Are you looking for a way to add AC to your home without the high price of installing ductwork? A ductless air conditioning system is far superior to a window AC unit in every way. It’s more efficient, less obtrusive, and allows you to open your windows when the weather is nice. It even provides heating in the winter! Of course, these benefits come at a higher cost.
The amount you pay to purchase and install a ductless air conditioner in the US ranges from $3,000 to $5,000 or more (about $4,000 to $6,500 in Canadian dollars). This cost is higher than a window AC unit, but less than a central air conditioner, especially if you don’t already have ductwork. Where your investment falls on this scale depends on several factors. Here’s a breakdown of each one.
The Amount of Cooling You Need
Do you want to heat and air condition your entire home, or just a new add-on? Do you live in a sprawling ranch-style house or a cozy condo? The more square footage you want to cool, the larger and more costly your ductless system will be.
A one-room ductless AC unit is comprised of a single indoor air handler connected to an outdoor condensing unit through a small hole in the wall. Thankfully, multiple air handlers can connect to a single outdoor unit, allowing you to cool most if not all of your home while saving on installation costs compared to central air conditioning.
Ductless AC System Efficiency
All HVAC systems feature an efficiency rating so you can estimate operating costs. High-efficiency equipment costs more upfront, but it reduces your utility bills for years to come, so the extra investment is usually worth it.
Installation Time and Hourly Rate
Labor is part of the overall ductless AC cost. Installation requires a technician to mount the indoor unit on the wall and position the outdoor unit on a concrete slab in your yard. It’s also necessary to cut a hole in the wall to run refrigerant lines, control wiring, and electrical connections between the indoor and outdoor units.
While the installation process is quite straightforward, it does take time, which the technician must be paid for. Remember, the time (and labor costs) required to perform the job increase if you also need to remove your existing HVAC equipment. On the bright side, the installer should dispose of the old system for you with safety and environmental concerns in mind.
If you don’t already have a suitable exterior GFCI outlet for the condensing unit to plug into, you’ll need to have one installed. Outdated home wiring may set you back in general because your home must be up to code before altering the HVAC system. This may require you to hire an electrician to add an outlet or a whole new circuit. Of course, this adds to the overall installation cost.
Rebates Help Offset Ductless AC Costs
Most federal tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements expired in 2017 or earlier. However, Energy Star certified ductless air conditioners installed before December 31, 2018 are eligible for rebates of up to $1,000 from local utility companies, depending on what system you’re replacing. You can learn more about rebates in your area with the Energy Star Rebate Finder.
Call Aire Serv® for an In-Home Ductless AC Estimate
For a permanent home cooling solution without ductwork, nothing beats a ductless air conditioner. Learn precisely how much ductless air conditioning costs by calling Aire Serv for an in-home installation estimate. We’ll help you make the most functional, cost-effective choice for your home.