Thinking about ditching the ductwork? Whether you need a new air conditioning system or simply want better climate control, a ductless (or mini-split) AC system could be your solution. But if you’re looking into getting a ductless AC, you might be wondering how much you’ll wind up paying.
In Tucson, the price of installing a ductless AC can range anywhere from $4,000 - $7,000+. Your ductless AC installation cost depends on a number of cost factors, including:
Cost Factor #1: Home size
To understand how home size influences your installation costs, let’s take a step back and go into how ductless AC systems work.
A mini-split AC system uses both outdoor and indoor units to circulate cool air in a space. The indoor unit, or air handler, blows cool air into the room it’s installed in. You need multiple air handlers if you want more than one area in your home cooled (e.g., living room, bedroom, etc.).
What about outdoor units? How many of those do you need? Because one outdoor unit can generally power up to eight air handlers, you may only need one.
So, when considering how your home’s size will impact your ductless AC installation costs, the main question you want to ask is: How many rooms do I want cooled?
The more rooms you want cooled, the more air handlers you’ll need—which drives up your installation costs. You’ll want to work with your contractor to identify which rooms may need air handlers.
Cost Factor #2: Unit specifics
Your mini-split AC installation costs also depend on what kind of unit you’re going with. There are a number of reputable brands on the market (e.g., York, Rheem, Trane, etc.), as well as system models with varying costs.
When it comes to the ductless AC system itself, there are a few factors that can drive up the price:
- Energy efficiency: What is the unit’s SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)? The higher the SEER (generally ranging from 14 - 25+), the more efficient—and expensive—the unit.
- Advanced features: Do you want extras like a WiFi module or additional fan speeds? As you add features to your unit wishlist, you’ll likely start seeing prices go up.
- Warranties: Should you go with a standard or extended warranty on the unit? If you want to cover the repair or replacement cost of your ductless AC system for an extended period of time, you need to foot the bill now.
Like any investment, you should consider costs and benefits beyond the initial installation expense. For example, energy-efficient systems may cost more upfront, but they can reduce your monthly electricity bills.
Before you get overwhelmed by your options, don’t panic. Your contractor can help you determine which units best meet your specific needs.
Learn more about SEER ratings by reading our blog: “14 vs 16 vs 18 SEER: Which AC Rating Is Best for Your Tucson Home?”
Cost Factor #3: Who you hire
You probably guessed that another factor going into your ductless AC installation cost is who you hire. After all, it’s not likely that two different contractors are going to charge you the exact same price—and give you the exact same service.
When you hire someone to install a ductless AC system in your home, you’re paying for the cost of the system as well as the contractor’s labor, experience and skills.
To avoid future installation-related issues, you need someone who knows what they’re doing. It can be tempting to go with a contractor with the “lowest prices,” but there may be a reason for the cost difference (e.g., inexperience).
When shopping around for an HVAC professional, here are a few questions you might want to ask potential contractors to gauge their reliability:
- Do you provide a free, no-obligation estimate for my specific needs?
- Are you licensed and insured in Arizona?
- What kind of mini-split AC brands do you offer?
- Do you offer any warranties or guarantees on labor? This is separate from unit warranties.
- What kind of measures do you take to protect my walls and floors during installation?
Also, keep an eye out for the contractor’s reputation and credibility. What kind of experience have other customers had? Does the contractor tidy up when they’re finished installing the ductless AC?
If applicable, look on the contractor’s business website to see if they encourage you to leave reviews or complete surveys. And look for an “About Us” section on their website to see how transparent they are about their experience and the work they do.
Although going with an experienced and licensed contractor may result in higher costs compared to an inexperienced and unlicensed contractor, they may offer discounts—especially if you need the work during an off-season. Ask about any upcoming deals and specials on ductless AC installations.
Ready to go ductless? Contact Advantage Air Mechanical
When you’re ready to install a ductless AC in Tucson, go with someone you trust. For a seamless installation process from start to finish, Advantage Air Mechanical’s team of HVAC professionals has you covered.
We begin with a free in-home visit to identify your unique needs before installing your brand-new ductless AC system. And with over 30 years of experience, rest assured we’ll work with you to get you the cooling power you need and the deals you want. Contact us today to get started!