Do Ductless Mini Splits Save Money? 

Upgrading to a ductless mini split for heating and cooling can save you money over the next 15 to 20 years with lower energy bills all year. While the upfront cost is more than a traditional forced-air furnace and central air system, you’ll see greater savings over time.


I’ll start this article by explaining how mini splits work. That makes it easier to understand how they’re able to operate so efficiently, and how that translates into savings for you. I’ll also go through pros and cons of these systems and answer frequently-asked questions.

For more than 12 years, I’ve been a product manager at Peirce Phelps, a nationally-recognized HVAC distributor. I handle high-efficiency and state-of-the-art HVAC systems.

And, I’m always in communication with hundreds of local heating and cooling contractors who install thousands of these units across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland.

If you have more questions, use our dealer locater to find a trusted, certified HVAC installer in your area. They offer free consultations to address everything you need to know.

How Can Ductless AC Units Save You Money?

Ductless AC units are high-efficiency systems that keep your home comfortable while also saving energy. They use less resources than traditional ducted systems while delivering excellent heating and cooling customized for every every room.

How Ductless Mini Split Systems Work

Ductless mini-split systems heat and cool using indoor and outdoor components to move heat in or out of your home. Refrigerant runs in a loop between the heat pump outside and the air handlers in each room you’re treating. That refrigerant carries the heat with it.

Heat Transfer Vs. Combustion

Gas, oil, or electric furnace heating and cooling systems use combustion to create heat. Ductless mini-splits, on the other hand, transfers heat from outside into your house. It uses a compressor to amplify the ambient outdoor heat. Moving heat requires much less energy than creating it.

Parts of a Mini Split

Ductless mini-split systems consist of three primary components: the outdoor condenser unit, the indoor air handler, and the line set.

The outdoor unit, or mini split heat pump, houses the compressor. It compresses and circulates refrigerant to move heat in our out of the house.

The line set contains two copper tubes that houses the refrigerant. It also houses the power supplies and condensate line to drain moisture from the air.

The indoor unit, or air handler, draws in the air from the room, heats and cools it, then circulates it.

What Does a Ductless Air Conditioner Cost?

On average, a ductless mini split system costs $4,000 and $20,000. The price varies depending on whether you’re treating one or two rooms, the entire house, or something in between. Also, a ductless heat pump primarily for cooling costs less than a model strong enough to provide heat all winter.

How Ductless Units Save You Money

Ductless AC units use less energy than a traditional HVAC system for your home. As a result, you pay less money on your energy bills. Here’s how they do it:

Heat Transfer

Unlike traditional HVAC systems, which rely on combustion to create cold air, ductless units transfer heat from one location to another. This not only reduces your energy bills but also increases the overall efficiency of your HVAC system.

Energy Efficiency

Ductless air conditioners use inverter technology to run most of the time in a low-power mode. This requires less power than a regular one-stage system that must turn on and off a few times every hour.

Zoned Heating and Cooling

Each air handler as a built in thermostat, which means you can set the temperature in each room individually. You can give a problem room extra treatment without adding more heating and cooling the whole house. Or, power down the units in rooms you don’t use that often.

Drawbacks of Mini Splits

While ductless mini-split climate control systems offer many benefits, there are also some drawbacks to consider.

High Upfront Cost

Mini splits are much more expensive to install than traditional HVAC system. However they also reduce your utility bills.

More Maintenance

Maintenance is important for any HVAC system, but ductless mini splits require a little more than traditional furnace. Along with spring and fall tune-ups, an annual deep clean prevents performance or indoor air quality issues due to dirt buildup in the air handlers.

More Mini Split Benefits

Along with saving you money, here are some more great mini split features:

Precise Heating and Cooling

Mini splits use inverter technology with advanced fans and sensors to consistently keep the temperature within a degree of your thermostat setting.

Quiet Operation

Mini splits don’t rely on ductwork to circulate air. As a result, they don’t produce the same amount of noise as traditional HVAC systems. These units are as quiet as leaves rustling outside.

WiFi and Remote Control

You can control your mini split from any smart device even when you’re not home.

Easy Installation

Mini splits can be installed quickly and easily with minimal disruption to your home. A single-zone unit takes less than a day to put in.

Rebates Available

Tax credits, rebates and incentives from federal and state energy programs offset the upfront cost of installing a new mini split system. Your HVAC contractor can help you find them all and apply for them.

More Mini Split FAQs

Here are a few more mini split FAQs and answers. If you’re ready to learn more about how a mini split could work in your home, use our dealer locator to set up a free consultation with a certified local contractor.

Are Ductless Air Conditioners Energy Efficient?

Ductless air conditioners are much more energy efficient than window or portable ACs. Many times, they use less electricity than central air, too. These units can also heat your home and require less energy than oil furnace, or traditional electric heat.

Should I leave my ductless AC on all the time?

It is not necessary to leave your ductless AC on all the time. It is recommended to turn off the unit when you are not in the room or when you leave the house. This will help save energy and extend the lifespan of your unit.

Does every bedroom need a ductless unit?

It depends on your personal preference and needs. If you prefer to have individual temperature control in each bedroom, then a ductless unit may be beneficial. However, if you are comfortable with a central thermostat controlling the temperature throughout the house, then it may not be necessary.

How long does ductless AC last?

When properly maintained, most mini split ductless air conditioners can last for about 20 years or longer. Regular filter cleaning and efficient usage can help extend the lifespan of your unit.

Learn how to find the most reliable ductless air conditioner installers in Philadelphia, PA or anywhere in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, or Delaware.