How Much Is the Labor Cost to Install a Three-Zone Mini Split

If you do an online search for the cost of a mini split, you will see shopping results that range from about $900 to $2,000 or more. You may also find a lot of HVAC websites that quote prices ranging from $3,000 to $20,000 or higher. With such a wide range of answers, it’s nearly impossible to figure out what a mini split costs.

The cost varies based on many different factors, but one of the most significant factors is the number of zones. For example, a mini-split for a small condo that just needs a single zone is a lot less expensive than installing multiple zones into an 8,000-square-foot home.

Ceiling-Mounted Ductless Vs. Wall or Floor-Mounted

But what about an average home? What if you just want a couple of zones in your living areas and one for all of the bedrooms? That’s one of the most common situations we see.

How much is a three-zone mini-split? The price starts at about $18,000 to $24,000, but many factors affect the final cost including the type of outdoor condenser, the efficiency of your equipment, and the labor costs in your area. Here’s what you need to consider.

1. Type of Outdoor Condenser

If you want a three-zone mini split, you will need a multi-zone condenser. This costs more than a single-zone condenser. Additionally, you have to decide if you want air conditioning only, standard heat, or hyper heat. AC only is the least expensive, followed by standard heat and then hyper heat.

2. Capacity, Efficiency, and Features of Indoor Units

Indoor units also come in a range of price points. The capacity of the unit dictates some of its cost, but you will also end up paying more if you want extra features such as enhanced efficiency, occupant sensors, or multi-directional airflow.

Keep in mind that you don’t need the exact same unit for each of your three zones. If your zones are different sizes or have different heat loads due to their position in the home, you will end up spending different amounts of money for each of your indoor units.

3. Mounting Style for Indoor Units

Wall- and floor-mounted units tend to cost less than ceiling-mounted units with similar capacities. This is partially due to the fact that most ceiling cassettes offer multi-directional airflow, but it’s also due to installation challenges. When you put in a ceiling mount, you have to cut through the ceiling, and you may even need a carpenter to make structural adjustments. A wall mount is a lot easier to install. 

4. Mini Split Installation Challenges

When trying to figure out the cost of a three-zone mini split, you also have to consider installation challenges. Do you have a good spot for the condenser? If not, you may need to pour a new concrete pad or mount the unit to your roof.

Will it be easy for the installers to run the lines between the indoor units and the outdoor condenser? If not, they might need to buy more materials for longer lines. They may also need to put in a junction box to support extra long distances between the equipment. Of course, this also affects the cost.

Can your electrical panel support a three-zone mini split?  If not, you may need to pay an electrician to upgrade your equipment. This generally only happens in very old homes or cabins that were built with limited electrical capacity.

5. Labor Costs in Your Area

Finally, you have to consider the labor costs for installing your three-zone mini split. The higher the labor costs in your area, the more you should expect to pay. However, your rate isn’t just based on average wages.

You also have to consider the experience of your team. When getting quotes, don’t necessarily look for the lowest offer. You need to balance cost and value. Ideally, you want an installer who is experienced with mini splits. Just because someone is a contractor or has experience installing traditional HVAC equipment doesn’t mean they understand the intricacies of a ductless mini split.

Contact NETR, Inc About Mini Split Installation

To get a custom quote on a three-zone mini split for your home, contact us today at NETR, Inc. We can also help you assess how much you’ll save when you switch to a mini-split.

As a Mitsubishi Diamond Elite Contractor and an LG Pro Platinum Dealer, we have completed extensive training from both of these manufacturers. We also have 30+ years of experience in the HVAC industry and a long history of happy clients. To see a three-zone system in action — check out this case study of the work we did in a Colonial in Medford.