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How Much Does It Cost to Install a Ductless AC in Phoenix?

July 29, 2020

Updated June 2024

Thinking about installing a ductless AC in your Phoenix home? You’re probably wondering how much it’s going to cost you. On average, installing a ductless AC system can cost anywhere from $8,000-$17,000.

Why such a big price range?

Well, there are a variety of factors that will impact the cost of installing a ductless AC in your Phoenix home, including:

  • Number of rooms you want cooled
  • Size of the system
  • Efficiency
  • Contractor you choose

The only way for you to get an accurate price estimate is to have a trained professional come to your home and assess your current set up and your cooling needs. However, if you just want a general idea of how much it may cost to install a ductless AC in your home, we’ll talk about each of these factors in more detail, so you can get a better idea of what it may cost you.

Rather skip straight to the step where a professional gives you an estimate? We can help with that. Learn more about our ductless AC installation service or schedule a free estimate!

Factor #1: Number of rooms you want cooled

Ductless AC systems are different from central AC systems in that a ductless unit cools one specific room or space, not your entire home.


Well, a central AC system cools your home by cooling air at the indoor unit and delivering that conditioned air to every room of your house via ducts.

A ductless AC doesn’t use ducts, and instead, it pumps conditioned air directly into the room or space it’s in.

So, when you install a central AC, you need 1 indoor unit and 1 outdoor unit, and those two units cool your entire home.

With a ductless AC system, you’ll need an indoor unit for every room you want cooled. So, for example, if you want your bedroom, living room and office cooled, you would need 1 outdoor unit and 3 indoor units (one outdoor unit can be paired with up to 8 indoor units).

The more rooms you want cooled, the more indoor units you’ll need to install and the costlier your installation will be.

Factor #2: Size of the system

The “larger” the ductless AC system, the more it will cost.

When we talk about the “size” of a ductless AC, we’re not referring to physical size. What we are actually talking about is the amount of heat an AC can move out of your home per hour. This is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), and on average, most residential ductless AC units range anywhere from 9,000 BTUs to 44,000 BTUs.

Now, as we mentioned, the “larger” the ductless AC (the higher the BTUs), the more expensive it is. But, you don’t really get to choose the size of your AC system. The size of AC you need for your home depends on a variety of factors like:

  • Climate you live in
  • How many people live in your home
  • The orientation of your home
  • Insulation quality
  • Number of doors and windows
  • And much more

To determine what size AC is right for your home, you’ll need to have a professional assess the things listed above as part of a load calculation, which determines how much heat needs to be removed from your home per hour to properly cool your space.

Factor #3: Efficiency level

The more efficient your ductless AC system is, the more it will cost upfront. However, more efficient systems will usually save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

The efficiency of a ductless AC system is measured by its SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). The higher the SEER, the more efficient the AC system (and the more expensive it is). Most residential ductless AC systems range anywhere from 14-22 SEER.

To determine which efficiency level is right for your home and budget, you’ll want to speak with an HVAC professional. They will help you determine if a higher-efficiency system is worth investing in, and if so, which SEER rating is right for you.

Factor #4: Contractor you choose

Another factor that will impact the cost of your ductless AC installation is the company or contractor you choose. Typically, a more experienced contractor or higher-quality company will cost more than a less-experienced one.

That being said, when it comes to the cost of labor, you don’t want to choose someone just because they are cheap. If you hire an inexperienced tech, it could result in expensive repairs, repeat work or even a system replacement.

Our advice would be to look for a company or contractor who:

  • Is licensed and insured- You can usually find this on their website, on the BBB or by asking for it directly.
  • Has great reviews- Check out their Google, Angi and BBB reviews.
  • Will provide you with a written estimate- You want to make sure you’re choosing an honest company you can trust, so ask for a written estimate before any work begins. That way, you aren’t stuck with any surprise fees or unknown costs.

Ready to install a ductless AC in your Phoenix home? Hire a team you can trust

If you think that a ductless AC system is the best option for your Phoenix home, you’ll need an experienced team to help you determine what size, efficiency-level and number of indoor units is best for you. We have many years of experience helping Phoenix homeowners, so if you want the best solution for your Arizona home, we’re the team to call.

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By Ty Lindsay

Ty Lindsay is the Director of Field Operations at Patrick Riley | Isley’s and a 15-year veteran of the plumbing and HVAC trades. In 2010, Ty earned his Journeyman’s plumbing license. He became a Master Plumber five years later and earned his Journeyman HVAC technician’s license that same year. Ty’s breadth of knowledge in plumbing and HVAC includes both residential and commercial work. He’s been a loyal member of the Patrick Riley | Isley’s team since 2016.