The cost of a new heating and air conditioning system varies widely. This guide covers all the details including Low, High, and Average costs, plus the important details about installation and accessories.
Most homeowners spend between $7,500 and $13,500 for a standard central HVAC system that includes either a central air conditioner and furnace combination or a heat pump and air handler, not including the installation of new ductwork.
For an installed central heating and cooling system, you can expect to pay about $6,500 on the low end and more than $18,500 for premium equipment and installation.
Let’s dig into the numbers. The first table covers complete systems. Tables below provide more cost detail and comparison to other heating and air conditioning options.
Standard Split HVAC System Costs:
$6,600 to $7,500
$7,500 to $13,500
$13,500 to $18,500
* The above costs include system components, refrigerant line set and refrigerant, plenum, if needed, new thermostat and miscellaneous installation supplies.
* The cost of equipment, liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance and travel, contractor’s overhead expenses, plus fair profit are included.
The 10 best ductless mini split heat pumps in single zone and multi-zone categories are listed below to provide you with the information to make the right buying decision. We won’t steer you wrong with our expert picks – these are outstanding systems you can customize to perfectly fit your requirements.
What else is here?
This mini split buying guide includes costs, features, pros and cons, and the installation/use that will give you the best return on investment (ROI) for each model.
First, we’ll give you some information on mini split heat pump systems. If you’re good to go on the what’s and why’s, then jump down to our top 10 ductless mini split system list and reviews. On the other hand, if you’re thinking through ductless mini split vs. standard split system heat pumps, the upfront information will be of use.
What is a Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump System?
A ductless mini split HVAC system includes two main component types. The first is the outdoor unit called a condensing unit. It contains the compressor which cycles refrigerant through the system to move heat from one location to another – either into or out of your living space.
The second type of equipment is one or more indoor air handlers. The air handlers are connected to the outdoor condenser by refrigerant lines, a power cable and a condensation drain line.
Mini Split Sizes: Outdoor condensing units are available in 9k to 60k BTUs. The one you choose will depend primarily on the amount of space you need to heat and cool but also the layout of your home, how well your home is insulated and your climate.
Single vs Multi-zone Systems: A single zone system, meaning it has one air handler, can be used in a single room, apartment, small home with an open floor plan, or a converted attic or garage. They are ideal for cottages and cabins too.
A multi-zone system, a system supporting two to eight air handlers, can be used to heat and cool an entire home or other building with clearly defined rooms/zones.
Did you know? Air handlers, the indoor units, are available in 9k to 30k BTUs.
Each indoor air handler is installed in a specific area or room, referred to as zones, and all handlers are connected to the outdoor unit. Each air handler can be independently controlled with a thermostat or remote. Your HVAC contractor can help you decide where to place the air handlers to provide the most effective and energy-efficient layout.
Can the total capacity of the air handlers/indoor units exceed the capacity of the condensing unit?Yes, it can, but it should not exceed it by more than about 15%. For example, if you need a 36,000 BTU condensing unit for a three-zone installation, the easiest choice would be three 12,000 BTU air handlers for a total of 36,000 BTU.
But if one of the zones is larger, installing a 15,000 BTU air handler (9% over capacity) or 18,000 BTU (16% over capacity) air handler in that zone would be acceptable. Just keep in mind that you’ll still only get 36,000 BTU of heating and cooling across the multiple zones.
This is where the thermostats for each zone come in very handy. Reduce the heating/cooling in a zone not being used, so you have sufficiently warm or air-conditioned air in occupied areas.
How a Ductless Mini Split System Works
A mini split provides heat, air conditioning, dehumidification, and the flow of fresh, filtered air.
When the mini split is in air conditioning mode, the air handler pulls the warm air from inside your home over cold evaporator coils where heat is absorbed by the refrigerant. The heated refrigerant is pumped outside where it disperses the heat. The cooled air is sent back into the living space.
When the system is in heating mode, the refrigerant absorbs heat from outside and brings it inside where it is released in the coil in the air handler. It is then blown into the room. Due to the thermodynamic properties of refrigerant, heat can be absorbed from the air in outside temperatures as low as 20 F below zero.
However, as the outside temperature sinks, your mini split heat pump will lose efficiency and effectiveness. Still, the physics of refrigerants are very impressive!
Average Cost To Install Ductless AC (Mini-Split)Typical Range: $2,870 - $4,380
Updating or remodeling your kitchen can be a great investment of your home improvement dollars, especially if you plan to sell your home in the next few years.
Remodeling this center-stage space of family gatherings can further enhance its functionality and utility, enabling you to enjoy the heart of your home to the fullest.
Here are some of the top kitchen remodeling ideas for the year, along with their expected costs and pros and cons of each update.
1. Low-budget Remodel – Do It Yourself can be a Viable Approach here
A kitchen remodel can be done on a shoe-string budget. Just update one part at a time as the budget allows. You can do some or all the work yourself, in some cases, if you are handy and have the necessary time and desire to get your hands dirty. 😉
Otherwise, an investment of $20,000-$30,000 will buy a minor kitchen remodel completed by a professional remodeling contractor but doing some of the work yourself can also bring that price down quite a bit. A minor kitchen remodel could include, but doesn’t have to be limited to the following:
Replacing outdated appliances with new, more energy-efficient appliances
Even a new laminate countertop, which is fairly inexpensive, can make a huge difference. Decide what needs to be done, figure out the cost and have that one part done, or do it yourself, when your paycheck can cover it. — This remodeling approach could take a while, but eventually, you’ll have a beautifully updated kitchen and won’t be too broke to buy groceries. 😉
A minor kitchen remodel will give you an average ROI or recouped value of investment of about 72%. Thus, a minor $26,214 kitchen remodel should add about $19,500 to the value of your home.
2. Refinish the Cupboards
Give your kitchen a face-lift by refinishing the cupboards and drawer fronts instead of replacing them. New pulls and knobs will complete the look. This is fairly inexpensive, and you will be amazed at the difference it makes. You can save even more money by doing it yourself but, be forewarned, it is not as easy as it seems.
If the cupboards are in good shape and do not have lots of grooves or intricate carving, it is pretty straightforward. The job will take time, elbow grease and paint that costs about $35 to $65 per gallon, plus $15 to $55 for new pulls and knobs.
However, the cupboards will almost certainly look better if you have the refinishing done professionally. Plan to pay between $2,500 and $7,500, depending on the number of cabinets and how much repair needs to be done. The average cost is around $5,500.
Investing $3,000 in cupboards will add about $2,500 to the value of your home.
3. Reface those Cabinets
Have the cabinets refaced instead of replacing them if the doors and fronts are too damaged to refinish or if you just want a completely new look. This must be done by a professional.
It generally costs between $2,500 and $15,500, depending on the extent of the work. When cupboards are refaced, the doors, drawer fronts and the actual veneer or wood finish on the outside of the cupboards is replaced. There are a few up-sides to refacing, as opposed to replacing:
Refacing costs less.
You regain the use of your kitchen more quickly.
You don’t have to deal with the hassle of new cupboards that don’t fit.
Even though this option is more expensive than refinishing, it will be worth it if your cupboards are old and outdated. They will look brand new.
The ROI for a $5,000 refacing will be about $4,000 and a big wow factor that you get to enjoy every time you go into the kitchen.
4. Refinish Walls
New paint or wallpaper, along with the refinished cupboards, will leave your kitchen looking fresh and brand new. You can do this yourself, of course, or hire a professional.
If you hire a professional to paint, plan on spending between $1,500 and $3,500, depending on the size of the room. Having wallpaper installed by a professional will generally cost between $750 and $2,500. Doing it yourself is much cheaper but painting or hanging wallpaper in between the cupboards can be tricky.
This minor investment may not give you much in the way of ROI but it will probably help sell your home more quickly. Think of this as curb appeal for your kitchen.
5. Replace Flooring
Replace your kitchen flooring with cork or vinyl tiles. These materials are inexpensive and easy to put down yourself in most kitchens.
Cork tiles cost around $4.00 to $8.50 per square foot for materials/supplies and installation, while vinyl tiles are $3.50 to $6.50 per sq.ft. for good quality vinyl tiles and supplies and installation. There are some pros and cons to consider here.
Easy DIY project in most kitchens.
Not usually a very long-lasting flooring, although some come with a 25-year warranty.
Existing flooring may need to be removed or underlayment might be required.
New flooring makes a big difference. The floor is the largest surface area in your kitchen and the first thing you see before you even enter the room.
The ROI on $500 worth of new flooring won’t add to your home value but it will make a big impression on prospective buyers.
6. Mid-Range Kitchen Remodel
Larger, total kitchen remodels generally cost between $45,000 and $75,000 and entail a complete tear-out of the old… well, everything. Consider all possibilities and come up with a plan before the work begins.
Give plenty of thought to what works best for you in addition to what materials you want. Keep in mind that this room must be built for function, not just aesthetics.
Let your intentions guide your remodeling plans. Return on investment for kitchens is generally only 60 to 80 percent, although this varies considerably from area to area. — This means you will likely only recoup a little over half to three-quarters of what you invest in most locations.
It may, however, help your house sell more quickly. If you are remodeling to sell, keep the colors and materials on the neutral side. A prospective buyer may be turned off by too much bright purple.
The national average ROI on a minor kitchen remodel is 80.2% but in Chicago it is 102.9%. You should only expect to recoup about 55% to 65% of the cost on a major remodel.
7. Small Kitchen Planning
Even though a small kitchen may seem like an easier remodel than a large kitchen, you actually may need to get a bit more creative. Small kitchens can be difficult.
Rip out the old cupboards and appliances in your mind and let your creative juices flow.
Imagine the cupboards, sink and appliances in every possible configuration to get the most out of the limited space. Plumbing can be moved. It will cost an additional $2,500 to $3,500 or so but that extra cost may be well worth it in the long run.
Keep the kitchen sink in front of the window, if possible. Use cupboards that extend all the way to the ceiling to get as much storage space as possible.
Spending $25,000 will add about $20,675 to the value of your home. Do not invest too much. You could add more value to the home than the area housing market will support. Rule of thumb – do not spend more than 5% to 7% of the home’s value on remodeling.