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How Much Does it Cost to Install a Ductless Air Conditioner in Texas?

August 26, 2019

In our area, the cost to install a ductless (mini-split) air conditioner ranges from $3,900 to $8,800+, with most homeowners paying around $4,800 on average.

Your next question is probably, “Why does the price vary?”

The price to install a ductless AC system can vary depending on the following factors:

  1. How many rooms you want cooled
  2. The size of the ductless system
  3. The type of ductless system you choose
  4. Installation considerations
  5. The HVAC contractor you hire for the installation

We’ll look at each of these factors in more detail below.

Want a FREE quote to install a ductless system in your home?

Factor #1: How many rooms you want cooled

The number of rooms you want cooled will determine how many ductless units you should get.

To cool one room, a ductless system requires an indoor unit and an outdoor unit.

ductless mini-split air conditioner indoor and outdoor view

An indoor and outdoor unit of a ductless system

If you want to have multiple rooms cooled, you’ll need to add an indoor unit for each room you want cooled. (Luckily, 1 outdoor unit can service up to 8 indoor units.)

Since cooling multiple rooms requires more than one indoor unit, the cost will be greater than if you just need one room cooled.

Factor #2: The size of the ductless system

The size of a ductless system doesn’t necessarily refer to its physical dimensions, but rather its cooling output, which is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units).

The higher the BTU output of your mini-split system, the “bigger” and more expensive it will be.

That said, you don’t get to choose the size of your system. Rather, an HVAC professional will take into account various factors specific to your home to calculate the size that will fit your needs.

Some of the factors a professional will look at include:

  • The square footage of the room(s) you want cooled
  • The number of windows and doors in the room(s)
  • Height of the ceilings
  • Insulation levels of the room(s)
  • Type of flooring
  • And much more

Why is getting the right size system important?

  • A ductless unit(s) that’s too small will struggle to cool your room(s), which means you’ll feel uncomfortable.
  • A ductless unit that’s too big will cool your room really quickly and then shut off, which leads to higher energy bills and more wear and tear on the internal parts.

Factor #3: The type of ductless system you choose

While you can’t pick the size of your ductless system, you can choose other aspects and features, including:

  • The efficiency level (SEER rating)
  • Add-on features
  • Brand
  • Warranty

We’ll look at each of these in more detail.

Efficiency level (SEER rating)

Energy efficiency for ductless systems is measured by SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Most ductless units range from 13 to 21 SEER.

The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the ductless system (which means it’ll be cheaper to operate). However, higher SEER air conditioners are also more expensive upfront.

To know if a high-SEER ductless system is worth the higher upfront cost, you’ll need to consult with an HVAC professional.

You can learn more about SEER by reading our blog, “What SEER Rating Should I Get for My San Marcos Home?

Add-on features

Adding comfort and convenience features to your ductless system will raise the cost of the unit.

Examples of these add-on features include:

  • Adjustable airflow
  • Wireless remote control
  • Washable air filters
  • Programmable/smart thermostats
  • Multi-speed fans
  • Dehumidification features

Brand

Some mini-split AC brands are more expensive than others, which affects the upfront cost. Typically, premium brands will be more expensive than smaller, less established brands.

However, premium manufacturers use premium parts, so you know you’ll be getting a solid system that is built to last.

Popular premium ductless brands include:

  • Mitsubishi
  • Fujitsu
  • LG
  • Daikin
  • Carrier

Note: We install Mitsubishi and Carrier ductless systems, but we service all brands.

Warranty

All ductless manufacturers offer a limited warranty when you purchase one of their systems.

This warranty covers important components in the event they fail due to a manufacturer error. Typically, a limited parts warranty lasts anywhere from 7 to 20 years (depending on the manufacturer).

Some manufacturers offer an extended warranty, which increases the length of the warranty. If you purchase an extended warranty the overall cost will be greater, but you’ll also have greater peace of mind.

Factor #4: Installation considerations

Besides the cost of the ductless unit itself, you’ll also need to consider the cost to install the system.

Here’s the bottom line: If the contractor needs to make any adjustments or upgrades to install your ductless system, then the cost will be greater.

Examples of installation considerations that raise the overall cost include:

  • Upgrading your home’s electrical system to accommodate the mini-split system
  • Running conduit (electrical and refrigerant) lines in hard-to-access places like attics or basements
  • Adding longer conduit lines because the outdoor unit is far away from the indoor unit

Factor #5: The HVAC contractor you hire for the installation

Not all contractors charge the same for their installation services. Some charge more; others, less.

Generally, more experienced contractors charge more for their services. But they also typically do better quality work than a contractor who offers a super-low install cost.

You want your new ductless system to be installed correctly—the first time. That way, you won’t have to worry about paying for expensive repairs in the future. You get what you pay for, so it’s best to invest in a contractor who does high-quality installation work.

To find a high-quality HVAC contractor, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How long have they been in business? If the company has been in business at least 10 years that shows they have a good track record.
  • Are they licensed and insured? A licensed contractor will obey local codes, and an insured contractor will be responsible financially if something goes wrong on the job.
  • Do they give upfront estimates in writing? Nobody likes hidden fees. A written quote eliminates any unwanted surprises when you get the final bill.
  • Do they have good online customer reviews? Check sites like Better Business Bureau, Yelp and Google.

Want a FREE quote to install a ductless AC in your home?

We’re happy to answer any of your questions or help you schedule an appointment with one of our trusted techs.

For more information about what to expect when you hire us, visit our ductless installation page.

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