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How Much Does it Cost to Install a Ductless AC in Irvine?

The cost to install a ductless AC system in Irvine can range anywhere from $4,000 to over $7,500. Note: This is the estimated price range to install a single outdoor unit alongside a single indoor unit.

In the market for a ductless AC system yourself and wondering what your specific project might cost? We’ll help you get a better idea by exploring the main 4 factors that affect the price of a ductless AC installation.

The following 4 factors will impact the cost of your mini-split AC installation the most:

  1. The efficiency of the ductless unit(s)
  2. The number of indoor units you need
  3. The available specials or deals
  4. The quality of the contractor you hire

Let’s dive deeper into each of the factors above.

Table of Contents

Want a down-to-the-penny quote on the cost to install a ductless AC in your home? Just contact the professionals at True Home for a free in-home consultation.

Cost factor #1: The efficiency of the ductless unit(s)

Ductless units with higher energy-efficiency cost more upfront, but they use less energy to cool your home. This efficiency saves you money in the long run via lower monthly electricity bills.

You can determine the efficiency of a particular ductless system by looking at its SEER rating. SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and is basically a measurement of the system’s cooling output divided by its energy consumption.

The higher the SEER rating, the more energy-efficient the ductless unit will be. Most residential ductless units range from 21 to 30 SEER.

Choosing a SEER rating for your ductless unit requires finding the right balance between the upfront cost of your system and the energy savings you’ll see over the lifetime of the unit. Before choosing a high-SEER AC, you should consult with a certified HVAC contractor to see if the potential energy savings will pay for the higher installation cost of the unit.

Cost factor #2: The number of indoor units you need

The more indoor units you need, the more expensive the overall cost of the installation will be.

We’ll explain.

A ductless system consists of one outdoor unit and at least one indoor unit (pictured below). However a single outdoor unit can power/attach to up to 8 indoor units.

The indoor and outdoor units of a ductless (mini-split) AC system

One indoor unit is designed to cool one “zone” (a single room or small space). The more zones you want to be cooled, the more indoor units you’ll need.

Let’s say you want 4 separate spaces in your home cooled: your garage, guest room, kitchen and laundry room. In that case, you’d need 4 indoor units and at least one outdoor unit. (Reminder: one outdoor unit can support up to 8 indoor units. However, if the zones you want to be cooled are far apart from each other, you may need more than one outdoor unit.)

If you’re unsure about how many indoor/outdoor units you’ll need, don’t worry. The HVAC contractor you work with will help you determine exactly how many units you need based on the areas of your home that need to be cooled.

Cost factor #3: The available specials or deals

Some AC manufacturers offer special promotions, reducing the cost of their ductless systems. Similarly, many HVAC contractors offer seasonal deals that lower the cost of labor to install a ductless AC.

If you can take advantage of these specials or deals, you’ll pay less for your ductless air conditioner.

We recommend asking your HVAC contractor if any brands are offering discounts on equipment or if the contractor is offering any seasonal promotions. As a general rule-of-thumb, most contractors will offer promotions in the off-season (fall and winter) when demand for new air conditioners is lower.

Note: True Home is a Lennox Premier Dealer, which means we can offer exclusive promotions on Lennox equipment to our customers.

Cost factor #4: The quality of the contractor

Besides the promotions a particular contractor offers, you’ll also want to consider the overall quality of the contractor.

Simply put, some contractors do more thorough installation work than others. These higher-quality contractors often charge a little more for their labor, but they don’t cut corners and their skillset/experience typically means the installation work itself is higher-quality, which makes the AC equipment last longer and perform more efficiently.

So how do you tell a higher-quality HVAC contractor from a subpar contractor?

A high-quality contractor will

  1. Have a valid, California-issued license to install air conditioning systems
  2. Provide proof of insurance, in case something goes wrong on the job
  3. Offer solid guarantees and warranties on their installation services
  4. Give upfront pricing (in writing) before any work begins
  5. Have good customer reviews on sites like Google and HomeAdvisor (beware of any contractor that has a large number of negative reviews)

If the contractor meets the above criteria, chances are they are higher-quality and will install your ductless AC system correctly the first time.

Want a quote to install a ductless AC system in your home?

At True Home, our project managers take the time to understand your cooling needs and perform the necessary SEER calculations before recommending a ductless AC. That way, you end up with a system that perfectly fits your home and your budget.

For more information about what you can expect from the True Home experience, visit our ductless installation service page.