The Cost of Ductless HVAC Systems

The reality of having to drill only a tiny hole to install a fully functional Heating, Ventilation, and Cooling system is the reason why ductless HVACs have gained so much popularity in many parts of the world. There’s absolutely no need for tiresome duct networks.

It’s a simple linkup of air-conditioning equipment with a wall-mounted indoor unit that distributes heated or cooled air to a room and an outdoor compressing unit that sucks in the air and conditions it. They are also called split units because they consist of separate units that handle water heating, air cooling, and air transmitting. Ductless HVACs are versatile because you could either opt for single-zone or multi-zone variations. In the former, one indoor unit is attached to one outdoor unit and can only supply conditioned air to a specific area. However, in multi-zoned units, one outdoor unit controls several indoor units and they can all be separately regulated as desired.

The ductless HVAC market has enjoyed exponential growth in the past two decades, and recently, in the last six years, it’s been selling better than baseboard systems and window units.

What are the Benefits?

Obviously, you don’t have to worry about those annoying ducts! Duct channels are not only stressful to install if they don’t come with the house, but they are also a headache to maintain. They’d require periodic cleaning (which is not an easy or cheap task) and occasional replacement to maintain the quality of the air they transport.

Ductless HVACs are easier to install. An expert may spend an entire day or even days working with other types of systems, but with ductless HVACs, an hour is enough to drill one tiny hole in the wall, link the outer unit to the inner unit, do the electrical connections, and set things up. Ductless HVACs are less prone to air leakages, perforations, and reduced delivery over time when compared to ducted systems. Ductless HVACs provide units that can be separately controlled and regulated to desired temperatures. You do not have just the sole option of shutting a vent.

They are also more energy-efficient. A professionally installed split unit system with no gas leakages would save at least 25% more energy than duct-dependent systems. If you’re using a single-one HVAC, you’d essentially be paying far less for more energy in the long run.

What is the Cost of a Ductless Heating and Cooling System?

On average, these systems are typically more expensive than central HVACs systems. However, some are pretty budget-friendly according to size, power output, brand, and model.

Below is a run-down of some of the average prices of different classifications and units:

Single-zone Systems

Single-zone systems with only one indoor unit could cost about $1,900 to $7,500, depending on the brand and sophistication of the entire equipment. Some of the cheapest ones could go below the lower point for as cheap as $799. This would be a pretty small unit but with a reasonable output nonetheless.

Multi-zone Systems

Multi-zone systems with about 2-4 indoor units and one outdoor unit could range from $6,600-$10,500. For extra-large enterprise multi-zone systems with 5 indoor units and above, you could spend anywhere between $9,250 and $15,500.

These prices include the units and all the required installation accessories such as line sets, adapters, connecting wires, drain tubing, condenser pads, installation kits, and so on. The cost of installation of a ductless HVAC would vary massively according to city and labor rates. However, single-zone systems could cost about $300-$500 for full installation. Multi-zone systems come in the range of $700 to about $5000 (for multiple indoor units and more complex electrical circuitry).

How Would You be Saving by Opting for a Ductless Heating and Cooling System?

The upfront costs may seem a bit outrageous and discouraging at first, but in the long run, opting for a ductless HVAC system allows you to save more for better value. Obviously, you wouldn’t have to spend so much on duct maintenance costs every now and then. Duct networks are prone to leakages, dust and mold accumulation, and the occasional replacement. Split units are usually just prone to compressor gas leakages if they were not properly installed the first time. Also, ductless HVACs are far easier and cheaper to install. Sometimes, the funds spent on the installation of ducted HVACs would close the gap between the two classes.

The most important advantage is the energy-saving factor of the ductless HVACs. You can easily maintain every space fitted with an indoor unit with its own temperature or turn it off entirely when it’s not in use. Unlike ducted systems that consume about 25% of all produced energy with little regulation besides vents, ductless systems allow everyone to have control of their own air conditioning unit.

Ductless HVACs may be pricey at first glance, but in the long run, you’d be saving a lot more and getting the best out of your heating and cooling system.