How Much Does Split AC Installation Cost?

Central air conditioning is not available in all homes, even though it’s great for hot climates. Air distribution is required by central AC systems. Retrofitting ductwork in a home that wasn’t designed for it can be expensive.

Split AC systems or ductless AC provide home cooling for a fraction of the price. Split air conditioners are most suitable for small or modest homes.

Average Split AC Installation Cost.

Installing a mini split ductless air conditioner can cost between $3,000 and $9,000. A single-zone AC may cost less than $660 or as much as $20,000. Costs for hiring HVAC contractors to install the system range from $300 to $6,000.

Below is a list of the key factors that affect installation costs.

  • Most houses need one unit per room. Installation of more indoor units increases the labor cost.
  • Types: Different indoor unit models can cost more or less.
  • Unit Dimension: Air conditioners with higher power are more expensive.

Divize AC installation costs by units.

Mini-split systems consist of an outdoor condensing unit and one or more indoor air handlers. One condenser unit can support eight indoor units. Each air handler, however, must be within 50 feet from the condenser. You may need more than one outdoor unit if you live in a big house.

One air handler can cool multiple rooms if you have an open plan. Installation and materials are more expensive with multi-zone systems.

Dividing AC installation costs into components.

Most manufacturers include a standard outdoor unit with each split AC system. You have several choices depending on where you want to mount the condenser.

Air handlers are available with short ducts to cool multiple rooms. Split AC systems, which do not use existing ductwork, are sometimes called “ductless”. Below are the average prices of each unit.

A system consisting of one condenser, two air handlers on the wall, and one on the floor could cost between $3,100 and $12,000.

Splitting AC installation costs by unit size.

Like central AC systems, ductless mini-split systems are measured in British thermal units or tons based on the amount of air that can be cooled per hour. For every 500-600 square feet, a ton of air conditioner is required. However, hallways and bathrooms may not be covered. For a home of 1,500 square feet, a 3-ton unit will be needed. You can save money by cooling or heating only the bedrooms or primary living areas.

Brand split AC install.

The brand can also affect the price of ductless AC systems. Mitsubishi split AC units may cost more than other AC brands, but they are known for their great reputation and wide selection of system components.

Other Cost Factors In Split AC Installation.

The cost of mini-split installation can be affected by a number of factors.

  • Features: An item that has features such as a remote control or programmable temperatures is more expensive.
  • HVAC contractors charge anywhere between $65 to $250 per hour for installation. There could be a flat fee per unit.
  • Installation Location: Units on upper floors or layouts that require the condenser to be placed away from the air handlers will take longer to install and cost more.
  • Costs of permits: Permits are required for the installation of most multi-zone systems. The cost can range from $250 to $400, depending on the local regulations.
  • Remove older equipment: Removing old AC systems or old ductwork increases labor costs.
  • Rating SEER. The seasonal energy-efficiency rate (SEER) is a measure of a system’s efficiency. The higher the efficiency rating, the more expensive the system, even if it will cost less overall.
  • The season: HVAC installation costs are higher during the summer when AC technicians are in high demand.

Mini Split AC And Multi Split AC.

Mini-splits are sometimes confused with ductless AC systems, but they’re not the only kind. Mini-split AC systems have only one indoor unit. Multi-split systems may have multiple indoor units. Mini-split systems control the temperature of indoor units using a single thermostat. Each air handler is connected in series to one refrigerant pipe.

Each unit in a multi-split can have its thermostat. Imagine a power strip with multiple lights attached to it. These systems use the same condenser and air handler equipment as mini-splits. However, they require more copper tubing because each handler must have its own connection with the condenser. Multi-split systems cost more in terms of materials and labor, but they allow you to have different temperatures throughout your home.

How Split AC Systems Work.

Split AC systems work in a similar way to central air conditioners, as they both have indoor and outdoor components. They are connected by refrigerant lines. The indoor component is equipped with an evaporator to remove heat from the room and a fan that blows cooled air into the room. The warm, gaseous refrigerant is sent through copper tubing to the outdoor unit. The compressor turns the refrigerant from a gaseous to a liquid state. Fans are used for cooling the air and removing heat from the outside.

Split ACs are different from central ACs because cooling happens at the indoor units rather than the central unit that blows cool air throughout the home. You can also set different temperatures for different rooms. A ductless mini-split system can provide cooler air because of its larger condenser. The heat pump in mini-splits allows for heated air to be provided without radiators or ducts during winter.

Installing Split ACs yourself vs. Hiring A Professional.

You can install some ductless mini-split systems yourself without hiring an HVAC company. These systems are typically single-zone for a single room with a condenser and an air handler. These kits range in price from $ 1,500 to $7,500.

Several reports state that mini-splits do not work as well when professionally installed. The problem could be due to faulty installation or sub-par components.

Multi-zone systems require professional installation. HVAC technicians must be licensed to install and repair heating and cooling systems. The HVAC technician has the knowledge and expertise to perform the task accurately and quickly. You’ll pay more for labor, but the work will be done faster than if you did it yourself. The installation costs are not included in the split AC cost.

Signs That You Need A Split AC.

Split AC units are perfect for cooling more than one room in your home, even if you don’t already have ductwork. Split AC units are useful in some situations.

  • You may need to install a cooling system in certain areas of your home.
  • The ductwork in your home is damaged, and it will require expensive repairs to install central AC.
  • You have a small home in an area that is rarely hot.
  • A system with different air handlers can be tailored to suit the needs of each customer.
  • You can extend your cooling system if you have the budget to do so.

Compare Air Conditioner Types.

When researching air conditioning, you’ll have to choose between a central or split system. The size of your home, the existing ductwork in your home, and your budget will all influence your decision.

Split ACs Installed At Lower Cost.

Although a split AC may be cheaper than a ducted AC, the project can still cost thousands. Follow these tips to save money on installation if you do not need a small, simple system.

  • Speak to a professional about the most cost-effective and efficient ductless air conditioner system for your home.
  • Consider a unit with a higher SEER if your budget permits. These units are more expensive upfront but can save you money on utility bills.
  • Locate rebates, tax incentives, and other financial assistance from the federal government. Access the State Incentive Database for Renewables & Efficiency.
  • Regular maintenance will extend the lifespan of your system. You can do your own mini-split maintenance and inspection with a cleaning kit.
  • Install your mini-split system in the spring or fall when HVAC contractors are less busy.
  • It is important to consider how many zones of cooling are required. Some homeowners cool their lower levels of the house because they will be there at the hottest times of the day.


Not for everyone, ductless air conditioning is a great choice for homes without ductwork. Central AC is more expensive, but ductless air conditioners are less costly and have more customization options. Installation of ductless systems is also quicker and less disruptive than ducted systems. It’s better to hire professionals to install more zones of a mini-split system. There are still ways to save money.