A mini split with one air handler costs around $4,000 installed. The price increases as you add more air handlers to treat more parts of your home. A whole-home system costs around $17,000, and there are rebates available.
Ductless mini splits are becoming more and more popular in Elgin, Barrington, Carpentersville, and other towns in the Fox River Valley. It’s easy to understand why.
These systems offer more precise and customizable heating and cooling than traditional forced-air furnaces and central air systems using ductwork and vents.
The heating and cooling through a ductless system feels better, too. You don’t get the temperature swings or hot and cold spots in various rooms. And, they cost less to run, which saves you a lot of money on utility bills throughout the system’s life.
However, you will pay more upfront than for a traditional HVAC setup. That cost varies greatly depending on several factors.
As a result, we can’t tell you exactly what you’ll pay for your system. But, we can help you anticipate the cost with this article. We’ll go over:
If you have any questions about a ductless installation in your Fox River Valley home or business, call Compass Heating and Air at (630) 504-8688.
There are three main components to a ductless mini split. Since you can choose between different models, which affects the price, we’ll outline them here.
The air handler is the indoor unit that heats or cools the room, or zone, where it’s located. Each one draws in the air from the room, adds or removes heat from it, and then recirculates it.
The line set includes the power supply cables for each unit and the refrigerant lines that travel from the heat pump to each air handler.
The heat pump is the outdoor unit for the heat transfer process. In the summer, it removes the heat in your home. Then, it draws in warmth from outside, amplifies, and sends it into your home in the winter.
The refrigerant carries heat from one unit to another. This is why you don’t need ductwork: the system moves heat, not air.
Finally, the line set includes a condensate drain line. It’s a tube that drains water from the air handler when the system dehumidifies your home in the summer.
You can choose from heat pumps and air handlers that accommodate anything from making one room in your home more comfortable in the summer to upgrading the heating and cooling throughout the house for the entire year.
The first question is whether you want your new system to handle both heating and cooling. Traditionally, heat pumps were alternatives to air conditioners: They were excellent at removing heat from a house to cool it. But, at best, they could provide a little bit of heating.
Now, however, the strongest heat pumps on the market keep running to keep your home warm even when it’s negative 13 degrees F outside.
However, those models cost more than ones that will only provide heat when the temperature is above freezing.
You still have the choice of a heat pump that primarily cools. With those models, you can delay turning on your furnace for a few weeks in the fall and turn it off sooner at the end of winter.
That saves you money, as the heat pump uses less energy than a gas or propane furnace.
Or, you can opt for a model that works through the winter.
These are the most common air handlers: Long and rectangular, and they sit high on the wall near the ceiling. They can consistently heat and cool even large spaces like open-floor plans or rooms with high ceilings.
These larger units sit on the floor against the wall. They work well in rooms without space on the wall or if you want to keep the system out of sight. You’ll feel their effects sooner since they’re closer to your body. But, they do take up more space.
These models are out of sight and are excellent for larger spaces. They fit inside your ceiling, so all you see is a vent that’s flush with the ceiling. However, they’re more expensive and take longer to install.
You’ve decided if you want your mini split to provide year-round comfort or mostly cooling with some heat during the shoulder seasons. And, you have an idea of what models you want. The last factors that affect the price are:
Do you want to treat one room, an entire floor, or the whole house? This question makes the most impact on the cost because the price goes up significantly for each indoor unit.
Most homes need four to six air handlers to treat the entire house. And, you can fit up to eight air handlers on a heat pump. And you can add a second heat pump if necessary.
Most air handlers have dozens of airflow patterns that allow them to circulate air around some walls or near the floor in a room with a cathedral ceiling. But, if you have a lot of closed-off rooms or multiple bedrooms, each of those zones may need separate air handlers.
You also have the option of a short-ducted run. That’s when one air handler runs small ducts and vents to a few rooms at once. But, you can’t change the temperature in each of these rooms individually because they’re all running from the same air handler.
We know you’ll find much cheaper prices for mini splits online than what we’ve quoted here. But, that doesn’t include installation. And, no, it’s not a good idea to do it yourself.
You may think we’re only saying that because we want your business. And while we do, the truth is that there are quite a few risks involved with doing this yourself. While the process is straightforward, the devil’s in the details. A wrong move could mean never getting the comfort you want, paying way more than you should for electricity, or even risking injury.
First, you need to know what size units you need. That’s primarily based on your home’s square footage: How strong a system needs to be to cover that ground. But, your home’s layout, insulation, even the quality of the windows and where the sun shines the most, all factor in.
A system that’s too strong or too weak will never provide the right amount of comfort. And, it breaks down often and doesn’t last as long as it should.
Next, you need to know precisely where to mount each air handler. A certified expert understands the airflow patterns and what will work best in any layout. Putting a unit in the wrong place can result in hot and cold spots — just what you’re looking to avoid with your new system.
And, there’s the risk of units falling off the wall if they’re not mounted properly. That can result in a broken air handler, damaged furniture, and even injury. There’s also the risk that comes with DIY electrical work.
Finally, read the fine print on a mini split from any manufacturer: You void the warranty by installing it yourself. Unless you have documentation that a licensed and certified contractor put in your system, the manufacturer won’t help at all if there’s a problem down the line.
Consider the “extra” cost of having a professional install the system versus what you’ll pay later in extra repairs, higher bills, and maybe even a new system years before you should need one. The better financial choice is having a licensed contractor with a good reputation do the work.
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a mini split for your home, and Compass Heating and Air is here to help! Over the past decade, we’ve built our excellent reputation as the ductless experts in Elgin, IL, Barrington, East Dundee, and other towns in the Fox River Valley. Click below or call today to schedule your free consultation.