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Cost To Add Air Conditioning to a Home Without Ductwork

Do you want to add air conditioning to your home, but it doesn’t have any air ducts? You can either choose to:

  • Install new ductwork and a central AC system (which can cost anywhere from $6,000 to $17,000+ combined)
  • Install a ductless AC system (which can cost from $4,000 to $20,000+)

The varied cost range for ductwork and central AC system installation depends on the following:

  • Your home’s layout
  • The type of ductwork material used
  • The contractor that you hire
  • The AC that you install

You could also install a ductless AC system instead, removing the need for ductwork installation while still cooling rooms effectively.

While we cannot provide an exact estimate for your central or ductless AC installation without an in-home estimate, we’ll break down the cost factors so that you can start planning your budget.

Want a Free AC Estimate? Contact MSP!

Choosing between central or ductless AC system installations can be confusing. Not to mention having to decide which brand to install. MSP’s goal is to take out the guesswork and simplify the decision process. We’ll thoroughly evaluate your home before providing you with our professional recommendations.

Call us today at (651) 228-9200 or contact us below for a free AC estimate!

Installing Ductwork and a Central AC System

Drilling in air vent cover

The number of air ducts and vents you need depends on the size of your home.

First, let’s look at what factors influence the cost of adding a central AC system to a home without ductwork.

Your Home’s Layout

When determining the price of installing new air ducts, technicians must consider the layout of your home.

Most ductwork installations are hidden in either an attic or a basement. Some homes in the Twin Cities have one or the other, while some have both. A contractor should determine the most efficient placement for the new ducts to push out cooled air throughout your home.

The number of vents needed. A contractor should determine how many vents your home needs to cool your desired rooms properly. You’ll need to add air supply vents, return air grilles, and connections to the HVAC system, all of which requires cutting into walls and ceilings. Usually, the technician will install air vents near the windows.

The number of floors in your home can impact the cost. Multi-story homes will require extra materials and labor time to install additional ductwork, increasing the project price.

Homes with multiple floors are typically zoned, with an upstairs and a downstairs thermostat. In order to zone your HVAC system for customized temperature zones, technicians must install special dampers used to control airflow into the ductwork. These dampers will add to your ductwork installation costs but will make your home more comfortable.

The Type of Ductwork Material Used

Sheet metal air ducts

Sheet metal air ducts cost more per foot to install than flexible materials.

Ductwork is made from either flexible or rigid materials. Both types have pros and cons, but flexible wire coil or aluminum ducts have lower installation costs per foot than rigid sheet metal ducts.

The Contractor That You Hire

Experienced and highly-skilled HVAC technicians will charge more for their AC installation services. However, you can have the peace of mind that they will install it correctly the first time around, saving you money on future repairs.

When looking for the right technician, you’ll also want to consider whether they charge a flat-rate fee paid upfront or per hour. Technicians who provide flat-rate upfront fees have more reasonable rates generally. Plus, you know you’ll never be surprised by the final bill.

The AC System That You Install

Installing AC Fan

Prior to installation, consider how efficient you want your central AC to be.

When installing a central air conditioner for the very first time, make sure that you discuss these critical needs with your technician:

  • The size of the AC system your home needs for effective cooling
  • The energy-efficiency ratings for the AC to reduce your monthly utility bills
  • The type of thermostat you want to install based on its features

Learn more in our article, “How Much Does It Cost to Replace an AC in Minneapolis.”

Installing a Ductless AC System

Woman holding remote for ductless AC

A ductless AC system installation allows you to stay cool without adding ductwork.

A way to bypass ductwork installation and still benefit from air conditioning is to install a ductless AC system. This system doesn’t need air ducts and works the same way as a central AC system with an indoor and outdoor unit—just more effectively. Since they don’t use ducts, they are 20-30% more efficient at cooling since no cooled air escapes through air duct leaks.

The main difference between a ductless AC system and a central one is that ductless AC indoor units cool just one room. The more rooms you want cooled, the more you’ll pay for ductless AC installation costs. However, ​​one ductless AC outdoor unit pairs with four indoor units.

So, if you’re looking to air condition a new addition to your home, the garage, a craft room, or man cave, a ductless AC system is a great option.

Learn more about How Ductless ACs Work.

Other ductless AC installation cost factors include:

  • Its cooling capacity
  • Its efficiency and features
  • Your home’s voltage
  • Your home’s construction and layout
  • The contractor that you hire

Learn more in How Much Does It Cost to Install Ductless ACs in Minnesota.

Still unsure if you should pick between a ductless AC or a central AC? We recommend installing a ductless AC system if you do not have pre-existing ductwork.

Ready to Install a Ductless or Central AC? Contact MSP!

MSP Vans and Trucks

Contact MSP for reliable central or ductless AC installations.

MSP’s air conditioning professionals are ready to help you decide which system to install and provide you with a free estimate on your ductless or central AC installation. We can install the best models from Daikin, Mitsubishi, and Fujitsu in just one day.

For over 100 years, we’ve stayed committed to improving the comfort of Minnesota homeowners with every air conditioning installation. We proudly offer excellent financing options and extended warranties.

Call us at (651) 228-9200 or fill out our online form today to experience 5-star service!