Author Topic: Air Conditioning Recommendations on a Split-Level No Ducts - Cost and Home Value  (Read 1163 times)


  • Bristles
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  • Posts: 367
We have a split-level house with no ducts here in Wisconsin. There are 2-3 weeks where it is unbearable upstairs. This is fine for the wife and me, but we are thinking about some form of AC since we have friends stay and plan on having kids soon. We hope to recoup some of the cost through Airbnb (DNC is here next July and hope to bring a few K) and home value when we eventually sell.

He have radiator heat and it is a 4 level house (Basement, lower level, upper level front, and upstairs). Doesn't seem ideal for Central Air. We bought for 170k in a hot market 2 years ago when the house was valued at $200k+ on most sites due to no AC/Garage. It had been sitting on the market for months and guessing the difference was 50/50 on no garage/AC? I would think AC would've brought the cost up $10k+. This isn't our forever home, but will be there at least 7 more years. Figured we would get the benefits and then recoup a little when we sell.

Anyone have experience with installing air conditioning to a split level? Is it a not-completely-horrible idea to add to the house? What price range am I looking at?


  • Walrus Stache
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  • Posts: 6783
Multi-head mini-split. Probably get away with a 2-3 head unless you want the basement to be heated.


  • Pencil Stache
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  • Posts: 778
I don't see why the split level would make it too hard, what kind of attic space do you have? You can just use a ductless mini-split and run the line-sets in the attic. Probably $10-12K or so to get a system and have someone install 4 air handlers. Have you thought of a whole house fan? That might be all you need and a lot cheaper- probably $2K.

Papa bear

  • Handlebar Stache
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  • Posts: 1839
  • Location: Ohio
I have a post on this regarding a 2 unit rental i have.  There is limited ductwork in the house.

My brother has a boiler with rads for a house in Ohio and hes trying to come up with AC options.  You can build in a wall unit under a window, go with minisplits, put your air handler in the attic and duct down to the other floors, put in a whole house fan, or just suck it up for a few weeks.

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