'll need one ton for each 600 to 650 square feet or about 20 BTUs per square foot.
A mini-split heating system operation costs vary by unit. SEER and HSPF ratings determine the efficiency of the unit. You can expect to save anywhere from 20 to 40 percent or more on your utility bill.
SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and HSPF, or heating seasonal performance factor, has a lot to do with cost. The more efficient the unit, the higher the SEER and HSPF rating. Higher ratings translate into lower energy bills and higher unit prices. Heat pump units use both SEER and HSPF ratings. Efficiency ratings are an HSPF of >8 is considered efficient. SEER rating of 16 or greater is efficient.
It's possible to install your own ductless heat pump, but strongly discouraged. Not only will you most likely void your warranty, you risk harming your system with improper installation. Hiring an HVAC pro is the best way to make sure the installation goes smoothly, and your system works properly.