Minisplits are cheaper? Really?
Los Angeles rental. Installed an off-brand mini split years ago and now need to replace it. Over the last couple of weeks I have called 27 AC contractors, many recommended from the Fujitsu or Mitsubishi website. I am asking for a 15k Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Daikin, or even an LG with at least 18 SEER, preferably 23 or greater. Outdoor unit is directly below indoor unit; 220 v. receptacle right there. 7′ exterior line drop.
Looking at the website distributors, seems the material cost is <= $2,000. Probably 4 hours for the installation. It’s L.A., so figure another two hours for traffic. Almost without exception, I have been told I had to schedule an appointment with a “comfort specialist” or “expert estimator” before I could get a quote. Often, scheduling for this first appointment was more than five weeks out. Providing them a floor plan, elevation drawings, and photos was apparently not adequate. When I asked how long before the installation, I was told the estimate had to come first—only then could they tell me. Others said I had to sign a contract before they would tell me when they could install! So far I have gotten four firm bids: $3700, two at $5,000, and one at $8700. $6,700 profit for half a day! I’ve decided it will be cheaper to ask my doctor to install the unit. At least then I will be covered by her malpractice insurance.