How Much Does Mini-Split Installation Cost?

When central air isn’t an option, or you just need more individualized temperature control, consider installing a mini-split. On average, a mini-split installation cost runs between $2,000 and $14,500.

  • Typical Range: $2,000 to $14,500

  • National Average: $3,000

The struggle to keep everyone happy with the current temperature can be challenging, but there are ways around the problem. The best solution is a mini-split system installation, which provides individualized control over the temperature in each room where the unit is installed. This solution is also more efficient and cost-effective than installing an entire HVAC system with ductwork.

mini-split installation cost ranges between $2,000 and $14,500, with an average of $3,000. The size of the house and the number of rooms primarily drive the cost. Get to know everything about mini-split installation costs below.

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What Is a Ductless Mini-Split?

Mini-split systems heat and cool a house without the ductwork needed for a traditional HVAC system. They still use an outdoor compressor and condenser, but they feed each indoor air-handling unit with a simple conduit that operates like a heat pump.

The indoor evaporating unit is installed in each room where homeowners want individualized temperature control. It’s typically mounted to a wall or ceiling and doesn’t take up a lot of space. Any room with this air-handling unit will have its own thermostat to control heating and cooling.

These units can be installed in homes with existing ductwork when only one or two rooms need additional heating or cooling. They also work well in homes where it’s challenging to install ductwork in the attic.

Factors in Calculating Mini-Split Installation Cost

A mini-split AC installation cost runs about 50 percent less than a central AC unit, partly due to the lack of ductwork and extra labor needed. Still, there are several components required to install a ductless system properly. Mini-split air conditioner installation costs are also driven by the unit size, labor, location in the house, number of zones, brand, and SEER rating. Here is the breakdown for each of these mini-split AC cost factors.

Unit Size

The size of the unit is a significant part of the total mini-split air conditioner cost. The most common size is a 12,000 BTU–capacity unit, and those usually cost an average of $3,000. Mini-split systems usually have at least one room connected, but they could power up to five indoor units.

If more rooms each need their own air-handling unit, then additional condensers can be purchased (typically $400 to $1,800 each), or a larger condenser can be installed. You’ll want to speak to an HVAC company to compare the installation costs and the operating costs for your area if you need more than five units in different rooms, as this is the maximum most brands can accommodate.


Mini-split systems have a fairly limited number of components compared to some mechanical systems. Homeowners will need to choose whether they want the in-room units mounted on the ceiling, wall, or floor or have them recessed. Here are the average costs of the most common components before installation:

  • Outdoor condenser: $1,000 to $6,000
  • Indoor wall-mounted unit: $400 to $1,000
  • Indoor ceiling-mounted unit: $700 to $2,000
  • Recessed indoor ceiling cassette: $500 to $2,000
  • Floor-mounted: $1,300 to $4,000

Other components include the accessory kit needed to install the system, including the wires, lines, boxes, and other necessary pieces. This kit usually costs $300 to $500. Finally, the cost of the refrigerant line is included at $5 per foot.

Labor and Permits

Labor makes up only part of mini-split system installation costs, unlike other projects where labor makes up the majority of the cost. For most mini-split AC installations, it will cost $300 to $1,500 to hire an HVAC technician. Technicians will have most mini-splits installed within 5 to 10 hours.

You’ll likely need to obtain a permit to install a mini-split system, particularly if it’s a multi-zone system. It’s recommended to check with your municipality before starting this project. On average, permits can cost between $250 and $400.

Need to install a mini-split?

Maybe it’s time to call a pro. Get free, no-commitment project estimates from mini-split installation services near you.

Location in House

Mini-splits can be installed as zones to cover one or more areas within a home. Quad-zone can usually cover four rooms, depending on their sizes. If an installer needs to add additional zones or units on the upper floors, it will cost more for the extra components and labor. You’ll probably pay about $10 to $20 per foot for materials, and the work will take a couple of hours.

Sometimes homeowners use this system to heat or cool just their outside patio. If the condenser can be installed nearby, the total cost could end up being cheaper since the air-handling unit won’t be positioned several rooms away.

Number of Zones Required

Homeowners can purchase mini-splits with a single zone or multi-zones to handle up to five different rooms. (Some brands can handle more.) An HVAC pro will need to assess the square footage of each room to ensure that the right unit and number of zones are purchased to do the job adequately. Larger rooms like a family room could require two units, which means a quad-zone would be installed in only three-room.

The number of zones you need will influence the total price since more zones mean a larger unit with more components. A single zone averages $2,000 to $8,800; a three-zone unit averages $3,400 to $13,400; and a five-zone unit averages $4,800 to $18,000.


As with most mechanical units, there are a variety of brands to choose from. Many are well-known brands and typically have a higher price point, and others are lesser-known brands with lower price points.

  • Mitsubishi: These units average $1,200 to $8,650 and are available for up to eight zones. They operate well even in extreme temperatures.
  • Panasonic: Single-zone mini-splits cost an average of $1,700 to $2,800.
  • Daikin: This brand offers budget models for single zones at $1,000 to $1,700.
  • Fujitsu and Rheem: Both offer single or multi-zones for an average of $1,100 to $8,300.
  • Frigidaire: This brand has smaller units available for around $1,000 to $1,400.

You can also ask about numerous other brands, including Samsung, Cooper & Hunter, LG, and more. Some homeowners may notice that a Home Depot mini-split installation cost is lower than other brands, but these DIY kits may not necessarily have the same effectiveness and efficiency as other brands installed by a professional.

SEER Rating

SEER stands for seasonal energy efficiency ratio. When an HVAC unit has a higher SEER rating, it will cost less to run since it operates more efficiently. It’s one factor to consider as you select the mini-split unit that’s best for your home and region. Areas with more extreme temperatures might benefit from a higher SEER-rated system since it will probably run more often.

Energy-efficient units often come with rebates from utility companies and tax credits from local and state governments. However, mini-split AC units with a higher SEER rating can often cost more upfront even if you save more in the long run, so consider what’s best for your budget and overall needs.

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