Today, I’m sharing what the ductless mini split cost in our sunroom, plus whether we think mini splits are worth it, how much electricity the mini split uses and more!
A few months ago, I shared a sunroom update here on the blog. I figured it was time for a big breakdown on our four seasons room because it’s served as a home office full time for the last year and a half. Over the course of that time, we’ve been so thankful to have the ductless mini split in the space.
The backstory on our four seasons room is that I had been using the space as my office during most of the year but during certain parts of seasons, it was either too hot or too cold to be in the space. After going back and forth on what to do to make the space more usable, we decided that adding a ductless mini split was the way to go.
The primary advantage to mini splits is that they allow you to heat and cool a certain room by itself. Meaning, that if you have a sunroom that is colder than other spaces or just isn’t hooked into your HVAC, then you could add a mini split to that room only and heat and cool as needed.
We have a neighbor of ours that built their house a few years ago and instead of installing a traditional HVAC system on their multi-level house, they installed multiple mini splits to operate different zones of their house. This allows them to easily set temperatures of each zone in their house for their daily use.
For our space, we were just interested in being able to control the sunroom on a different thermostat than the rest of our house so that we could save money and energy use when it wasn’t being used.
We had our mini split installed during the last week of January (2018). Some common question around here are: whether a mini split is worth it, how much does it add to our space, etc. I want to do a deep dive on that today.
For sizing reference, our sunroom is 400 sq feet. It’s not insulated (other than the ceiling) and the windows are aluminum. The windows themselves are absolutely horrible. Like, if you push on them, they would totally fall down. So, eventually, we need to make MAJOR improvements with the windows but that is a big budget item.
Installing a Ductless Mini Split
Our first order of business was deciding which mini split to buy.
Mitsubishi Mini Split or Pioneer Mini Split
Our HVAC installer recommended a Mitsubishi mini split and specifically the 12000 BTU 23.1 Seer Wall Mounted Mini Split with Heat Pump. He doesn’t sell them so it’s not like he was getting a kickback on it but he felt like the Mitsubishi mini splits were the best.
There were more affordable options on Amazon (specifically this Pioneer mini split) but I ended up going with our installer’s recommendation of the Mitsubishi ductless mini split.
What is the cost of a ductless heating and cooling system?
We paid just over $1700 for the 12,000 BTU ductless mini split with heat pump and all the accessories to get it up and going. We installed a single zone system meaning that it controls the temperature of one space.
How much to install a mini split?
We had to have some electrical work done to make the mini split location work, so the electrician’s charge was $350.
As far as the HVAC installer’s price, I know we got a great deal on the mini split install because we used an acquaintance who had recently retired from the industry. We paid the HVAC installer $500.
The total out of pocket cost to install the ductless mini split was $2,581.95
Here’s everything that I bought for our space and what the actual products cost:
I bought everything from Sylvane. I hadn’t heard of them before but it was all shipped fast and I had no problems.
A question that we asked was…
Can I install a mini split myself?
After researching this, we decided that we weren’t comfortable drilling into brick and figuring out how to run cables and wires from outside the house to the inside. That being said, if you are more comfortable than us, I definitely think you could do this part of the installation yourself.
Setting up the mini split system involves putting in the outdoor condenser, mounting the indoor unit, running the wires and piping out the wall and making sure everything is sealed.
Are mini splits worth it?
Yes! It was so worth the money and we absolutely love it. It’s very quiet and it heats up the room pretty fast. If the weather is below 25 degrees, then we turn the unit on first thing in the morning around 6:30am. It’s nice and warm by the time I actually start working at 8:30am.
This past winter, we had two weeks were the temperatures dipped below 10 degrees (pretty frigid for our area). During those two weeks, the heating function of the mini split could not keep up. I know it would have done much better if we didn’t have air that seeped right through our aluminum windows but I can’t honestly say whether it would have kept up enough with nice windows to be able to use the space during those temperatures.
Overall, it’s been working really well for us 99% of the time. During mild temperatures, we just turn the mini split on when we arrive to the “office” each day. During colder or hotter temperatures, we adjust the temperature when we get up and it’s generally pretty nice once we arrive to the sunroom for work that day.
So, what’s the impact on our electrical bill? Well, that one is a bit harder to tell because we’ve had a colder winter than usual. From what I can tell, it’s about $8 per month when the mini split is running most of the time. Not much at all! In general, mini splits are much more energy efficient than other systems.
As with all of our DIYs and upgrades, I’m always wondering about the longterm investment and whether they add value to our home.
Do Mini Splits add Value to a home?
Yes! Especially when added to a space that wasn’t heated or cooled, they add more usable square footage to a home.
I hope this helped answer some of your questions!
Thanks for sharing! We have 4 existing mini splits in our home that are nearing the end of their life at 27 years. They function so well, but the motors are wearing out and have gotten pretty noisy. Our quote to replace all 4 (2 condensers) was more than $16k in the Minneapolis area. Just in case you have readers looking to heat/cool more than one room. Our house is about 1100 sf on 2 levels, and we have three 9,000BTU units and one 12,000BTU. Glad you have been happy with your decision to install one!
THANK YOU for sharing all of that, Jackie! That is so helpful. Did you consider buying them yourself and then hiring the HVAC separate?
That’s a good idea! We have not looked into purchasing ourselves. Going to look into that next!
Do you think a mini split will work in a Florida sunroom with no insulation and the windows are some weird combo of screen and heavy duty vinyl.
We don’t have insulation in ours and are windows are very old/cheap but I hate to say yes when I don’t know. I’d ask around your area to see if someone has something similar.