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Old 06-01-2020, 04:11 PM   #1
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A/C mini split - approximate cost?


Hi DIY-ers. I've been researching mini split systems and for just under 1000 sq ft I am seeing 3 zone prices in the range of 10K. I've looked at Fijitsu as well as York. I thought the first estimate was way too high, but estimate 2 is right in that same area +10K.
Thats with 1x12K BTU and 2x9K BTU.

Before I get into the DIY part, did anyone investigate not DIY a mini split and see comparable prices?

Thanks
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Old 06-01-2020, 05:51 PM   #2
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Re: A/C mini split - approximate cost?


Hvac is much to regional, and site specific, to quote pricing online.
What it may cost me is not what it’ll cost you.
Regions have different costs.
Companies have different pricing structures.
Equipment has different supply chains.
You need to investigate proper sizing. 2.5 tons for under 1000 square feet? That’s excessive. Even with an inverter mini.

Last edited by roughneck; 06-01-2020 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 06-02-2020, 04:08 AM   #3
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Re: A/C mini split - approximate cost?


Thanks roughneck. Yeah, I wasn't looking for anything exact, just was wondering if that seemed as excessive as I thought. If it matters, the 1000 sq ft is broken into 5 rooms, btw. 120 and 350 sq ft each. House is old, no insulation in walls that I am aware of. A 12K BTU window unit is able to do half the area, with help of a fan.
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:59 AM   #4
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Re: A/C mini split - approximate cost?


Like car insurance, impossible to compare prices with other people.


For a traditional system I was getting quotes on a 2 1/2 or 3 ton system from $4000 - $8000. Price varied so much due to replacing ductwork or not and incompetence of estimator. I started to call them drive by estimates, 3 tons, $4000 was the average. For minis the price was in the $10,000 to $12,000 range.


I did a DIY mini, I am retired and spent many hours on the internet researching proper installation and spent hundreds of dollars on tools.
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Old 06-02-2020, 01:19 PM   #5
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Re: A/C mini split - approximate cost?


If the system will be primarily used for heating in a colder climate, it makes sense to size for that.

Otherwise, size for cooling.
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Old 06-03-2020, 03:58 PM   #6
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Re: A/C mini split - approximate cost?


I just bought a 36k mini split for my home (~1,800ft2), however, I only intend to use it for A/C and backup heat. I did quite a bit of research and wound up spending just over $4,500 for an LG system (due to the wifi and smart features), that included the main unit (36k BTU), 2 of the Art Mirror 12k BTU wall units, and an 18K BTU ceiling cassette unit (w/grille). Also an additional wifi unit (for the ceiling unit, included in the wall units).

I did an itemized breakdown of costs for materials and tools (line sets, line set covers, power lines, etc.) and wound up hiring an electrician for the 220 installation and hookup. Also hired an HVAC person to charge the lines (165ft).

Total cost of materials and labor, including taxes, $5,832. Note that there is a $300 Tax incentive potentially, however, you will need to use a certified HVAC company (I think) to qualify for that. I have a detailed breakdown of the costs if it would help. I did build a custom Trex/PT mount for the outdoor unit, however, I did not include those costs.
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Old 06-04-2020, 03:47 AM   #7
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Re: A/C mini split - approximate cost?


Thanks Silverone. Bigger home, smaller system. So far only 2 brands were put in front of me. Fijitsu and York. I know the York company also deals in Mitsubishi, which from what I understand is one of the most expensive, so at this point I don't even want to see a quote for those.

Something just seems off here. As I mentioned earlier, a $300 12K BTU window unit *almost* does the job, thought that comes with some annoying baggage. (need fan on floor in middle of house to push the air further, the unit is huge and sitting inside a brand new window overlooking my yard, .... etc). But if I plop down $10K more, I can do other half of house. I know I am simplifying that, as there are way more benefits than baggage with the splits.
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Old 06-04-2020, 06:52 AM   #8
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Re: A/C mini split - approximate cost?


Quote:
Originally Posted by gc07460 View Post
Something just seems off here. As I mentioned earlier, a $300 12K BTU window unit *almost* does the job, thought that comes with some annoying baggage. (need fan on floor in middle of house to push the air further, the unit is huge and sitting inside a brand new window overlooking my yard, .... etc). But if I plop down $10K more, I can do other half of house. I know I am simplifying that, as there are way more benefits than baggage with the splits.
I totally understand. Usually, I lug out 3x 8000 BTU units (and 3 smaller ones for the upstairs bedrooms). I thought about just getting brand new inverter window units, but frankly, I hate lugging the things around and storing them - plus, they block the views during the summer. Ultimately, its the efficiency (SEER 20.5 for the LG), the fact that it will increase home value, and the heat backup should we have a furnace issue in the dead of winter. However, if I had them installed for $12k or so, I don't think the cost would have met the benefit (for me and my specific situation). Also note that, at least with the units I got, they have built-in oscillating blowers to distribute the air and they are all much higher (vertically) than a window unit, which should help distribute the cold air better.

Best of luck!
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Old 06-04-2020, 07:09 AM   #9
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Re: A/C mini split - approximate cost?


With the sizing confusion, it doesn’t have to be an unknown. A load calculation should have been done to determine what size equipment you need.
www.loadcalc.net
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:14 AM   #10
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Re: A/C mini split - approximate cost?


Small 1000 sf home?
5 bedrooms?
Primarily for cooling purposes?
Go with window units.
Smaller investment, probably lower elec bill, and you don't need to cool unoccupied rooms, even if you need upgraded wiring.
The mini split cost is fine, the labor cost is not.
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