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Mini Split Price vs. Installation Quality: Which Matters More?

11 min Read
HVAC Budgeting | Mini Split Installation Price | HVAC Installation Price | Best HVAC Company | Kennett Square, PA
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Mini splits are becoming more popular among homeowners every year. When evaluating mini splits for your home, make sure to consider not only pricing but also the quality of installation you’ll be receiving.


More people than ever before are catching on to the unique advantages of mini split heating and cooling systems and are installing this HVAC alternative for their home’s comfort. 

If you’ve started to explore mini split installation companies, it’s probably a safe bet that you’re wondering why there is a wide range of pricing out there. 

Here’s a question: why wouldn’t you move forward with the least expensive mini split installation company? After all, other significant parts of your life could use that budgeting. 

We know that minimizing your upfront installation cost is most likely at the top of your list of priorities, however, don’t make the mistake of only considering the price when choosing your service provider. 

The HVAC team at Mattioni can’t say it enough: consider the quality of installation you’ll be receiving when deciding which HVAC installation company to move forward with. We’ve seen the results (and fixed the shoddy workmanship) of poor installation service providers too often.  

Less expensive installation quotes can be very attractive, but just like any other product or service, you’ll get what you pay for. When we’re talking about mini splits, that means an increased likelihood of issues with performance, efficiency, and system longevity.   

In this article, we’ll review how the quality of installation you’ll be receiving impacts the overall performance and efficiency of your new mini split. Then, we’ll take you through how much you should expect to pay for a mini split installation, giving you all the tools to make the best decision for you and your home. 


What Separates a Good HVAC Installation From a Bad One? 

Like most contractor work, when a new mini split is being installed, there’s the possibility of corner cutting.  

What’s alarming is that you might never know any difference in the matter, but, if shortcuts are taken during the installation process, your system will be running at sub-optimal performance and efficiency levels from day one.

HVAC Budgeting | Mini Split Installation Price | HVAC Installation Price | Best HVAC Company | Kennett Square, PA

For example, an HVAC installer could overlook key considerations surrounding utility hookups and connections, neglecting to make necessary modifications, and call it “good enough.”  

Will the mini split function? Yes. Will you get heating and cooling? Not as much as your system is capable of. 

The capabilities of your mini split could be hamstrung if updates to the utilities surrounding the indoor air handler aren’t addressed during the installation. The peace of mind you’ll get from knowing your mini split was properly installed and is running at its optimal performance is something to start thinking about, if you haven’t already. 

So, what are these considerations that make a high-quality mini split installation?  


2 Key Mini Split Installation Considerations 

While appliances like refrigerators and washing machines usually have one or two simple hookups to make during an installation, mini splits have a few more nuanced aspects of their installation. 

If this is the first mini split you’re installing into your home, you’ll have to lay the groundwork to get air handlers, commonly referred to as heads, distributed throughout your house. This includes two key steps: 

  1. Properly Updating, Running, and Joining Refrigerant Lines
  2. Appropriately Sizing Electrical Fixtures 

These aren’t optional steps; they’re necessary steps to provide a quality mini split installation, yet they’re often overlooked by inexperienced or unprofessional HVAC installers.   

Neglecting to make these considerations will lead to all sorts of problems, including decreases in performance, efficiency, and the system’s lifespan. It’s also a sure bet that your system will need repairs sooner if it’s poorly installed.   

On the other hand, an experienced and thoughtful HVAC professional will ensure that your new system is installed properly by properly joining and thoroughly inspecting all refrigerant line sets and electrical components. A high-quality mini split installer will know when and how to make modifications to these areas. 

As we look closer at the elements of a quality installation, you can start to see how the quality of your mini split installation will impact both your monthly utility bills, total repair costs and system longevity.   


1.  Properly Updating, Running, and Joining Refrigerant Lines 

Mini split systems may span as far as 160 feet or more between the outdoor compressor unit and each individual air handler in your home. These refrigerant lines must be sized to match the system’s requirements and properly joined along the way.  

Joining mini split refrigerant lines involves a process unique from other heating and cooling systems, called flare fitting.  

Flare fitting is a compression-based joining method in which flare nuts are secured to the tapered end of each line. This process creates a secure, leak-proof connection throughout the entire length of the refrigerant lines spanning the mini split system. 

Yet some mini split installers may use joining methods that involve heat, like brazing or soldering. While brazing is the prescribed joining method for AC refrigerant lines, mini split manufacturers will recommend against it as there aren’t any stubs to braze.  

If your installation company uses brazing rather than flare fitting to join your system’s refrigerant lines, some warranties may potentially be voided.  

Additionally, your new mini split probably requires you to switch to a newer, more efficient refrigerant that could require a different line set size. It’s possible that an installer can haphazardly overlook this important compatibility concern and install an incorrectly sized line set. 


2. Appropriately Sizing Electrical Fixtures 

Electrical considerations are extremely important as they can have big consequences if neglected while installing a mini split.  

Mini splits call for a specific wire thickness to be used during installation and must match the size of your home’s breaker. If this connection is not appropriately sized and soundly joined, it can potentially cause an electrical fire hazard. 

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The common thread between line setting and electrical considerations is that a good installation extends beyond just the new piece of equipment.  

The utility connections within the system are what empower your new mini split to run smoothly, and they’re also what’ll keep you comfortable and save you money on utilities and long-term repairs.  

So, why shouldn’t you move forward with the least expensive installation company?  

Unlike installations of other types of appliances, mini split installations require scrutinous attention to detail and the experience to make electrical and refrigerant line modifications for your new system to be properly installed.   

Unfortunately, skipping these steps to breeze through an installation and get your mini split running at the bare minimum level of operation is commonly the service offered by inexpensive and less professional HVAC installers. 

This begs the question; how do you know what type of service you’ll be getting? After all, the cheapest service provider may seem to know what they’re doing. 


How to Tell When You’ll Get a Quality HVAC Installation 

There are a few ways that you can be sure that you’re moving forward with someone who gives the time and consideration needed to all their customers’ mini split installations.  

  1. First, be sure to choose a service provider that has positive reviews from previous customers. There’s nothing wrong with asking an HVAC professional for a testimonial or pictures from past mini split installations. 
  2. Second, pay attention to how thorough your HVAC professional is in explaining the details of the job. If you are given a complete explanation of the mini split installation and understandable answers to your questions, it’s another sign that you’re getting a high-quality service provider. 
  3. Last, make sure to ask about the details of warranties provided after the installation. Most mini splits come with some type of warranty, but if the installation company provides further guarantees, it’s a sign that they stand by their work.  

How Much Should You Expect To Pay For a Quality Mini Split Installation? 

HVAC Budgeting | Mini Split Installation Price | HVAC Installation Price | Best HVAC Company | Kennett Square, PA

Here is a price breakdown of the total mini split installation costs, which includes in the price of each air handler you will need based on factors like the size of your home and your heating and cooling needs: 

  • 1-2 Zones: $4,000 – $10,000 
  • 3 Zones: $10,000 – $14,000 
  • 4+ Zones: $14,000 – $25,000+ 

Mini splits with more than four heads begin to become a heftier investment as they’ll oftentimes require a second outdoor compressor unit. However, when budgeting for your mini split installation it’s important to remember two things: 

  1. Your new mini split will be able to both heat and cool your home. While the installation cost of a mini split may be more expensive than your furnace or air conditioner, it’s often less expensive than the combined costs of both systems.
  2. The prices listed above are for a high-quality installation that’ll have your mini split operating at optimal performance and energy efficiency. With a proper mini split installation, you’ll be set up with industry-leading HVAC efficiency.  

With varying installation prices between HVAC companies, you’d be right to wonder how to know when you have found a quality service provider.  



How To Proceed With Finding a Quality Mini Split Installation Company

A word-of-mouth referral from someone you trust will always be a great way to begin working with service providers like an HVAC installation company.   

Outside of that, using online resources like Google reviews for your local HVAC companies and other social forums that include customer feedback are good places to start.  

When you do reach out to an installation company, be aware of how every team member at that company treats you.   

The professionalism of one department of a service-based company is typically an indication of the professionalism of the person you’ll be working with on the installation. Don’t be afraid to talk to a few different companies to get a feel for the people you’ll be working with.  


How Mattioni Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Can Assist Your Mini Split Search 

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We get it, budgeting is a pivotal part of all large purchase decisions, and we want to save you as much money as possible so that you have more freedom in other parts of your life.   

Yet we can’t overstate that going into your mini split search fully aware of the importance of the installation quality you’ll be getting will give you a greater understanding of the whole project.  

So, when it comes to mini split installation prices vs. installation quality: which matters more?  

Well, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Your individual situation is unique, so we can’t say one way or the other with absolute certainty.   

That’s why ranking your heating and cooling priorities is one of the best ways to frame your decision.  

If you value performance, efficiency, and system health then going with a more experienced installation company that may cost more at the outset will be worth it. You’ll be able to rest assured that you’re getting the best installation possible.  

If upfront budgeting is your top priority, then going with a less expensive and potentially less reputable installation company likely makes sense for you.  

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By understanding the significance of your new mini split system’s installation quality, you’re more well-equipped to make the right investment in the future comfort of your home.  

Ultimately, the quality of how your new system is installed is going to determine not only your home’s comfort and energy-cost efficiency, but also the expected lifespan of the system itself.   

No matter where you’re at in your mini split installation search, being vigilant is going to help you make the best decision for you and your home.  

For answers to all of your mini split installation questions, you can contact the friendly team at Mattioni by calling 610-400-8510 or by scheduling an appointment online today. 


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