How much does it cost to install a ductless heat pump?

National Average Range:
$3,000 - $8,000

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Ductless Heat Pump Cost Guide

Updated: August 18, 2022

Reviewed by Adam Graham remodeling expert. Written by

To provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date cost figures, we gather information from a variety of pricing databases, licensed contractors, and industry experts.

If you have an addition, bonus room, or newly renovated attic space that needs heating and cooling or are looking for a way to offset the costs of your electric baseboard heaters or furnace, a ductless heat pump installation may be the right fit for your home. Ductless heat pumps can be installed in one or multiple rooms and offer both heating and cooling from one unit, making your space more comfortable year-round. They come in several installation types and efficiency ratings as well as sizes, which means that they have a wide range of associated costs. The average range to install a ductless heat pump is $3,000 to $8,000, with most people paying around $5,377 for a dual-zone ductless heat pump to heat and cool an area up to 1,000 square feet.

Ductless Heat Pump Cost

Ductless Heat Pump Installation Costs
National average cost$5,377
Average range$3,000-$8,000

How Does a Mini-split Heat Pump Work?

Mini-split heat pumps work by moving heat, either from the outdoors into your home or from your home to the outdoors. The system consists of an outdoor compressor with coils filled with refrigerant and one to four indoor air handlers.

The refrigerant takes heat from the air, which is then compressed, raising the temperature. The heat is then transferred to the air handlers, which use a small amount of electricity to move the air where it heats your home. The system can also run in reverse, taking the heat from your home and transferring it outside, cooling and dehumidifying your home.

Mini-split systems do not use ducts. Instead, a small tube is all that connects the outdoor and indoor components. You can install up to four air handlers on one compressor, heating and cooling up to four rooms. This is more efficient than most electric resistance heaters like baseboard heaters, but it is not necessarily designed for smaller rooms in your home like bathrooms. For this reason, mini-splits are usually combined with other forms of heating.

Ductless Heat Pump Costs by Brand

The heat pump brand can greatly impact the total costs. Some brands are known for making premium pumps that have increased efficiencies and higher price tags, while others make a very reliable unit for less.

Ductless Heat Pump Prices (mobile)

BrandAverage Cost (Unit only)
Gree$1,500 - $2,400
Fujitsu$1,750 - $2,500
LG$2,100 - $4,000
Daikin$2,400 - $6,000
Mitsubishi$2,800 - $8,000

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Mini-split Heat Pump Sizing Chart

Ductless heat pumps are more efficient than window air conditioners and electric baseboard heaters. This means that a smaller unit can cool larger spaces. Some brands make smaller-sized units, but most start at around 1 ton or 12,000 BTUs, which is large enough to cool a 500 sq.ft. room. When cooling a smaller space, you can reduce the airflow from the handler, but these systems are not meant for very small rooms. They are a good choice for open floor plans, additions, and larger rooms in your home. Below is a chart for the approximate unit size you need to heat and cool a space based on square footage. This is just a general range, so your unit may need to be larger or smaller based on factors like energy efficiency, ceiling height, and the installation location.

Ductless Heat Pump Cost (mobile)

Square Feet of AreaBTUs (Size of Unit)

Ductless Heat Pump Installation Cost

The cost of installation and labor for your ductless mini-split system is largely determined by how many zones and air handlers you have installed. When heating and cooling one room, such as an addition or attic renovation, expect to pay between $900 and $2,300 for the installation, along with an additional $200 to $600 in supplies, thermostat, and permit fees.

When having multiple rooms done at once, your labor and installation costs will be higher. In multi-zone systems, one outdoor unit can run up to 4 indoor air handlers. The cost to install these systems is between $1,000 and $5,000 or more for the installation and labor, along with $450 to $1,200 in supplies, thermostat, and permit fees.

For the installation of a single-zone unit for an addition, expect to pay around $500 to $1,000 for labor and installation. For a two-zone unit, you will pay about $600 to $2,000 in labor installation. Having more zones increases the labor for each one.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Installing a Ductless Heat Pump

Many factors influence the mini-split heat pump prices. This includes the size of the space you are heating and cooling, how many rooms you are installing units in, the brand, where the air handler is located, and how far from the outdoor compressor the air handler is.

Mini-split Heat Pump Efficiency

Mini-split heat pumps are much more efficient at heating and cooling than other electric appliances, such as baseboard heaters and window air conditioners. According to EnergyStar, they use 60% less energy to heat a room than electric radiators or furnaces and 30% less energy to cool the space than a similarly sized air conditioner.

Ductless heat pumps also come in a range of efficiencies, with high-efficiency units available for hotter and colder climates where the unit may need to work harder or longer to effectively heat and cool the space. Heat pumps are considered efficient with a SEER rating of 12 or over, with many having ratings of up to 25 or 30.

Mini-split Heat Pump Cost to Run

The exact cost to run your mini-split heat pump depends on several factors, such as the unit size, time of year, and cost of electricity in your area. It is estimated that the average ductless heat pump price is around $0.04 an hour to run.

Ducted vs Ductless Heat Pump

If your home already has ducts, you may want to consider a heat pump that uses ducts. While ducts lose some of the energy if they are not sealed, they can heat and cool the entire space. Ductless units often need supplemental heating and cooling because they do not operate in smaller rooms.

However, if you do not have ducts installed or are building an addition or renovating an area where you do not currently have ducts, then a ductless mini-split system can be a great way to improve your energy efficiency and provide heating and cooling to that area. For this reason, these systems are most commonly installed in new construction or older homes without existing ductwork. Adding ductwork to an existing area can be expensive, which is why a ductless system may be a better fit.

Mini-split Heat Pump vs Gas Furnace

Mini-split heat pumps are a more efficient method of heating and cooling your home than electric baseboard heaters, electric furnaces, and window air conditioning units. This is because they only use electricity to power the fan and compressor, not to heat and cool your home, so they can produce up to 300 times the energy they use. They are not the best choice for heating your entire home, however, particularly if you live in an area where natural gas is available and affordable.

Natural gas furnaces heat your entire home via ducts. They can be up to 98% efficient and also cost much less to run than electric furnaces or electric baseboard heaters. If you do not have ducts, access to natural gas, or want to heat and cool your home with one unit, a heat pump makes more sense.

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Enhancements and Improvement Costs

Home Insulation

Adding insulation to your home can make your heat pump work more efficiently. Home insulation costs between $3,500 and $4,500 to install.

Energy-efficient Windows

If you have older windows in your home, upgrading them to more energy-efficient versions could save on energy costs as well. The cost of replacement windows is between $650 and $1,500 per window.

Energy Audit

Before you make any energy improvements to your home, it is a good idea to have an energy audit done first. They pinpoint where your home may be losing energy and how to fix it so that your home can be more efficient overall. A typical energy audit costs around $250.

Demand Defrost

Pumps have a habit of freezing or frosting over. Most units auto defrost at set intervals, but you can purchase models that have demand defrost built-in. They may cost slightly more than other models, starting at around $2,000.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Permits are necessary for this project in many areas. This can increase costs slightly. Speak to your installer to see if you need a permit for this project.
  • Mini-splits offer some flexibility in terms of install. They can be placed on walls or the ceiling, suspended or flush-mounted. They can also be floor-standing in some cases so that they fit in better with many interior designs. For systems mounted up high, remote controls are available.
  • You will get the best results working with an HVAC company that has experience with this system. You may need to call around to find someone who has worked with these before, especially if they are uncommon in your area.
  • Multi-zone units can be more expensive than some whole-house systems, but federal incentives may offset costs.
  • Heat pumps work efficiently in many areas of the country but work best in places with moderate heating and cooling needs. If you live in a very cold climate, you will need supplemental heating.
  • Consider upgrading your home energy efficiency before installing a new heat pump. This allows you to purchase a smaller unit with lower operating costs.


  • Is a ducted heat pump better than ductless?

Ducted heat pumps heat your entire home, while a ductless system may not work in smaller rooms and will require supplemental heating.

  • What does a ductless heat pump look like?

You will see a “cartridge” about 7-inches deep in your wall or ceiling in most cases.

  • Can a ductless heat pump heat a whole house?

No, they do not work in smaller areas like bathrooms but are good for additions and open spaces.

  • Should I leave my ductless heat pump on all night?

You can leave your heat pump on all the time. It turns itself off when the optimal temperature is reached.

  • Do ductless heat pumps work in cold weather?

They work in conditions up to 5 degrees F. But when it becomes colder, they may need additional heating.