Possibly you have heard of ductless mini-split air conditioners and wondered how they compare to a traditional air conditioner or furnace in terms of cost, efficiency, and usefulness. That’s not the only question on your mind. Specific heating and cooling problems can be solved with ductless mini-splits. While reducing household costs, they provide high levels of temperature control.
If you are considering a mini-split, it is essential to consider several factors. Thousands of customers have contacted us about mini-splits, and we have installed hundreds of them. Here you’ll find an overview of the factors contributing to the cost of ductless mini-splits and how each can benefit your home’s comfort. Upon completion, you will be able to gauge the price of a mini-split, as well as whether it’s the right option for you.
Various types of outdoor mini-splits
Most people envision a single wall unit when they think of a mini-split. While this type is the most prevalent, it is the only one. Generally, the number of “heads” on a mini-split determines its price. In a head, cooling or heating is provided to a room or area by connecting it to the outdoor unit.
There are typically five heads in residential mini-splits. Installing, servicing, and maintaining a system becomes increasingly complicated when many leaders. An HVAC system that uses ductwork can usually achieve the same results without extra indoor units. Some homes do not have proper ductwork; they generally do not have accessible areas where ductwork could be installed. There might be no other choice than a ductless system in these situations.
Tonnage and BTUs
The “tonnage” required to supply them with good power is dependent on the number of indoor units. The British thermal unit is the unit of heat. Heat is measured in BTUs. Known as the heat required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit, it is defined as the amount of heat needed to raise one pound of water one degree Celsius.
The HVAC representative will calculate the tonnage required by your home during your estimate. A 3-ton capacity would be determined as follows: 36,00 BTU heat gain / 12,000 BTU per ton. A 0.5-ton unit with a single head should be sufficient for a mini-split intended for a single room. On the other hand, large houses can have up to five tons. For a ductless system to function correctly, equipment needs to be appropriately installed, and proper installation practices must be observed.
Typical heating and cooling units can run anywhere from 1.5 to 5 tons. So, a mini-split system at the lower end of the market provides more options. This results in a more efficient and personalized plan tailored to fit each room in your house.
Types of Indoor Heads
There are several varieties of indoor mini-splits:
- Wall-mounted units, which are installed at eye level or higher.
- Floor-level units, which extend to the floor.
There are cassettes on the ceiling on a roof that are nearly flush with the surface. These cassettes have vents that allow air to flow through them. These types of installations can differ significantly in carpentry work, electrical work, and other elements. The most expensive type is a cassette installed in the ceiling. Installing them properly requires additional work even though they are the least intrusive.
The placement of the indoor unit can impact the cost of condensate drainage, which is in addition to installation. It is unnecessary to install additional equipment if pressure is sufficient to drain the condensate from an indoor unit to an outdoor drain. In this case, a condensate pump is necessary if gravity cannot be leveraged to force the condensate to drain. Condensate pumps incur additional upfront costs and are also involved in ongoing maintenance.
How much does mini split installation cost?
Besides the purchase price, there are other costs associated with mini-splits. There are many options for different situations and budgets with the split system, which can cost $700 to $7,000. The average cost of installing a mini-split system is $800 and $1,500. The costs are outlined below. When you consider installation costs, the overall price of such a simple unit can seem absurd. Although mini-splits initially seem more expensive than traditional duct systems, here are a few reasons why:
- It is essential to have a proper installation done when making any upgrades to your home heating system, especially when installing a mini-split. Remember that the DIY installation of your mini-split might be appealing, but you will likely void your warranty. An avid do-it-yourselfer can complete portions of the installation, but the final installation requires experience, tools, and licenses. Mini-splits are usually trouble-free until they are installed incorrectly. Hire a professional to do the installation, and you will be glad you did. Although there are mini-split systems that are specifically designed for DIY installation.
- We offer DIY mini-splits that anyone can install. Installing each system requires just a few essential tools, and it comes with all the parts and accessories you need. A handy homeowner can take advantage of this cost-effective option, as by avoiding the need for an HVAC specialist, they can save some money.
Mini-splits may seem simple, but they’re cutting-edge in the world of heating and cooling. Even though forced air systems have not changed much over the years, mini-split technologies constantly improve. Ratings for energy efficiency and heat pump performance continue to rise. Even though mini-split units have higher upfront costs, this combination of factors has enabled them to become the least expensive form of heating and cooling over time.
Distance between indoor and outdoor units
The line between the indoor and outdoor units is typically 15 feet long in a mini-split installation. This line contains both drainage and electrical hookups for indoor and outdoor units. A price increase may be necessary if more than 15 feet don’t allow for travel between two teams or if multiple heads need additional length collectively. We also include a line cover as part of our standard installation and pricing. The body performs the following functions:
- Protection from environmental damage.
- Improves the appearance of the home’s side.
- Depending on homeowner preferences, it can be painted.
Many installers don’t include a line cover in their installations, even though it’s a good idea. There can be a lot of downsides to running HVAC lines along the side of your home, such as unsightly lines and the influence of the elements.
Nowadays, remote controls come standard with most mini-split heads. Using their remote controls, mini-splits can control various levels of cooling or heating throughout the house. A growing number of modern mini-split systems give you the option to synchronize it with your phone. Kumo Cloud, Mitsubishi’s HVAC app, is offered with many Mitsubishi furnaces we offer here at Fire & Ice. You can use this app to manage any number of indoor HVAC units you have, as well as set alerts and schedule automatic shutoffs.
It is also possible to transfer app ownership when you sell your home, making the system more durable. They give you the ability to control different zones or rooms within your home. When you have a multi-head system, it is possible to cool some rooms, heat others, and leave others off.