Ductless, or mini-split, air conditioners can be a great alternative for those of you who are afraid to bite the bullet and purchase a traditional central air conditioner. Or, maybe your home or garage isn’t routed with duct-work and a central system is out of the question for you. Or, maybe you want to take the next step up from the unsightly window or portable air conditioners that are out there.
Whatever your reason is, a ductless air conditioner will provide you with a quality product that will cool and heat your home, garage, or office. The question now though, is how much do these mini-split systems cost? What can you expect when you begin shopping for one?
First thing’s first, before you purchase or even look at the cost of a portable unit you first need to understand what size unit that you need. If you have already started looking at different products then you may have noticed that each product has what’s called a BTU rating.
BTUs, or British Thermal Units, are the traditional measurement of heat. The more BTUs your air conditioner has the more power it has. Don’t fall into the trap though that bigger is always better. It is always best to find the right sized unit for your needs. If you end up purchasing a product that is much too large for your desired cooling area then you are going to run into unneeded higher energy bills as well as potential hot and cold spots throughout your room due to humidification issues. On the flip side of that, if you purchase a product that is much too small for your room then the system will be running constantly causing you more energy cost at the end of the month. Along with that, you will never truly reach your desired temperature, or if you do, it won’t stay there for long.
In order to find that perfect sized unit you need to figure out how many square feet that you are going to be cooling. This is done rather easily just by measuring the width and length of your room. When you have those numbers you simply multiply them together to get your square footage. Now, there are always considerations that need to be taken into account such as closet space, vaulted ceilings, if the unit will be near the kitchen, etc. Use your best judgement here and if you feel you need to go up a few thousand BTUs then do it.
When you have your square footage you can then calculate the needed BTUs. Most people use the rule of thumb of thirty BTUs per square footage. So, if you have a three-hundred square foot room you will need a nine-thousand BTU system. (300 SF * 30 BTU = 9,000)
Alright folks, so now that we know what size of air conditioner that you need we can begin to give you an estimate on the price you will pay when purchasing a ductless system. As a broad range ductless systems will cost you between five-hundred to fifteen-hundred dollars. Yes, I realize that is a very wide range of price but as we mentioned above, the size of the unit has a big part of that.
One point to mention is that with ductless systems your cost doesn’t end at purchasing the unit. Most likely, you are not a trained HVAC professional and since you are not you will need to pay an installation fee as well. Ductless systems aren’t as easy to install like a window or a portable air conditioner. No, with a ductless mini system you have to mount your air handler into the interior of your home, mount the condenser to the outside of your home, route the refrigerant copper tubing, test for leaks, vacuum out the nitrogen filler, and then charge your system with refrigerant. All of this can get rather complicated and it is best to pay a trained technician to install. Please keep in mind this extra cost when purchasing.
Here at RefrigerantHQ our top product pick is from the Pioneer brand. This brand on Amazon.com offers you models in all different sizes ranging from nine-thousand BTUs upwards to thirty-six thousand BTUs. That means this unit can cool rooms at three-hundred square feet all the way up to twelve-hundred square feet. That’s an impressive range. (Remember to buy the right size BTU for your needs.) Along with that you get the heat pump and electric heater coil option. This is by far the best ductless pick out there right now.
Amazon also offers a professional installation service on this product. You can see this service when you click on the product page, it’s just below the BTU/Sizing models. This is a great service as Amazon will contract out the work to a local professional and they will then contact you to arrange the install. It’s a great way to give some local business some of your money when buying online.