Smaller homes, houses with nonducted heating systems or even stuffy upper stories make good candidates for a ductless air conditioner system. A ductless air conditioner system has two main components: an outdoor compressor/condenser unit and at least one wall-mounted indoor air-handling unit. The air conditioner units are connected by a conduit, which includes the refrigerant tubing and a condensate drain. Unlike ducted AC systems, ductless systems are smaller and allow for more flexible installation options, and they can be easier and less expensive to install. Ductless air conditioners also avoid the energy losses that result from the ductwork of central forced-air systems. The cost to install a ductless air conditioner depends largely on the size of the home and the amount of cooling required, among other factors.
Ductless air conditioning systems range from $1,500 to $2,000 per ton of cooling capacity. For an average 2,000-square-foot home, the cost to purchase the equipment ranges from $1,800 to $7,000, depending on the number of air handlers. In general, the costs are:
One air handler: $1,800
Two air handlers: $2,500
Three air handlers: $3,000
Four air handlers: $3,800 or more
HVAC companies charge different hourly rates for the installation of the equipment, depending on the size of the system.
A ductless air conditioning system should be installed by professional, licensed HVAC companies, such as GMA Air Cooling & Heating in the Bronx, New York, J&J HVAC in Mesa, Arizona, or All Phases Heating and Air in Sacramento, California. The installer will size each indoor unit and determine where to install them for maximum cooling and energy efficiency.
Installing ductless air conditioner equipment usually incurs a few costs in addition to the system itself. The outdoor condenser usually costs less than $100 and must be installed on a poured concrete pad. You might also need to have electrical wiring installed or upgraded to support the system, which requires a 220-volt circuit. Installing a circuit costs between $300 and $800; adding a receptacle to an existing circuit costs between $75 and $250 per hour.