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.
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.
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
Average Monthly Cost Based on Types of 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 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 upwards of $100/month in electricity, depending on usage levels.
- No matter which type of mini split you choose, a multi-unit system is always more efficient than operating multiple single units throughout your home. It allows you to adjust temperatures as needed without running every unit at once.
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Buck Cool Mini-Split EZ Connect 36K BTU Complete Installation Kit
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Chart of How Much it Costs to Run a Mini Split Per Month
|$20.37 Per Month||$27.15 Per Month||$40.73 Per Month||$54.31 Per Month||$67.89 Per Month||$81.46 Per Month|
|$19.01 Per Month||$25.34 Per Month||$38.02 Per Month||$50.69 Per Month||$63.36 Per Month||$76.03 Per Month|
|$17.82 Per Month||$23.76 Per Month||$35.64 Per Month||$47.52 Per Month||$59.40 Per Month||$71.28 Per Month|
|$16.77 Per Month||$22.36 Per Month||$33.54 Per Month||$44.72 Per Month||$55.91 Per Month||$67.09 Per Month|
|$15.84 Per Month||$21.12 Per Month||$31.68 Per Month||$42.24 Per Month||$52.80 Per Month||$63.36 Per Month|
|$15.01 Per Month||$20.01 Per Month||$30.01 Per Month||$40.02 Per Month||$50.02 Per Month||$60.03 Per Month|
|$14.26 Per Month||$19.01 Per Month||$28.51 Per Month||$38.02 Per Month||$47.52 Per Month||$57.02 Per Month|
|$13.58 Per Month||$18.10 Per Month||$27.15 Per Month||$36.21 Per Month||$45.26 Per Month||$54.31 Per Month|
|$12.96 Per Month||$17.28 Per Month||$25.92 Per Month||$34.56 Per Month||$43.20 Per Month||$51.84 Per Month|
|$12.40 Per Month||$16.53 Per Month||$24.79 Per Month||$33.06 Per Month||$41.32 Per Month||$49.59 Per Month|
|$11.88 Per Month||$17.28 Per Month||$25.92 Per Month||$31.68 Per Month||$39.60 Per Month||$47.52 Per Month|
|$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.
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.
- 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 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. A smart thermostat can save you money by helping you better manage your mini split system. Smart thermostats are designed to adjust the temperature automatically based on your preferences and the weather outside.
This means you don't have to modify the settings daily - plus, you can save up to 25% off your cooling and heating bills! A smart thermostat also gives you insights into how much energy is being used, so you can identify improvement areas.
Here are some of the key benefits of investing in a smart thermostat for your mini split system:
- 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.
Interested in Learning More About Mini-Splits?
To further expand your knowledge about mini-splits, be sure to check out our other related blog posts. We have articles that cover topics such as the benefits of mini-splits, how to properly maintain them, and their energy efficiency compared to traditional HVAC systems. Read more about the Best Mini Splits 2023: The Ultimate Guide, and if Mini-Splits Increase Your Home's Value. We also have A Step-by-Step Guide for sizing your mini split system, and an Installation Guide on Where to Install Your Mini Split.
Table of Contents: How Much Does it Cost to Run a Mini Split Per Month
- Cost to Run Mini Split: Lowering The Electricity Bill
- How Much Does it Cost to Run a Mini Split Per Month?
- Average Monthly Cost Based on Types of Mini Split
- Chart of How Much it Costs to Run a Mini Split Per Month
- Factors Affecting The Monthly Cost of Running a Mini Split
- Investing in a Smart Thermostat to Manage Your Monthly Cost
- Interested in Learning More About Mini-Splits?