Ductless System Installation Costs: What Are You Paying For?

A contractor installs a wall-mounted air handler in a customer's home.
Personalized Comfort
Innovative ductless solutions streamline and simplify comfort. But the complexity of your system will affect the cost.

How much will it cost to install a ductless system? One of the most frustrating answers for homeowners, no matter what the question, is “It depends.” But it’s often the best answer, at least without a thorough evaluation of your unique needs. Until then, on what do your installation costs depend?

Complex Costs

Innovative ductless solutions streamline and simplify comfort. But the complexity of your system will affect the cost. Several factors play a role:

  1. The Size of Your Home. Do you have a big sprawling home? A cozy apartment? A compact condo? It’s critical to choose a “right-sized” solution. Larger, multi-room systems require bigger (or more) air compressors, longer refrigerant lines, more air handlers, and more time to install. This adds up to an increase in cost. Smaller, single-room solutions, such as those for condos, apartments, and individual spaces, on the other hand, come with proportionately smaller price tags.

  2. The Age of Your Home. There’s no denying the charm of older homes, or the challenge that comes in maintaining a comfortable temperature. If you own an older house, you may need upgrades to bring your electrical system up to code and complete the installation. When your contractor conducts their in-home estimate, they’ll be able to tell you if an upgrade is required.

  3. Removal of Existing Systems. Have a fuel-guzzling cooling or heating system? Is your traditional, and obsolete, HVAC system no longer up to the task of keep your home comfortable? Removal of an existing system adds labor and associated costs. On the bright side, split-ducted and multi-position ducted systems can be installed using your existing ductwork.

  4. Installing “ductwork.” Ductless systems do not require the bulky, cumbersome, and inefficient ductwork. Instead, the refrigerant lines run through small openings. You need an opening of just three inches to accommodate two refrigerant lines, control wiring, and the required electrical connections.

    If you are retrofitting your home or adding a system to a new space (e.g. an addition), your contractor can easily install these discrete openings through closets and other small areas. It will add to your cost, but only at a fraction of the price, and hassle, of conventional ductwork.

  5. The hourly cost of labor. Your contractor sets his or her own rate, which varies based on experience and the going-rate for installation work in your area. Get several quotes, and balance cost with the results you feel each contractor will be able to deliver.

A definitive answer to your cost questions is just a home evaluation away. A trusted contractor can help you select the best ductless system for your needs–and ensure it is installed properly. If there’s one thing that’s not frustrating, it’s completely customized, on-demand comfort.

This article and its content are sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric US Inc., Cooling & Heating Division.

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