How Much Does It Cost to Install a Ductless Heat Pump?
Heat pumps are a prevalent option for both heating and cooling homes, offices, and other spaces. Within the heat pump family are ductless heat pumps, also called ductless mini-split heat pumps. Ductless heat pumps offer affordability and adaptability for many applications. If you are seeing a new heating and cooling system, absorb the cost of ductless heat pump fitting before you buy.
If you have an additional bonus room, or newly renewed attic space that needs heating and cooling or are looking for a way to offset the costs of your electric baseboard heaters or heater, a ductless heat pump installation may be the right fit for your home. Ductless heat pumps can be installed in one or multiple rooms and offer both heating and cooling from one unit, making your space more comfortable year-round. They come in numerous installation types and competence ratings as well as sizes. Which means that they have a wide range of related costs. The average range to install a ductless heat pump is $3,000 to $8,000, with most people paying around $5,471 for a dual-zone ductless heat pump to heat and cool an area up to 1,000 square feet.
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 apparatus costs and installation costs are higher for understandable reasons. Each zone needs its own indoor unit and each indoor unit experiences 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 reasonable. Floor units are next but are only made for large systems. Ceiling cartridges in-duct units and ducted units cost more.
- Heat pump efficiency: The principle is that the more thrilling 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 reasonable regions of the country. There is information on this topic in the Buying Guide too.
- Ductless heat pump brands: Brands like McCool, 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 spare 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 in 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 annul most warranties.
However a few brands are now making DIY systems that do not necessitate pro installation. They are fully charged with refrigerant. The homeowner installs the indoor and outdoor units, runs the line set and gutter 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 apparatus and power tools you might reflect a DIY system.
Tips for Buying a Ductless Heating and Air Conditioning System
Your HVAC system acquisition involves finding a capable 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 propose 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 approximation you can assess the experience of the pro and the cost of the system.
When installers know you are getting multiple approximations 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 inspiration 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.
Mini-split Heat Pump Cost to Run
The exact cost to run your mini-split heat pump is contingent on several factors such as the unit size, time of year, and cost of electricity in your area. It is projected that the average heat pump costs around $0.04 an hour to run.