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Do It Yourself or Not: Install a ductless heat pump

By Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Content Agency on

A ductless heat pump, also called a DHP and a mini-split heat pump, has two main components: an outdoor compressor/condenser and an indoor air-handling unit that controls the temperature. The unit is similar to a standard air-source heat pump that can add air conditioning to a house with electric baseboard or wall-mounted heaters. The system is ductless and often used for zoning or heating and cooling only certain spaces.

It is considered more versatile because the air handler can be suspended from a ceiling or hung from a wall and the hook-up between the outdoor and indoor units and the conduit between them requires only a small hole through the wall. With no duct work required, there’s no energy loss often found with the maze of ducting in a central air system. An advantage to the system is its flexibility because you can run it and control comfort levels in only the space needed.

A qualified HVAC installer charges $2,400, which includes labor and material, to install a single-zone, mini-split heat pump that puts out 12,000 BTUs. Don’t even think about doing this job yourself unless you are that qualified HVAC installer; if so, the unit will cost $1,600.

To learn more about a ductless heat pump installation type “ductless heat pump (in your area)” in a search engine.


Pro Cost: $2,400 — DIY Cost: $1,600
Pro time: 12.0 — DIY Time: 15.0
DIY Savings: $800 — Percent Saved: 33%


To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit www.diyornot.com.




Steve Breen Nate Beeler Gary Varvel Taylor Jones A.F. Branco Lisa Benson