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How Much Does it Cost to Run a Mini Split Per Month

How Much Does it Cost to Run a Mini Split Per Month

Jon Hubal
7 minute read

Mini-splits are an efficient and economical way to provide heating and cooling to areas of the home without existing ductwork. Instead of running large, loud, inefficient air conditioning systems, mini-splits use small, quiet outdoor units that bring in air through discreet ducts. The indoor units can be placed high or mounted on the ceiling. After hearing about the technical benefits, let's discuss the cost of running a mini-split. 

Cost to Run Mini Split: Lowering The Electricity Bill

Mini-splits' main advantage is their versatility. Unlike central units, they don't require large return ducts or bulky vents. With just one outdoor unit, you can serve multiple rooms with a single line set—and even more, various line sets can connect the same outdoor unit with up to four indoor units.

They're also energy efficient since they only operate when needed, translating into lower electricity costs over time. In addition, mini-splits are designed for easy installation with minimal disruption during construction or remodeling projects. They don't require temperature balancing between rooms like traditional heating systems. Lastly, you can add air exchange kits to mini-split systems for better fresh air circulation and a healthier interior environment.

Cost to Run Mini Split - Lowering the Electricity Bill

How Much Does it Cost to Run a Mini Split Per Month?

The costs of running a mini-split system per month vary based on a few factors, such as its size and SEER rating, as well as the climate in which it's operating. The monthly operating cost can range from $50 to several hundred dollars or more - with a significant factor being your city's electricity price. 

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Calculating Average Wattage

First, you'll need to figure out the average wattage of the mini-split. You may be able to find this one the mini-split itself, if not in the manual. Simple, divide the BTUs of the mini-split by it's SEER rating: 

Average Wattage = Size Of Mini Split (In BTUs) / SEER rating

For example, let's say we have a 12,000 BTU mini split with a 14 SEER rating. This would give us an average wattage of roughly 857 watts. Now let's apply this to find the monthly cost of running a mini split.

The True Monthly Cost of Running a Mini Split

Now, take the average wattage you just found, multiply it by your city's electricity price in kilowatts per hour, then multiply it by your usage hours per day. Finally, once you get that number, divide it by 1000, and then you'll have your monthly cost of running a mini split per month. 

Mini Split Running Cost = Average Wattage (kWh) × Electricity Price × Usage Hours / 1000

Continuing with the 857 average watts mini split example from above, let's say our electricity price is $0.30 per hour, and we plan on using it for 8 hours a day. So we will do 857 kWh x $0.30 x (8 hours x 30 days), giving us 61,704. We would then divide that by 1000 to get

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Average Monthly Cost Based on Types of Mini Split

 

Single Zone Mini Split

  • Single-zone mini splits are the most affordable option and are ideal for heating or air conditioning in a single room. The indoor unit will draw between 500-650 watts of power and is typically sized to match the square footage of the room being conditioned. As such, these units will generally cost around $30/month or less in electricity to run.

Multi-Zone Mini Split

  • Multi-zone mini-split systems allow you to condition multiple rooms in your house simultaneously, up to four separate zones. The indoor units range from 700-1200 watts, depending on the size of the space being conditioned. This mini split type can run up to $100/month in electricity, depending on usage levels.

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Chart of How Much it Costs to Run a Mini Split Per Month

 

SEER Rating: 9,000 BTU Mini Split 12,000 BTU Mini Split 18,000 BTU Mini Split 24,000 BTU Mini Split 30,000 BTU Mini Split 36,000 BTU Mini Split
14 SEER Mini Split $20.37 Per Month $27.15 Per Month $40.73 Per Month $54.31 Per Month $67.89 Per Month $81.46 Per Month
15 SEER Mini Split $19.01 Per Month $25.34 Per Month $38.02 Per Month $50.69 Per Month $63.36 Per Month $76.03 Per Month
16 SEER Mini Split $17.82 Per Month $23.76 Per Month $35.64 Per Month $47.52 Per Month $59.40 Per Month $71.28 Per Month
17 SEER Mini Split $16.77 Per Month $22.36 Per Month $33.54 Per Month $44.72 Per Month $55.91 Per Month $67.09 Per Month
18 SEER Mini Split $15.84 Per Month $21.12 Per Month $31.68 Per Month $42.24 Per Month $52.80 Per Month $63.36 Per Month
19 SEER Mini Split $15.01 Per Month $20.01 Per Month $30.01 Per Month $40.02 Per Month $50.02 Per Month $60.03 Per Month
20 SEER Mini Split $14.26 Per Month $19.01 Per Month $28.51 Per Month $38.02 Per Month $47.52 Per Month $57.02 Per Month
21 SEER Mini Split $13.58 Per Month $18.10 Per Month $27.15 Per Month $36.21 Per Month $45.26 Per Month $54.31 Per Month
22 SEER Mini Split $12.96 Per Month $17.28 Per Month $25.92 Per Month $34.56 Per Month $43.20 Per Month $51.84 Per Month
23 SEER Mini Split $12.40 Per Month $16.53 Per Month $24.79 Per Month $33.06 Per Month $41.32 Per Month $49.59 Per Month
24 SEER Mini Split $11.88 Per Month $17.28 Per Month $25.92 Per Month $31.68 Per Month $39.60 Per Month $47.52 Per Month
25 SEER Mini Split $11.40 Per Month $15.21 Per Month $22.81 Per Month $30.41 Per Month $38.02 Per Month $45.62 Per Month

Factors Affecting The Monthly Cost of Running a Mini Split

The cost of running a mini-split depends on several factors, making it hard to estimate how much you'll pay each month.

Efficiency Rating

  • The efficiency rating of the unit, aka SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), has the most significant effect on the operating cost of a mini split. The higher the SEER rating, the less electricity is used to run the system.

Climate

  • If you live in an area with very hot summers and mild winters, you are likely to use your mini split more in summer, increasing energy costs. The same applies to areas with cold climates, but in reverse - if you use your mini-split in winter more than summer, expect increased electricity bills during those months.

Size of Unit

  • You must select the correct size for your mini split system and install it professionally for maximum efficiency and savings. A larger unit will need more energy to operate than a smaller one. Therefore if you choose a model that's too large for your space, you could spend more money than necessary on electricity bills.

Voltage

  • Voltage is another crucial factor to consider when installing your ductless mini split. Smaller micro splits utilize a regular 110- to 120-volt connection, typical in most households, while bigger units require greater voltage. These versions require a 220 to 240-volt connection; before purchase, ensure that the voltage in your home matches the voltage in your device. Incorrect voltage usage can cause a circuit to fail, a loss of efficiency, or even a fire.

Investing in a Smart Thermostat to Manage Your Monthly Cost     

If you want to control mini splits in smaller, harder-to-reach areas - like your bedroom, garage, or RV - devices are also available for those needs. Usually, these have special sensors that measure air temperature and humidity to ensure that you maintain a comfortable environment in almost any space. 

Key Benefits of Investing in a Smart Thermostat

  • They offer up-to-date information about your system, such as current temperature, humidity levels, and energy usage.
  • Smart thermostats automate temperature settings so that they are always optimal - meaning they won't cycle on and off unnecessarily.
  • They have a range of features to help conserve energy and reduce bills: scheduling options and geofencing technology that turns down the temperature when you're away from home.
  • Most models are compatible with voice-activated assistants like Alexa or Google Home so that you can control them hands-free.

how much does a mini split cost to run - couple is happy for a Managed Monthly Cost

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