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Mitsubishi Ductless AC Cost

Mitsubishi Ductless AC Cost

Are you planning to replace your old central air conditioner with a newer model? If you’ve spent time studying your options and looking for the most efficient systems on the market, you may have heard about the benefits of ductless mini split systems.

One of the world leaders in air conditioning products is Mitsubishi Electric, recognizable by its red-colored Three Diamonds logo. Mitsubishi Electric manufactures multiple lines of highly successful ductless mini split systems, such as the Mr. Slim product line. Mitsubishi ductless units are among the most sophisticated, technologically advanced, and highly energy-efficient systems of the current generation of mini split systems.

Although comfort and system capabilities are important, the unit cost is the most significant purchasing factor for most customers. Knowing what factors and elements influence the cost of a typical Mitsubishi ductless mini split system will help you make an informed decision and purchase a product that delivers the best value for your money.

If you’re new to mini split air conditioner systems, this article will also detail the information you need to make the right choices.

What Is a Ductless Mini Split System?

A ductless mini split system consists of an outside compressor/condenser unit and either one or multiple indoor evaporator units called air handlers.

These two units are connected by refrigerant lines and a power cabling system that are passed through a small conduit in the wall, which is typically not larger than three inches in diameter.

The indoor air handlers are typically designed to be as functional and unobtrusive as possible, featuring smaller dimensions than window-mounted air conditioners and more, smaller than room air conditioners, and more features than your central AC system’s vents.

They come in different types, depending on your type of installation. Indoor units are available either as wall-mounted, horizontal-ducted, ceiling-cassette, ducted, or floor-mounted. Compared with traditional systems, ductless mini splits are more energy-efficient and advanced in terms of components, functionalities, and features.

Although ductless mini splits are a relatively new air conditioning system in the United States, they have long been a popular comfort solution overseas, especially to homeowners in Asia and Europe.

How mini split zoning works

Each indoor unit of a mini split system corresponds to a zone—a designated area of your house which the indoor unit services, allowing it to control the temperature and atmosphere. However, it is also critical for the indoor unit to have the right capacity for the size of the room.

Here’s a quick breakdown of mini split zoning terms:

  • Single-zone: If you only need air conditioning in a single room, such as a garage, an outdoor shed or workshop, or an apartment, a single-zone mini split system is an ideal choice.
  • Multi-zone: The term multi-zone refers to all mini split systems employing more than one indoor unit. Dual-zone refers to systems with two indoor units, tri-zone indicates three indoor units, quad-zone means four indoor units, and penta-zone is the term used for systems with five indoor units.

Mini split capacity and sizing

The capacity of a mini split AC system is measured using British Thermal Units (BTU), the same unit employed to measure the capacity of a central air conditioner. Although mini split systems can be of any capacity, most models typically range between 6,000 BTU and 48,000 BTU, depending on the number of zones they are intended to cover.

When choosing a mini split system, choosing the right capacity for the size of your rooms is critical to prevent issues. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the best starting point to evaluate your sizing needs is to measure the square footage of each room you intend to cover, then multiply the result by 20 (or, in other words, 20 BTU per square foot).

  • Example: If you are interested in a tri-zone Mitsubishi system for your living room, a primary bedroom, and a children’s bedroom, you’ll need to measure the square footage of each. If the values are respectively 400, 224, and 156, then the total square footage your system needs to cover is 780 square feet. Continuing, 780 multiplied by 20 is 15,600; therefore, the mini split system should feature a capacity of at least 15,600 BTU.

Note that this rule only gives you an ideal BTU value based on room size alone. Additional environmental factors can influence your capacity needs, such as:

  • Room height: Standard square footage calculations do not take the room’s height into account, instead assuming the average room height of eight feet. For each extra foot of ceiling height above eight feet, add 10% BTU for that room.
  • Local climate: Increase your total BTU needs by 20% to 30% if you live in a region with hot (>90°F) and humid summers.
  • Insulation level: If the room you intend to install an indoor unit into has robust insulation, decrease that room’s BTU requirements by 10%. In contrast, if the room is poorly insulated, add 10% to 30%.

Zone-by-Zone Comfort with Mitsubishi Electric Ductless Mini Splits

Mitsubishi Electric’s ductless mini split systems are designed as a zonal comfort system. Officially dubbed as “zoned comfort solutions,” these models are designed for the following applications:

  • Single-zone cooling: A Mitsubishi Electric ductless mini split unit can work as a spot cooling solution for any individual room or uncomfortable spaces with cooling challenges like a garage, attic, basement, sunroom, bonus room, or any type of room addition where ductwork is an issue.
  • Single-zone cooling and heating: A Mitsubishi Electric ductless mini split system works as an ideal air conditioner and heat pump solution for single-room environments that are normally challenging, especially for ducted systems and other traditional cooling and heating systems.
  • Multi-zone cooling and heating: Mitsubishi Electric ductless mini splits can be used to work as a cooling and heating system for multiple zones inside your home. In this configuration, you can connect one outdoor unit to up to eight air handlers. Each of these indoor units will be installed in each room in the house and can be controlled individually and independent of each other, effectively creating a whole-home comfort system that tackles temperature challenges and resolves the comfort needs of every member of your family.

What Influences the Total Cost of a Ductless Mini Split System?

When it comes to the cost of an air conditioner (including installation), it’s not easy to give an exact figure. Many elements, factors, and considerations can influence the total cost of a mini split system.

Basically, the price varies depending on many factors, such as the brand of the system, the type of the unit, the level of efficiency, the features that are included, the unique functionalities that are offered, the quality of integrated technology, the complexity of installation, the number of air handlers to be used, and many others. Here’s a breakdown of the most critical factors:

Manufacturer and brand name

Choosing a trusted manufacturer with a good reputation is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll get your money’s worth. Mitsubishi Electric is one of the world’s leading air conditioner manufacturers, having earned a reputation for producing high-quality mini split systems with the Mr. Slim product line, first introduced in 1978.

Unit type

There are two types of mini split AC unit systems; cooling-only air conditioners and heat pumps, capable of cooling and heating. On average, a heat pump costs more than an equivalent cooling-only system due to the increased mechanical complexity.

Number of zones

The number of indoor air handler units significantly affects the system’s total price. Although all mini split offerings feature only one outdoor compressor unit, most packages possess between one and five indoor units. The more indoor units, the higher the average price of your mini split system.

Efficiency ratings

The energy efficiency of a mini split unit is measured using the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating (SEER.) The higher the number, the more cost- and energy-efficient it is to run. Although better SEER ratings typically translate into slightly increased price tags, they cost significantly less to run in the long term due to the decreased energy consumption, making them a worthwhile investment.

Unit features and options

Even between models of the same manufacturers, each mini split package may possess different features, functionality, and options to help them stand out from the other offerings on the market. The newer and more advanced a product line is, the higher it tends to cost.

Integrated technologies

The more technologically advanced components a mini split system possesses, the more expensive it tends to be. Two examples are the advanced compressor system and the quick-heating technology.

Most Mitsubishi Electric mini split systems feature technologies allowing their products to operate efficiently even under extreme temperatures, making them an excellent choice if you live in an area where the average summer temperature frequently exceeds 90°F.

Complexity of installation

The installation costs of your mini split system vary depending on the layout of your home. The most significant factors affecting installation costs are the number of rooms and the overall size of your home.

How Much Does a Mitsubishi Electric Ductless Mini Split System Cost?

The cost of Mitsubishi Electric air conditioning products ranges the full spectrum of prices, meaning there is a mini split system for all needs and budgets.

For instance, the lowest-priced Mitsubishi ductless mini split units are typically single-zone models designed for small rooms, such as 6,000 BTU units. Such products typically cost less than $1,000.

The highest-priced models are penta-zone heat pump systems designed for large homes. Such systems have a capacity of 42,000 BTU and cost at least $8,500 and can go over $10,000.  Most Mitsubishi products fall in between these two extremes. 

How Much Would It Cost to Install a Mitsubishi Ductless Mini Split System?

The primary factor influencing the installation costs of a mini split system is the complexity of your house’s layout. Generally speaking, the more effort and labor required, the more personnel and work hours will be needed to complete the installation process.

Other factors can also affect the final installation costs, such as the size and number of your targeted individual spaces. These factors determine the system’s size and the number of indoor units you need. If you’re looking for a small, single-room installation, then what you need is just a standard 1:1 system. This pertains to one outdoor unit for one indoor air handler and a line set with average length.

Most homeowners’ installation expenditures fall at or near the statistical averages. According to the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), the installation costs of a typical 1:1 single-family mini split home system is approximately $4,192.

Note that Mitsubishi Electric was one of the participating manufacturers in this project, along with other HVAC and utility providers. The same study concluded that the average installation cost, when conducted by a manufacturer-certified Master Installer, is $4,208. With other non-certified installers, the average cost is just $3,864 but comes without the manufacturer’s guarantee of quality.

Essential differences between single-zone and multi-zone setups

Mitsubishi officially estimated that a new unit intended for a single-zone application costs more or less $3,000 to $15,000. This mark-up may still change depending on the cost of labor, supporting materials, and other accessories.

The required 240V outlet, for example, may cost you around $200 to $1,000, the equipment pad priced at $50 to $300, and you can throw in $200 to $300 for every wall-mounted thermostat controller if you need a few of them aside from the standard handheld wireless controller.

If you’re looking to install a multi-zone system in your house, the average installation costs increase depending on the number of indoor air units your system possesses. Each additional indoor unit increases the installation time and subsequent costs.

On average, a qualified team of installation technicians should require no more than two to four hours for a single-zone setup. In contrast, complex multi-zone systems can take up to two days of work.

Additional factors

If your home is significantly large, your installer may recommend laying longer refrigerant lines, further increasing installation costs. Using the NEEA study and supported by its own data, Mitsubishi Electric provided an estimate for a multi-zone system installation.

According to the company, on average and for each zone, you should expect to pay at least $4,000 to $5,500. The average estimate for a whole-home comfort solution starts at a minimum of $4,000 up to a maximum cost of $20,000.

Note that the cost estimates vary depending on the size and capacity of your system, your home’s age and insulation level, and the quantity and length of the system’s refrigerant and power lines.

If your installation professionals are replacing an older or outdated air conditioning system, expect the total time and costs to increase further. In rarer situations, installing your new mini split system may require the intervention of additional contractors and specialists, such as electricians or carpenters.

Ultimately, it is up to the contractors you choose to provide you with an accurate cost estimate of their services. Don’t hesitate to provide them with as many details as possible when asking them for a quote, as it will help them determine the total installation costs with more precision.

Looking for a Mitsubishi Ductless Air Conditioner? Visit ComfortUp

Once you are ready to install your Mitsubishi Ductless Mini Split System, you have two options: The first is to hire one of your local HVAC contractors. Alternatively, look for one of the Diamond Contractors recommended and certified by Mitsubishi Electric. The latter option will give you the benefit of having your system installed by professionals with specialized knowledge of Mitsubishi systems. Additionally, it makes you eligible for an exclusive 12-year warranty coverage for your system parts and compressor, giving you additional peace of mind.

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