As a first-time buyer looking for the best ductless air conditioner, you might be overwhelmed by the array of choices available on the market. And it’s understandable because a ductless heating and cooling system is a significant investment that requires proper decision-making.
However, buying a mini-split system isn’t as tricky as many homeowners would like to believe, but it’s not as straightforward either. If you know what to look for and keep your needs in mind, then it’s easy to know what to choose.
If you don’t, this ductless air conditioner reviews will help you find out about some of the best mini-split systems. You’ll also understand how these units work, why they’re better than other air conditioning systems, and important factors to consider before picking the right one for your needs. If you have basic DIY skills, you’ll also learn how to install them yourself.
Best Ductless Air Conditioner Comparison Table
What is a Ductless Air Conditioner?
The easiest way to define ductless air conditioners is to compare them with conventional air conditioners.
The standard air conditioner has an indoor and outdoor unit, connected via a series of vents and ducts. The vents and ducts connect the air conditioner to the furnace and air handler for heating and cooling, respectively. Therefore, a hallmark feature of these air conditioning systems is the ductwork, which brings in fresh air and carries out stale air.
Also known as mini-splits, ductless air conditioners also comprise an indoor and outdoor unit. However, the ductwork is missing. They don’t need a ductwork system for air movement.
Instead, the AC’s indoor and outdoor components are connected via a refrigerant line, suction tube, and power cable that together enable the communication between the outdoor and indoor components and movement of fresh air into and stale air out of the house.
How does a Ductless Air Conditioner Work?
Before we get to the working mechanism of the ductless air conditioner, it helps to understand the components of such ACs. The ductless air conditioner comprises four key parts, i.e., the outdoor condensing unit, the indoor air handlers, the refrigerant line, and the control panel.
The two main components, indoor and outdoor unit, work as follows;
The condenser unit, also known as the compressor, is located outside the house. It comprises three crucial parts – the compressor, condensing coils, and the fan.
The compressor: The compressor is the heart of any air conditioning system and the most expensive component. Its main job is to condense low-pressure gas into high-pressure gas to complete the heat transfer process more efficiently.
The condensing coils: These form a lattice-like structure comprising multiple aluminum fins. Their main job is to cycle hot refrigerants and facilitate its conversion from a high-pressure gas to a high-pressure liquid.
The fans: Finally, the fans draw air through the condensing coils and help dissipate any heat generated within the outdoor unit out into the atmosphere.
The indoor air handler is the component through which conditioned air is released into the home. It’s typically installed on the wall or ceiling, with a few installed on the floor. Air handlers comprise several components as follows;
- Evaporator coils: Evaporator coils in the air handler play a central role in the production of cool air. They eliminate humidity indoor, which helps lower room temperature. When the air passes over the coils, it is cooled then released back into the home.
- Blower motor: The blower motor physically moves and circulates air inside the home. There are three types of blower motors – single-speed, multi-speed, and variable speed. Single-speed motors run at 100% capacity, with no other speed settings available. Multi-speed motors offer several speed settings, but you must change the settings manually. Finally, variable-speed motors have multiple speed settings and can automatically self-adjust to decrease or increase speeds depending on indoor air conditions.
- Vibration isolators: When the blowers are running, they tend to produce a vibration sound, which can be distracting and annoying. Vibration isolators are thick rubber dampeners that absorb some of the sounds for quieter AC operation.
- Filter: The majority of indoor air handlers comprise a filter to clean air destined for the indoors. These filters trap and eliminate dirt, dust, pollen, allergens, and other particulate matter. A few mini-splits even use multi-stage filtration systems for greater indoor air quality.
- Other components: Finally, the indoor unit also features a thermostat for temperature control, a drainpipe to drain out the water that condenses on the drain pan, and louvers or fins through which air passes as it’s released into the room.
Ductless Mini Splits at Work
In many respects, the ductless air conditioner works similarly to ducted models. First off, the air is taken from the room by the indoor air handler and transported to the outdoor unit (condenser) via the series of pipes where it comes into contact with the condenser coils.
Upon coming into contact with the coils, the hot, humid air from the indoors transfers the heat energy to the condenser coils, turning the coolant liquid inside into gas. The gas is then sent to the outdoor unit’s compressor component, where it is recycled using electric power into liquid.
The cool-again air is then sent back to the indoor air handlers where it is released into your home. This process repeatedly happens until the air inside the house is cool enough.
Advantages of Ductless Air Conditioners
Although their upfront costs are higher, ductless air conditioners come with multiple benefits over central and window ACs.
- More energy efficient
Modern ductless air conditioners are designed to use far less electricity compared to window units, making them a better option for homeowners looking to save on energy costs in the long run. An Energy Star certified mini splits is guaranteed to save you at least 30% in air conditioning costs than similarly-sized window models.
- Easier installation
Ductless air conditioners are a lot easier to install, especially compared to central AC systems. For one, you don’t need ductwork, meaning that the installation time is reduced significantly. You may not even need a professional installer, after all. Additionally, most DIY mini-split ACs typically come with all the materials required for the installation. It makes installation even easier.
- Greater flexibility
A major limitation of window ACs is that they only condition the room where the unit is located. If the AC is located in the bedroom, it will only air condition the bedroom. Multi-zone mini splits are a more flexible option here as they can air condition multiple rooms/zones at a go. Using just one outdoor unit, you can have up to four indoor air handlers serving different rooms.
- Quieter operation
Since the condenser unit is installed outside the house, mini-split ACs make very little noise. In fact, the quietest mini-split models are rated under 30 dB, which is very quiet, considering that many window ACs are rated higher than 60 decibels. As long as everything is working properly (no broken or loose parts inside the AC), the sound is higher than that of a light breeze.
- More installation options
Window ACs must be installed through the window. If your room/space has no windows, you can’t use them. Through-the-wall AC units, meanwhile, require a solid wall. Otherwise, they aren’t an option. Ductless mini-splits offer a lot more flexibility here too. The indoor air handlers can install on the wall, ceiling, or floor.
- Heating option
All ductless air conditioners can function as heat pumps. It’s also a straightforward process. All you need to do is set the unit to work as a heater. When you select the heater setting, the AC works in reverse – extracting heat from the air outside the house and dumping it inside the house. This alone might not be enough to keep your indoors warm, but it makes for a great supplemental heat source.
- Greater air conditioning control
This is perhaps the biggest advantage of multi-zoned mini-splits – each indoor air handler can be controlled independently. Each indoor unit has its own thermostat, such that you can low the temperatures in one room without affecting the conditions in the adjacent room. You may even keep the AC off in one room and on in the next room.
Disadvantages of Ductless Air Conditioners
Despite the long list of advantages, though, mini splits are also known for a few drawbacks. Some of the downsides include;
- High initial costs
Buying and installing a ductless mini-split requires a significant monetary outlay. The units are generally priced around whole-house AC systems, with many of them costing in excess of $1,000. The multi-zone models are particularly pricey. Some units cost as much as $3,000 or higher.
- Increased maintenance requirements
All air conditioning systems require maintenance to function properly. You need to schedule regular maintenance to rid the AC system of dirt, debris, etc.
Ductless models more regular maintenance because of the absence of vents. They can’t tolerate the accumulation of dirt. As a result, the filters may need to be replaced more often, typically every two months or more frequently in families with children and pets.
Mini Split Zoning – Single vs. Multi Zone Split Air Conditioners
The very thing you need to consider when shopping for a mini-split, even before the air conditioning capacity, is zoning. Is it a multi-zone or single-zone model? Let’s begin with a definition.
Zoned cooling (and heating) is an approach in residential air conditioning where the home is divided into multiple zones, which can be individual rooms or areas within a single room. Each zone is a target space for climate control. When a mini-split system is used, the temperature in each location is independently controlled.
It effectively means that you can set different temperature levels for one zone without affecting the next zone’s climate. The number of zones you designate will depend on the number of rooms in your home or areas of a room you’d like to heat/cool separately.
The temperature in each zone is controlled or regulated via a designated thermostat or remote controller. The remote controllers can either be handheld or wireless.
Some more advanced mini splits also allow for smart zone control where you can change or adjust each zone’s temperature from your smartphone, tablet, or other designated smart devices.
Single vs. Multi-Zone Mini Split
There are two broad ways to zone your home for the purposes of air conditioning – single zoning and multi-zoning.
Single zone air conditioning is a 1:1 configuration where a single AC unit (outdoor component) serves a single room. In mini split configurations, it means the outdoor unit comes with one indoor unit.
Multi-zone air conditioning, meanwhile, involves one outdoor unit and at least two indoor units. The two or more indoor units are both connected to the single outdoor unit, but places in different zones/rooms such that each serves a separate zone. Currently, one outdoor unit can power up to eight different indoor units.
It’s worth noting that whereas all outdoor units of mini-split ACs are essentially the same, except for capacity, indoor units vary in many other aspects, including style, characteristics, and capabilities. Some install on the wall while others are floor or ceiling mounted.
Also, some must be mounted horizontally while others support vertical and diagonal installation. Control options also vary.
The main difference between single and multi-zone mini splits
The key differences between single and multi-zone mini splits, however, come in the areas of cost and installation.
- Cost differences: Understandably, multi-zone mini-split systems are more expensive to buy and install than their single-split counterparts. Costs also vary depending on the number of zones. A four-zone mini-split will be pricier than a two-zone mini-split if all other factors remain constant.
- Installation differences: multi-zone models, however, are also a lot more challenging to install because you need more combinations to connect them to the outdoor unit. Ideally, you’d need a professional technician for the multi-zone mini installation.
Benefits of Zoned Cooling
Zoned air conditioning comes with a few additional benefits on top of the perks you get from standard mini-split ACs. These advantages include;
- Precise temperature control: Modern zoned ACs are designed to allow for small temperature increases such that you get exactly what you want. If you want your room at 60 degrees, you can set the AC to deliver just that.
- Customized comfort: Zoned air conditioning allows you to effectively cool or heat a specific zone or room in the home without affecting the other rooms’ climates. If you want the bedroom cooler or warmer, depending on the season, you can get that without impacting the climate in the other rooms.
- Powerful heating and cooling: Zoned air conditioners are designed with advanced heating and cooling technologies to deliver maximum comfort. As you can tell from the reviews, some are just as powerful as the best central AC systems, capable of serving the entire home.
- Consume less energy: First off, zoned AC systems are very efficient. They draw very little electricity from the home’s power line. This explains the high SEER and EER ratings. Secondly, the customized air conditioning discussed above means you save even more energy. You can lower the thermostat in the rooms you’re not actively using to cut your energy consumption,
- Versatile application: Since zoned AC systems don’t need ductwork, they can work in pretty much any setting where air conditioning is needed. A single multi-zone unit can efficiently serve all the rooms in your home without much trouble.
Single or Multi-Zone AC? Which should you Buy?
It depends on your reasons for buying the AC system in the first place. Single-zone mini-split systems are best suited to situations where the original air conditioning system isn’t delivering to expectations. Perhaps you already use a central air system that extends to the bedroom, but you still feel it’s a little too hot in there.
A single-zone AC would come in and complement the central AC to lower the temperatures to the desired levels. Other instances where a single zone AC can prove valuable include
- When adding a room to the home and you can’t immediately extend the central AC to serve the new space.
- When converting an area of the home into a new functional space. Zoned air conditioning would provide the necessary climate control in the new space.
- When remodeling the home, perhaps by adding a few new rooms. You’ll need air conditioning in the new rooms, and a single-zone AC can do the job perfectly.
- When upgrading or replacing part of the old air conditioning system. An example is when you’re replacing the AC system in the kid’s bedroom.
Multi-zone air conditioning systems are a great consideration when thinking about larger projects, spanning larger spaces/rooms, or even whole-home air cooling and heating. The following are a few instances where multi-zone ACs would be an excellent idea;
- When your home has two or more floor levels; Multi-zone mini-splits allow you to serve multiple rooms and are easier to install than central ACs.
- When the central air system may not reach certain areas or rooms; Many people, for instance, use multi-zone ACs to reach the basement.
- When you have an old house and installing new ductwork is impractical because of the building’s compromised structural integrity.
- When you’re using a central air system, but there are temperature inconsistencies within the home i.e., multiple areas aren’t getting heated or cooled to the desired temperatures.
How Much Does It Cost to Install a Ductless Air Conditioner?
The cost of installing a ductless air conditioner varies depending on several factors, including the number of zones, the installation location, and even the AC’s size.
We’ll look at some of these factors closely in a bit, but if you’re wondering what you’d pay on average, the figure is $5,471. This is the cost of buying and installing a standard 24,000 BTU multi-zone systems – the most purchased mini-split system in the US. The most common price range, however, is $3,150 to $9,000.
However, some units cost as little as $1,650 if you’re DIY installing the unit. On the other end, the most you can expect to pay unless you’re buying a designer muni split system is about $9,530.
Wall-mounted models, which install just below the ceiling, are the most popular and the cheapest to install, with installation costs ranging from $700 to $3,000. Floor-standing models are also not very expensive to install, with prices starting at around $1,500.
On the other extreme, concealed mini splits and vertical, self-contained models are the most expensive to install. Although they don’t require much installation work, concealed mini splits can cost as much as $9,000 for a single-zone model.
In general, though, multi-zone mini splits are more expensive to install compared to their single-zone counterparts. The average cost of installing a single-zone mini-split is around $3,500 to $4,000, while for a multi-zone unit, you’ll need about $7,000 on average.
The above figures are total costs, including the cost of buying the AC system. If you’re interested in just the labor costs, the price will vary depending on the system’s size, placement, and difficulty of accessing the installation location.
In general, though, single-zone units cost between $200 and $2,000 to install. The $200 figure would be where you’re installing the appliance on your own. Multi-zone mini-splits, meanwhile, cost $500 to $3,000 to install. Here too, the $500 figure would only apply to DIY installation.
Cost of Replacement/Upgrades
Finally, keep in mind that if you’re replacing or upgrading an existing air conditioning system, then you’ll likely be charged for removing the old system and may also need to replace the/upgrade the electrical wiring system
Removing the old AC system can cost anywhere between $25 and $500 depending on the size and company. Replacing/installing the required electrical system, meanwhile, should cost $3,300 to $3,000.
Other Factors to Consider Before Buying a Ductless Air Conditioner
We’ve already discussed the pros and cons of ductless air conditioners, single vs. multi-zone mini splits, and the cost of buying and installing these AC systems. Those are some of the most important considerations when buying a ductless AC.
However, they aren’t the only factors you need to consider. The following are several other things to keep in mind;
Your BTU Requirements
Choosing the right size AC is a two-step process. First, you need to determine your cooling (and heating) requirements. Then, once you know what you need, you can proceed to pick the right size AC. To determine the amount of cooling you need, use a sizing chart.
Typically, you need 6,000 BTU for any space up to 250 Sq. Ft. Add 1,000 BTU for every 50 Sq. Ft. increase up to 450 Sq. Ft. and 2,000 BTU for every 200 sq. ft. increase after that.
More importantly, don’t forget that each indoor air handler has a BTU rating. This is especially important when dealing with multi-zone mini-splits.
A professional technician is best suited to handle the installation. But, if you decide to DIY the process, you’ll need to keep two things in mind – installation location and voltage requirements. Concerning location, most indoor air handlers hang on the wall, though others are floor-standing, ceiling-mounted, ceiling suspended, or concealed. Which style do you want?
As for voltage, the smaller ACs use standard 110-120-volt outlets. However, the larger models need more power, thus usually require 220-240-volt outlets. Using the incorrect voltage can cause loss of efficiency, break the circuit, or even cause a fire.
The Energy Efficiency of the AC
Ductless ACs, in general, are very energy-efficient systems. However, efficiency levels also vary from one unit to the next. You need to look for two things – SEER and EER ratings. For Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratings (SEER), anything above 13.0 SEER is good. EER ratings are usually slightly higher.
Aside from SEER and EER, you should also consider Energy Star certification. Energy Star-certified mini-splits cut cooling and heating costs by a further 30%.
We’ve already discussed the compressor unit found in the outdoor component of mini splits. There are two main types of compressors – inverter and rotary. Inverter compressors draw just enough power to reach the desired temperature setting then idle at that setting until more power is needed. On the other hand, rotary inverters turn on and off while working to maintain the set temperature.
Many people prefer inverter compressors because they don’t turn on and off. The idling also helps save energy.
This is another vital factor when shopping for a ductless air conditioner. Although air conditioners are primarily designed to cool indoor air during the hot seasons, most mini splits can also serve other purposes such as heating and dehumidification. Some of the modes to consider include;
Heating: Wouldn’t it be nice to buy an AC system that would also function as a supplementary heat source during the cold months? If you’d appreciate this versatility, consider a model with a heating setting.
Dehumidification: In the dehumidification mode, the AC extracts excess moisture from your home and dumps it outside the house for a healthy indoor moisture level.
Fan-only: In the fan-only model, the AC doesn’t add or remove heat. It merely circulates and distributes air around the home like a standard fan.
Besides the modes, you may also want an AC that’s easy to use and convenient to control. If so, consider the following features;
Programmable timer: A programmable timer allows you to set the cooling or heating to start or stop at a particular time in the future. For instance, you can set the cooling to start 30 minutes before you get home from work.
Adjustable airflow: In most ductless ACs, you can adjust airflow as you wish. However, the difference is that some newer models allow you to adjust the airflow from the remote control while for others, you must manually adjust the louvers.
Washable air filters: Yes, some AC filters are washable. You need to replace them in the end, but you can wash and reuse them in the meanwhile. Washable filters save you from the costs associated with frequent replacements.
Automatic restart: Auto-restart AC systems resume operation on their own following a power failure. You don’t need to start the unit manually. Better still, they resume at the last set temperatures. This operation protects the compressor and circuit breaker from damage.
Finally, don’t forget to check the warranty. In fact, if the manufacturer doesn’t offer a warranty, then it’s better to look elsewhere.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s possible that you still have a few questions about ductless air conditioners. The following are answers to mini-split FAQs;
Are ductless air conditioners expensive to run?
Compared to similar-sized central air systems, ductless air conditioners are much cheaper to run. The exact cost will depend on two key factors – the wattage of each indoor air handler and electricity prices where you live. Since most people pay around $0.13/kWh, you should expect to pay about $0.91/hour for a standard 24,000 BTU mini-split.
Can I DIY-install a ductless air conditioner?
Yes. Indeed, there are a few models explicitly designed for DIY installation. If you’d like to do the installation on your own, it would be best to buy these DIY models. Otherwise, consider professional installation.
How long does a ductless air conditioner last?
It depends on the model, manufacturer, and quality of maintenance, among other factors. With good maintenance, most mini splits can last 20 years or more.
How many mini splits do I need?
It depends on how many zones/rooms you’re looking to air condition. If it’s just one small room, a single-zone unit will suffice. If it’s three rooms, a three-zone AC would be great. If it’s seven rooms, you’d need two mini-splits – a 4-zone and 3-zone model.
Do you need a mini-split in every room?
Not necessarily. Although you need an air handler in every room, you can use one mini-split with multiple air handlers to serve multiple spaces.
Are ductless air conditioners noisy?
Ductless ACs produce some level of sound. However, they aren’t noisy. Compared to other AC systems, they are some of the quietest.
Best Ductless Heating And Cooling Systems Reviews
1. PIONEER Air Conditioner Mini Split Heat Pump
- Save money all year-round with a highly efficient ductless mini split inverter+ heat pump system
- Ultra-silent and beautifully built perfect for home or light commercial use
- Comes with every needed component in the box, including an easy-install 16ft copper piping kit
- Use for both cooling and heating: 12000 BTU/hour with 19 SEER and 10 HSPF efficiency
- Free tech support and a 5 year coverage on the compressor
- Voltage 110 120 VAC 60 Hz (standard household power l-n-g)
PIONEER Air Conditioner Mini Split Heat Pump is the best seller on Amazon and other e-commerce sites for various reasons. It is an all-in-one mini-split unit that cools, heats, removes excess moisture, and distributes air into the room.
This mini-split unit is perfect for single-zone cooling and heating. If you have multiple rooms, the company offers multi-zone mini-split systems depending on the number of rooms.
While the BTU ranges from 9,000 to 36,000, I’ve recommended the 12,000 BTU ductless mini-split that is ideal for rooms between 450 to 750 square feet. However, you’re free to choose a higher or lower BTU depending on the size of your room.
Energy efficiency is an important factor you shouldn’t overlook when choosing a mini-split ac. This unit is energy efficient since it has a high SEER rating of 17.0, efficient rotary compressor, and inverter technology that helps save money without sacrificing comfort.
Easy to operate, it’s packed with an impressive array of user-friendly features, including Wireless Internet worldwide remote access and programming module that is sold separately. It’s easy to install with the included installation materials.
- Energy efficient
- Affordable option
- Noiseless operation
- Easy installation
- Infrared remote control
- Classy design
- For homeowners and pros
- Comes with 16 feet installation kit
- Installation is tricky
- Not as durable as expected
2. Senville SENL-12CD Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump
- 4-in-1 Mini Split Air Conditioner with Heat Pump. Built-In Air Conditioning, Heating (Up to 5F/-15C), Dehumidifier, Fan and Turbo Function.
- Great for Bedrooms, Additions, Living Rooms, Garages, and Commercial Applications. Can Be Installed in Virtually Any Home, Condo or Space.
- Whisper Quiet Operation (28dB). Energy Efficient Consumption and Engineered for the Harshest Climates.
- 5 Year Manufacturer Warranty. Senville Trusted Quality and Design. Free Technical & Installation Support Included.
- Includes 16 Ft. Installation Kit with Communication Cable and Copper Lines (Pre-Flared) and Remote Control. R410A Refrigerant *Requires Professional Installation for Warranty to be Valid..
Senville SENL-12CD Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump is the ultimate comfort solution for small rooms like bedrooms, dens, and home office. It’s built for more than just cooling and heating since it can also keep rooms dry by removing excess moisture.
While you can choose other BTU levels depending on the size of the room you want to keep warm or cold, the 12,000 BTU for this model is ideal for rooms between 450 to 750 square feet. When you need fast cooling, you can select the Turbo mode that will blow air much faster to achieve your set temperature.
If you’re an energy-conscious person, you’ll be pleased with this system because it has several energy-saving features. The first is the variable inverter compressor that uses less energy compared to traditional AC units. It also has an impressive 19 SEER and 9.0 HSPF.
To save even more power, Senville SENL-12CD also features an ECO mode that you can select when you want to maintain your set temperature but still conserve energy. This is an easy-to-use device thanks to the included remote control.
You can select different speed settings, adjust airflow, and don’t have to worry about resetting the unit after a power outage. It’s easy to set up, and all the installation materials are included.
- Comes with an easy installation kit
- Great for use throughout the year
- An excellent choice for your living room, bedrooms, and garages
- Comes with a programmable remote control
- Comes with a five-year warranty on the compressor and a one-year warranty on the spare parts
- It doesn’t come with a power cord out of the box
- A licensed HVAC expert must install the unit
3. Mr. Cool DIY 18k BTU 20-SEER Ductless Heat Pump Split System
- Control your MrCool DIY 3rd Gen mini split with the included wireless remote, IR Wifi Thermostat, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or an app from your Android or Apple device.
- The 3rd Generation MrCool DIY mini split has an feature that activates in Cool, DRY or Auto mode. This keeps the fan running on low for roughly 10 minutes to dry condensation buildup.
- New SmartHVAC app: wifi control - compatible with Alexa and Google assistant - you can control your DIY anywhere with your Apple or android smart device and an Internet connection
- Easy Do-It-Yourself installation: The included 25ft Quick Connect line means no special tools, training or equipment are needed. Gold fin condenser means it's corrosion resistant; Perfect for coastal conditions!
- 7 year compressor, 5 year parts Warranty. Low Ambient Cooling: Cooling down to 5°F - this makes the MrCool DIY unit great for computer server rooms, greenhouses, or any other application that requires cooling year round. Unit is Energy Star rated.
The 3rd Generation Mr. Cooler 18,000 BTU air conditioner is a DIY unit with Smart Controller and the ideal choice for cooling and heating in the bedroom.
It is very efficient (20 SEER), easy to install, remote-controlled, and Wi-Fi enabled for smartphone control. It is also Energy Star rated, which is a testament to its high efficiency. The manufacturer says it can cool for as little as $119 a year.
Other key features of the AC include all-year use with several functions, including heating, dehumidification, and fan-only modes available at your need.
A programmable thermostat allows you to set your ideal temperatures, while a multi-speed fan lets you choose from Low, Medium, and High blower speeds.
There’s also an automatic speed mode. Turbo mode, self-cleaning, a programmable timer, automatic restart, and follow-me temperature control are other features you’ll love.
The single-zone AC comes with a 25-foot pre-charged line set and is rated 12.5 EER and 10 HSPF. It uses an inverter compressor, mounts on the wall, and produces about 31 dB of sound.
- Powerful 18,000 BTU cooling/heating
- DIY installation
- Adjustable louvers
- Automatic oscillation
- 7-year compressor warranty
- 5-year parts warranty
- Requires 220-240V wiring
- Installation brackets not included
4. Bosch Ultra-Quiet 12,000 BTU 230V Mini Split Air Conditioner
- COMPACT AND EASY: Aesthetic and modern indoor air handler with compact and easily concealed outdoor condenser unit
- WIDE RANGE: 12, 000 BTU cooling capacity, ideal for rooms up to 400 square feet, the unit provides heat with outdoor temps down to -13 degrees F (provides cooling up to 122 degrees F outdoors)
- ENERGY EFFICIENT: Energy Star certified for greater efficiency and lower energy costs - 22 SEER and 10 HSPF Rated
- REMOTE SETTINGS: Wireless back-lit remote with Silent mode, timer, Follow-Me, and Turbo speed settings for the highest level of home comfort
- INCLUDES: Indoor air handler and outdoor condensing section - requires line set for complete assembly (sold separately)
Also known as the Bosch Climate 5000, this is another energy-efficient ductless cooler. It’s rated 22 SEER, one of the highest ratings you’ll come across, reducing electricity usage and lowering your energy bills.
A wireless back-lit remote is included for easy temperature control. The Climate 5000 also features a timer and follow-me climate control for increased convenience.
Something else that stands out about this mini split is the very low noise rating. Whereas most ductless mini splits in this size range produce 30+ decibels, the Climate 5000 produces a paltry 20 dB in the Silent setting. This makes it an excellent choice for bedrooms and home offices.
The single-zone unit comes with a pre-charged 15-foot line set and the necessary indoor and outdoor installation materials. It’s recommended for spaces in the 400-500 Sq. Ft. range.
- High 22 SEER rating
- Doubles up as a heater (9.6 HSPF)
- Remote control
- Energy Star certified
- 7-year compressor warranty
- 5-year parts warranty
- Required 230V wiring
5. Daikin 12,000 BTU 17-SEER Wall-Mounted Ductless Mini Split
This Daikin is a single-zone inverter wall-mounted air conditioning system designed to deliver affordable, cost-saving climate control in the home. It’s very efficient at 17 SEER and 9-HSPF and blends neatly with any home design.
As with most of Daikin’s newer AC systems, it utilizes a variable-speed compressor system for ultimate cooling and heating control. Variable-speed compressors reduce energy consumption by minimizing temperature fluctuation.
Other key features of the unit include titanium apatite photocatalytic air-purifying filters that double up as a deodorizing agent. The unit also utilizes hydrophilic coated fins to ensure that condensate water moves easily to the drain pan and out of the AC.
This enhances cleanliness and boosts the life of the unit. Wide-angle louver, auto-swing function, remote control, and smart (Wi-Fi) control are other features of the AC.
The Daikin produces just 37 decibels of sound, which drops by to under 35 decibels in the quiet mode. It comes with a 15-foot installation kit as well as installation brackets.
- Functions as a heat pump
- A high SEER rating of 17
- High HSPF rating of 9
- Remote control
- Smart/wireless control
- Ten-year parts/compressor warranty
- Requires 230V wiring
6. Cooper and Hunter 12,000 BTU 115V Ductless Mini Split
- Cooper&Hunter Mia Series 12,000 BTU 19 SEER 110V 1Ton Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump ETL Intertek Approved, AHRI Certified WiFi Ready (Additional USB adapter is required but NOT included)
- Pre-charged with refrigerant. Works for heating with ambient temperature up to 5F°
- Ready for installation: 16FT copper line set, communication wires, and a drainage extension included with your order
- Whisper Technology for Quiet Operation, Great for Bedrooms, Additions,Living Rooms and Commercial Applications.
- You are well protected by a 7 year warranty on the compressor, a 5 year parts warranty. This is not a DIY system, professional installation is required.
The 12,000 BTU single-zone AC from Cooper and Hunter is one of only two mini-split on this list that plugs into the standard 115V electrical outlet, which is a great advantage.
It’s also one of the very efficient models, rated at 21.5 SEER and 12.5 EER. These numbers are early indicators of what you can expect if you buy the AC. The mini-split is recommended for spaces in the 300-370 Sq. Ft. range.
The unit is impressively quiet too. The outdoor compressor produces a maximum of 52.5 decibels, while the indoor air handler produces as little as 23 decibels in the Low setting. As a supplementary heater (heat pump), it generates 11,800 BTU of heat at 9.8 HSPF.
Other features of the AC include high-density filters, mute operation, turbo operation, two-directional airflow, 12 fan speeds, auto restart, timer, and refrigerant leakage detection. The line set is pre-charged to 15 feet.
- Plugs into standard 115V outlet
- ETL Intertek approve, AHRI certified
- Wi-Fi ready
- Reusable, washable filters
- 7-year compressor warranty
- 5-year parts warranty
- Requires professional installation
7. Klimaire KSIF012-H115-S BTU 16-SEER Ductless Mini Split
The KSIF012 mini-split is a member of the KSIF Series air conditioners from Klimaire. It features oscillating louvers for even air distribution and a highly efficient hydrophilic fin heat exchanger for efficient hat extraction.
Three adjustable fan speeds allow you to refine your indoor climate while an auto-clean clean function maintains a clean evaporator for healthy indoor air.
The AC uses a rotary compressor with DC inverter technology that enables variable compressor speeds. This technology reduces temperature fluctuation for efficient energy consumption. Low outdoor noise and a built-in base pan heater for the winter are other vital features of the KSIF012.
The AC is rated 16 SEER and 9 HSPF and plugs into a standard household electrical outlet. It’s ideal for spaces/rooms measuring around 550 sq. ft. and comes with a 13-foot pre-flared installation kit. It’s backed by a one-year parts warranty.
- Refrigerant leak detection
- 24-hour timer
- Freeze protection
- Wall brackets included
- 5-year compressor warranty
- 16 SEER rating is a bit low
- 1-year parts warranty is low
8. Ductless Aire 24,000 BTU 20.5 SEER Energy Star Ductless Mini Split
- Energy Star: 21.5 SEER, Variable Speed Inverter Compressor. Complete Package 25 ft Full Installation Kit. R410a Pre-charged!
- Whisper-quiet operation; Refrigerant Leak Detection; LCD display, Electroplated Coils
- HEPA Filter Included; Quick access, Washable air filters; Turbo mode; 3 fan speeds
- Self-diagnosis and Auto-Protection Function; Heating Belt; Auto Restart, Sleep Mode
- Low Ambient Operation; Dual Sensor - fixed or remote; Auto Cleaning
Finally, the DA2421-H2 from DuctlessAire is an Energy Star certified mini-split with a variable-speed DC inverter compressor for efficient, quiet, and low-cost cooling and heating.
The AC features bi-directional airflow technology for maximum air movement and uses dual-sensor or remote technology for temperature control.
High-density washable filters and a HEPA filter work together inside the indoor air handlers to ensure that the air coming into your room is clean and healthy.
Meanwhile, hydrophobic coils in the compressor improve heating and cooling efficiency, accelerating the defrosting process. Refrigerant leak detection, multiple operation modes, and low noise airflow are other highlight features of the DA2421-H2.
This high-capacity AC is rated 21.5 SEER, which is impressive for such an oversized air conditioner. It comes with all the materials needed for installation, including a 25-foot full installation kit pre-charged with an R410a refrigerant.
- Pre-charged to 25 feet
- Whisper-quiet operation
- LCD display
- Electroplated coils
- 5-year warranty
- One of the more expensive models
- No warranty for DIY