HVAC Learning Blog
Learn from the experts in ductless mini split systems
HVAC Replacement Cost
Most HVAC systems are built to last for many years, but there will come a time when your entire system needs to be replaced. The cost to replace a heating and cooling system is affected by several factors, but ComfortUp is here to inform our customers about the expenses of HVAC system replacement. Read below to learn more!
WHAT IS A DUCTLESS SYSTEM?
A ductless mini split system consists of one outdoor condenser or compressor connected to one or more indoor air conditioners by copper wires and pipes.
As their name implies, ductless mini splits do not require the extensive ductwork of central HVAC systems. This makes their installation and replacement cost significantly lower because installing ducts is expensive and time-consuming. Ductwork installation can cost anywhere from $3,500 to $7,600, while its replacement can range from $1,200 to $4,200, depending on your home’s size.
According to Energy Star, you should replace your heat pump or air conditioner every ten years, but this number may vary depending on make, model, and maintenance over its life.
Regular cleaning, maintenance, and simple care by the homeowner can extend your HVAC’s system lifespan by several years. Frequent repairs, higher energy costs, and temperature or humidity imbalances in your home are some of the many signs that your HVAC system needs to be replaced. Your system may also be louder than usual during operation.
DUCTLESS MINI SPLIT SYSTEM COST FACTORS
Certain factors impact the costs of replacing an HVAC system, such as the number of indoor units. Ductless mini splits are available in single- and multi-zone systems. A single-zone system features one outdoor unit connected to one indoor unit, while a multi-zone system features one outdoor unit and multiple indoor units.
Some multi-zone systems can have up to eight indoor air conditioners connected to the same condenser. Your system replacement cost will depend on the number of indoor units, as more air conditioners mean a higher installation cost.
Costs also vary across mini split brands. ComfortUp carries Panasonic, LG, Boreal, Mitsubishi, and GREE mini-splits, and each brand offers many different makes and models with different features, components, and ratings.
These factors, among many others, create a wide range of initial price points. For example, units with higher Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) ratings may have a higher upfront cost because they are highly efficient. However, they will save you more money in the long term, quickly offsetting the initial sticker shock.
There are also units designed for rooms of different sizes with different British Thermal Units (BTU). This refers to their cooling capacity, and “larger” mini-splits with higher cooling capacities will likely be more expensive than “smaller” systems.
If your AC unit has both cooling and heating functions, you’ll want to pay attention to a second efficiency rating: the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF).
The HSPF rating is the heating equivalent of the SEER rating; the higher the number, the higher the heating system’s efficiency, contributing to your unit’s initial cost and long-term savings.
Some systems will also require the purchase of additional components and accessories, such as filters and line sets that may slightly increase replacement costs.
You must also factor in professional installation costs. While mini splits can be installed by homeowners, this is not recommended. Not only does it decrease your system’s efficiency and operating capabilities, but many warranties are invalid if your unit was not professionally installed.
AVERAGE INSTALLATION AND REPLACEMENT COSTS
According to price statistics compiled by Home Guide, the average cost of installing a new ductless mini split air conditioner typically ranges between $2,000 and $10,500 with a national average of $5,600 across all unit types.
However, it is critical to understand that the average costs vary significantly depending on the system’s number of zones, model type, and capacity. Additionally, even within a single category, price ranges may still show significant variance due to differences between individual manufacturers, build quality, and unit efficiency. Generally, the more reputable the manufacturer and the more efficient, the higher the system’s cost.
Average costs by zone count
Although multi-zone systems may reach up to eight indoor units, most ductless mini split systems for homes range between one and five zones. The average installation costs by number of zones is as follows:
- Single-zone system: $2,000 to $6,000
- Multi-zone system, dual-zone: $2,500 to $8,000
- Multi-zone system, tri-zone: $3,200 to $10,500
- Multi-zone system, quad-zone: $4,000 to $11,500
- Multi-zone system, penta-zone: $5,500 to $13,000
Average costs by unit form factor
Most mini split indoor units are standard wall-mounted units. They typically feature the lowest price per unit, as they are easy to manufacture and install. Common alternative models include ceiling cassettes, suspended ceiling units, and floor-mounted units.
Here are the average costs by zone and model type:
- Wall-mounted, single-zone: $700 to $1,400
- Wall-mounted, multi-zone: $1,900 to $7,800
- Ceiling cassette, single-zone: $1,800 to $5,800
- Ceiling cassette, multi-zone: $2,600 to $9,900
- Suspended ceiling unit, single-zone: $2,400 to $6,400
- Suspended ceiling unit, multi-zone: $2,400 to $8,000
- Floor-mounted, single-zone: $1,600 to $3,300
- Floor-mounted, multi-zone: $2,700 to $8,000
Average costs by system capacity
The higher your system’s capacity, the larger the room it can effectively cool or heat. For instance, a 9,000 BTU (0.75 ton) unit is suitable for rooms or zones between 300 and 400 ft², whereas a 24,000 BTU (2 ton) system is ideal for areas with 1,200 to 1,600 ft² of space.
Here are the average costs of a mini split system per total capacity (both single- and multi-zones):
- 6,000 BTU (0.5 ton): $450 to $1,600
- 9,000 BTU (0.75 ton): $600 to $2,300
- 12,000 BTU (1 ton): $700 to $3,200
- 18,000 BTU (1.5 ton): $1,000 to $4,200
- 24,000 BTU (2 ton): $1,100 to $5,200
- 30,000 BTU (2.5 ton): $1,600 to $5,700
- 36,000 BTU (3 ton): $1,800 to $6,000
- 42,000 BTU (3.5 ton): $3,000 to $8,000
- Systems intended for areas larger than 3,000 ft² (48,000 to 60,000 BTU, or 4-5 tons): $3,500 to $10,000
BENEFITS OF REPLACING YOUR HVAC SYSTEM
There are several clear benefits of replacing your old HVAC system. A new HVAC unit will operate much more efficiently, which leads to lower energy costs and a reduced environmental impact. It will also make your home or business feel much more comfortable.
Additionally, newer models may come with amenities and features such as smart technologies and temperature cycling that were not offered by your old system.
Don’t wait any longer. Get your HVAC system replaced today with a ductless mini-split from ComfortUp! We have a variety of different systems available, so we can certainly find something to meet your needs.
Our trained product specialists can answer general questions about mini splits and specific questions about budgeting or costs for your situation. Give us a call at 1-855-337-0001 or contact us online today!