The 6 Best Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners For Garage

If you don’t have a cooling system in your garage, you may be forced to abandon your projects during the hot summer season. But that shouldn’t happen this summer because you can use a mini split for garage.

Ductless air conditioner for garage is easy to install and can be used in rooms without windows. The initial cost of purchasing a ductless unit might be high, but the cost of operation and maintenance are less compared to other air conditioning systems.

If you’re not sure which cooling system to choose for your garage, try mini split ac for garage. And we have reviewed the best brands on the market to help you narrow down your search.

Best Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners For Garage

1. PIONEER Air Conditioner Pioneer Mini Split Heatpump

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Pioneer Air Conditioner WYS012A-19 Wall Mount...
  • 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)

If you are on a budget and only looking to cool only your garage, consider Pioneer WYS009AMFI19RL. It provides 9000 BTU of cooling power for garage spaces up to 400 square feet. It also has a supplemental heat pump that will keep the room in the winter, eliminating the need for two separate units.

While it’s one of the affordable ductless air conditioners on the market, the company also backs it up with 5-Year Limited Compressor Warranty and 2-Year Limited Parts Warranty. Setting it up is easy because all the installation materials are included. However, it is advised that you hire an HVAC technician to help with the installation.

Like many homeowners, we all want to save energy when running our appliances, which is why it’s important always to check the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of any mini-split system you want to buy. SEER measures how much heat a system removes from space for each unit of energy it consumes.

Like many homeowners, we all want to save energy when running our appliances, which is why it’s important always to check the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) of any mini-split system you want to buy. SEER measures how much heat a system removes from space for each unit of energy it consumes.

Pioneer WYS009AMFI19RL has an impressive 19 SEER, making it one of the most energy-efficient units on the market. Moreover, it uses a variable speed rotary compressor and inverter technology to regulate energy output.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Energy efficient
  • Multiple modes for year-round comfort
  • Near-silent operation
  • Comes with complete installation kit

Cons

  • The outdoor and indoor units need to be installed by a professional.

2. Senville 9000 BTU SENA-09HF/Z Energy Star Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump

Senville 9000 BTU SENA-09HF/Z Energy Star Mini...
  • DC Inverter Technology for Ultra High Efficiency and Performance
  • High Quality Design for an Attractive Appearance, Powerful Performance, and Dependable Durability
  • Uses 208-230V, ETL Intertek Approved, Energy Star Certified, AHRI Certified
  • Includes Easy Installation Kit with 16 Ft. Copper Line Set
  • Whisper Technology for Quiet Operation, Great for Bedrooms, Additions, Living Rooms and Commercial Applications.

Engineered for ultra-quiet operation, this AURA Series mini-split is a powerful AC/heater combo ideal for both residential and business applications. It has onboard sensors that allow you to maintain the perfect temperature in any room. Aside from air conditioning and heating, the SENA also features a built-in dehumidifier and fan-only mode.

The unit is designed for the coldest climates, with an arctic function that allows for heating in temperatures as low as -22°F/-30°C. An auto-switch mode flips from cooling to heating in a press of a button. The unit has a Turbo Mode for maximum cooling or heating and Quiet Mode for low-noise operation. All these functions are controlled through remote control (remote included) or wirelessly from your smartphone.

The package comes with the full installation kit, including a 16-foot copper line set (w/wiring harness). It is 25 SEER rated, R410A pre-charged up to 25 feet, and uses 208V to 230V outlets. It’s also ETL Intertek Approved, Energy Star Certified, and AHRI Certified.

Pros

  • High-quality design
  • AC/heater combo
  • Wi-Fi smart control
  • 25 SEER rating
  • Energy Star certified
  • 2-year parts, 7-year compressor warranty

Cons

  • Ideal for smaller (100-450 Sq. Ft.) spaces
  • Requires a 230V outlet

3. MRCOOL Comfort Made Simple Mini Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump System

MRCOOL Comfort Made Simple DIY 12,000 BTU Ductless...
  • New SmartHVAC app: wifi control - compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google assistant - you can control your DIY anywhere with your Apple or android smart device and an Internet connection. Auto restart: never lift a finger - power outage? don’t worry, the Mrcool DIY auto restart will have the unit running again in no time at all.
  • Easy DIY installation: 25ft quick connect line doesn't require special tools, equipment, or training. Gold fin condenser: corrosion resistant - live on the coast? don’t worry, our condenser is built to resist long term corrosion
  • Variable-speed DC inverter compressor technology increases energy efficiency compared to other mini-split air conditioning units. SLEEP mode on remote:Sleep mode will automatically adjust the temperature to maximize comfort during night time sleep. When in COOL mode, the unit will increase the temperature by 2°F after 1 hour, and will increase an additional 2°F after another hour. When in HEAT mode, the unit will decrease the temperature by 2°F after 1 hour, and will decrease an additional 2°F after another hour.After 7 hours operating in SLEEP mode, the system will switch off automatically.
  • Low ambient cooling: cooling down to 5°F - this feature makes the Mrcool DIY the ideal system for computer server rooms, greenhouses, and any other application that requires cooling all year. Follow me feature: by pressing the 'follow me' button and keeping the remote close to you, you tell the air conditioner to set the temperature from wherever the remote happens to be, this counteracts the tendency for the air conditioner to stop cooling or heating because the air around the unit has reached its set temperature
  • LEAKAGE DETECTION: Protecting Your Investment - When the MRCOOL DIY detects low coolant an alarm will sound to alert you to the problem. This will prevent damage to the compressor while you maintain high air comfort.

You’ve likely heard about smart home appliances that are controllable from devices such as Amazon Alexa. Well, this MRCOOL is one of them. Controllable via Alexa or even Google Assistant, it’s a cutting edge mini split that defines innovation. You can also communicate with the AC from anywhere using your Apple device.

Other than the smart control, the MRCOOL incorporates auto-restart so you never have to lift a finger. Auto-restart proves especially useful when the power goes off.

The unit will resume operation at the previous setting when power returns. The easy-to-install DIY mini split includes a 25-foot quick-connect line that doesn’t require special tools. The corrosion-resistant condenser is built for durability.

Other features of the MRCOOL include the variable-speed DC inverter compressor technology for increased energy efficiency, the energy-saving Sleep Mode, and leakage detection. This model has a cooling capacity of 12,000 BTU (at 17.5 SEER) and a heating capacity of 12,000 BTU (at 8.8 HSPF).

Pros

  • Uses standard 110/120V outlet
  • Ideal for up to 500 square feet
  • Smart (Alexa/Google Assistant-controlled) AC
  • Low ambient cooling down to 5°F

Cons

  • Requires professional installation
  • A bit pricey

4. Daikin Wall-Mounted Ductless Mini-Split Inverter Air Conditioner Heat Pump System

DAIKIN 18,000 BTU 17 SEER Wall-Mounted Ductless...
  • 10 Year Parts Warranty. HeatandCool is a Daikin manufacturer online authorized distributor, We provide FREE Technical support for all your needs and process Warranty by our in-house experts.
  • Daikin 17 SEER Wall-Mounted Ductless Mini-Split Inverter Air Conditioner Heat Pump System (230 Volt)
  • Includes: Indoor Fan Coil, Outdoor Condensing Unit, Remote Control, Maxwell 15 Ft. Installation Kit, and Outdoor Wall Bracket
  • Energy Efficient - 17 SEER, 9 HSPF.
  • Coverage Area of 1,000 Sq. Ft. Applications: Primary living areas (master bedrooms), hot or cold rooms, renovations & remodeling, basements, attics & garages.

Daikin is a world-beater when it comes to home heating and cooling, and this wall-mounted mini-split is another excellent product from the company.

The unit blends seamlessly with most decors (modern or traditional) and is integrated with smart inverter technology, with a variable-speed compressor. The 17-Series mini delivers 12,000 BTU of cooling energy at 17 SEER and a similar heating output at 9 HSPF.

The unit incorporates several features designed to increase efficiency and convenience. From the wide-angle louver design to auto-swing louver operation and several low-noise modes, you’re guaranteed the utmost comfort. Typically, the unit operates at 37 dB but the sound levels drop by up to 3 dB when you activate the quiet mode.

This AC uses advanced titanium apatite photocatalytic air-purifying filters to clean and deodorize the air. Bluefin protection technology is used to further enhance the cleanliness of the air while extending the life of the AC Remote control makes it easy to choose your desired operation modes

Pros

  • 17 SEER, 9 HSPF
  • Turbo Mode for fast action
  • Smart inverter technology
  • Quiet at just 37 decibels
  • 10-year parts warranty

Cons

  • Requires 230V wiring

5. Innovair Air Conditioner Inverter Ductless Wall Mount Mini Split System Heat Pump

Innovair Air Conditioner Inverter Ductless Wall...
  • High Efficiency AHRI certified Inverter technology Heat Pump ductless mini split system
  • Multiple Modes: Turbo Cool, Sleep Mode, Dehumidifier, Hyper Heat
  • Operates in either AC cooling or Heat Pump heating mode
  • Ready to Install: 16FT Installation Kit Included, Pre-Charged up to 25FT
  • Multiple Protections: Gold-Fin Outdoor, Multi-Layer Air Filter

The products we’ve looked at so far are best suited to single-car garages. If you’re looking for a slightly more powerful unit for a 2-car garage, this model from Innovair would be a wonderful acquisition.

A Quantum Inverter Heat Pump Series AC, the mini-split packs 18,000 BTU of cooling power and goes about the cooling process diligently at 17.6 SEER efficiency. It’s an even stronger heater at 20,000 BTU. The heating element is rated 10.1 HSPF.

The unit comes with a 16-foot installation kit and includes an outdoor unit pre-charged up to 25 feet. Gold-fin protective condensers ensure effective operation even in the coldest conditions. The mini uses a special multi-layer indoor filter comprising a Vitamin C filter, HEPA filter, Catechin filter, and Aroma filter.

The Innovair has a low ambient operation of -5°F and a high ambient operating temperature of 115°F. It’s wirelessly controlled, Wi-Fi ready, and features multiple functions including Turbo cooling, dehumidification, Sleep Mode, and Hyper Heat.

Pros 

  • 18,000 BTU AC/20,000 BTU heating
  • Ideal for up to 900 square feet
  • Rated 17.6 SEER, 10.1 HSPF
  • Multi-layer filtration
  • LCD remote control
  • 5-year parts, 7-year compressor warranty

Cons 

  • 230V wiring required

6. COOPER AND HUNTER Alice Mini Split Ductless Air Conditioner Heat Pump

COOPER AND HUNTER 9,000 BTU, 115V, 19 SEER...
  • Cooper&Hunter Mia Series 9,000 BTU, 110V, 19 SEER, 10 HSPF, 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 are 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 and smart, experienced technicians should you ever need assistance. Professional installation is required.

Finally, another mini-split ideal for smaller, single-car garages, this unit from Cooper and Hunter is a 9,000 BTU air conditioner that also doubles up as a 9,000 BTU heater.

It’s one of the heavier models on this list, weighing about 107.8 pounds (the other units mostly weigh under 90 pounds). However, it’s quiet enough to be used even in bedrooms.

The mini-split is fairly efficient at 16 SEER and comes pre-charged with refrigerant. In heating mode, it works in ambient temperatures up to 5°F. A 16-foot copper line set is included as well as communication wires. You, however, need a 208V to 230V outlet. Don’t attempt to use a 110/120 outlet.

The unit is AHRI certified and uses 25-50% less energy compared to electric zone heaters such as forced air furnaces. An I-Action inverter compressor ensures long-term reliability. All the parts are protected by a 5-year manufacturer warranty while the compressor is covered by a 7-year warranty.

Pros

  • AC/Heater combo
  • Pre-charged with refrigerant
  • Noise-free operation
  • AHRI Certified
  • 5-year parts warranty

Cons 

  • 230V wiring required
  • Ideal for smaller garages

Ductless Air Conditioner for Garage Buying Guide

A mini-split (or ductless) AC is a type of air conditioner (AC) made of two main components; an outdoor compressor (also known as a condenser) and the indoor air handling unit (known as evaporator or just air handlers).

The compressor comprises condenser coils that pump cool air through refrigerant lines connecting to the indoor unit. The indoor unit helps release the cool air into your room.

The outdoor condenser is installed outdoors on an exterior wall while the air handlers are installed on the wall or ceiling inside the house.  

Two other components of the mini-split worth mentioning are the refrigerant line and the wall monitor. Charged refrigerant lines connect the outdoor condenser to the indoor air handler. Some people call them set lines. They pass either through the window or a hole in the wall to connect the indoor and outdoor components.

The remote control (or wall monitor), meanwhile, allows you to control temperature, modes, and other climate settings in your home.

Advantages of Mini Split AC for Garage

For most people, the biggest advantage of mini splits is the absence of ducts. Leaks, cracks, and disconnections, which are a common feature in ducts, make them expensive to maintain and an avenue for performance loss. Some studies have found that central ACs lose up to 30% of energy through the ductwork. Mini-splits relieve you from this problem.

Additionally, mini-splits;

  • Support zoned cooling: This can be another crucial advantage especially if you’re looking to control the climate in multiple rooms. Multi-zone mini-splits let you control the climate in each room independently.
  • Deliver quiet performance: Mini-splits are the industry standard for quiet operation. The indoor component can go as low as 19 dB – quieter than a TV on mute. Outdoor components are typically less quiet, but they sit outside the house so you don’t have to worry about it.
  • Guarantee healthy indoor air: All mini splits come with high-performance air filters to sieve out unwanted dirt particles, allergens, mold, and bacteria from the air entering your home. The result is usually very clean air that’s both safe and healthy. 
  • Offer flexible installation options: First off, some mini-splits can also work as window ACs. But, that’s just the start. Mini-splits come in a variety of shapes and sizes that easily complement any space. From streamlined wall-mounted units to barely-there ceiling cassettes and concealed duct units, the options are endless. 
  • Cooling + Heating combos: Though not all mini splits can work as heaters, the majority double up as supplemental heat sources. When the air conditioning process is reversed, they can extract warmth from the outdoors and deposit it inside the house. 

Who Should Buy a Mini Split?

Anyone who needs air conditioning should consider mini-splits as an option. That said, though, the units are best suited to the following scenarios;

  • Homes that use heated oil, propane, or electric baseboards
  • Homes where the air conditioning system is 20+ years old
  • Homes where zoned heating may be beneficial
  • When you don’t want to add any more weight on the central AC
  • Extensions and additions that aren’t served by central AC

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Mini Split for Garage

There are endless factors you’ll want to consider when shopping for a mini-split AC. The following are seven points to prioritize;

AC zoning; Single vs. multi-zone mini splits

Mini-splits can cool (or heat) more than one unique space individually. In the air conditioning world, these unique spaces are known as zones.

  • Single-zone mini-splits: Can only serve one zone. They comprise one outdoor unit and one indoor unit, therefore are used for just one room. The AC units are most commonly used for bedroom temperature control.
  • Multi-zone mini-splits: Serve two or more zones at ago. They comprise a single outdoor unit and multiple indoor units. All the indoor units connect to the single outdoor unit but can serve different zones/rooms. Most multi-zone mini splits support up to four zones or more

It’s worth noting that the indoor units of a multi-zone mini split are controlled separately. You can turn one unit off while keeping the next one on. You can also amplify the AC operation in one room while keeping the operation in the adjacent room lower. This quality makes multi-zone mini splits a worthwhile alternative to the central AC.

Understand Mini Split Sizing

Ductless mini-splits also come in a range of sizes. Some are smaller mini splits and designed for tiny spaces while others are larger.

The first thing you need to know is that mini-splits are sized in BTUs. Secondly, beware that the indoor and outdoor components may be sized differently. For instance, the outdoor unit may be rated at 30,000 BTU while the outdoor units are rated at 9,000 BTU.

Lastly, keep in mind that for multi-zone minis, each indoor unit has a BTU rating attached to it. The total BTU of the individual indoor units is the BTU value of the entire AC. For example, a 4-zone mini-split may have each of the units rated at 9,000 BTU. So, make sure to check the individual sizing.

How Many BTUs Do you Need?

The required cooling power (in BTUs) will be determined by several factors, including the size of the garage, average occupancy, age of the room, and exposure to sunlight, among others.

With regards to room size, for one-car garages, a 6,000 BTU to 9,000 BTU should suffice. Two-car and three-car garages, meanwhile, work well with 9,000-12,000 BTU and 15,000-36,000 BTU ACs simultaneously.

The above values apply only if one person spends time in the garage most of the time. If you’ll be expecting more people at the garage, add 6,000 BTU for every additional person. Therefore, a garage that frequently houses three people would require 12,000 additional BTUs.

You’re advised to reduce the cooling BTU needs by 10% if the garage is heavily shaded or add 10% of it is directly exposed to sunlight. Additionally, increase the BTU estimate by 30% if the garage is an old building with poor insulation.

Installation Type

One of the reasons people love mini splits a lot is that you can DIY install your own split systems, each with its own set of advantages. The following are common installation options to consider;

tools for installing a ductless air conditioner for garage

  • Wall-mounted models: These are usually installed on the wall near the ceiling of an exterior wall and require a 3” drilling through for the refrigerant lines, connecting wires, and drain tube. Wall-mounted minis are the easiest to install and the most common installation type.
  • Ceiling cassettes: These are installed on the ceiling, recessed into a decorative grill. They offer a sleek, unobtrusive look and are most common in commercial applications. A 10-to-14-inch clearance between the visible ceiling and the surface above it is required.
  • Concealed duct units: These are a hybrid between central air systems and mini-splits. Unlike other mini split types, they employ some form of ductwork that carries air to the intended zone. The air then enters the room via a grill installed on the wall. Only the grill is visible, with all other components of the AC tucked away. The ductwork can be branched to serve two or more rooms.
  • Wall art mini splits: Finally, some mini splits are also designed in the form of artwork. The artwork ACs install to the wall and can be placed alongside other artwork. LG, for instance, makes a few 20 x 20 (inch) units that resemble photographs and paintings. The majority are under 5-inch thick.

Energy Efficiency

The good news is that most mini splits are impressively efficient. However, the efficiency levels vary from one product to the next. The following are a few things to focus on;

  • Energy Star Certification: The best mini-split ACs are Energy Star Certified. Some studies show that you can save as much as 30% on energy costs with an Energy Star Certified model.
  • EER Rating: EER is an acronym for Energy Efficiency Ratio determined by dividing the AC’s power output (in BTU/hour) by the energy consumption per hour.
  • SEER Rating: Refers to Seasonal EER which is a measurement of the product’s efficiency over a specific season as opposed to EER which is a whole-year measurement. According to studies, upgrading from a 9 SEER (the lowest possible AC rating) to 13 SEER can reduce power consumption by up to 30%.

Extra Features

Every mini-split will come with a few extra (convenience) features. The following are four such features that would make a major difference;

  • Additional uses: Many mini-splits ACs also work as supplemental heaters during the cold weather. Others can also function as dehumidifiers, thus help remove excess moisture from your home.
  • Programmable timer: A programmable timer allows you to set the AC to start at a particular time (say 0100 hours) and run for a given period (say six hours) without additional input from you.
  • Adjustable airflow: Adjustable airflow means that you can adjust the louvers to direct airflow to a specific area of the room. The adjustment can be manual (where you have to manually move the louvers) or automatic (found in auto-swing louvers).
  • Washable filters: Air filters are a critical component of the AC. They help trap allergens, microorganisms, and dirt as air passes from the outdoors into your home. Most ACs require that you replace the filter after 2-3 months but a few special models come with reusable, washable filters.
  • Others: Other features to consider include automatic restart, remote control, and durability (make material).

NB: Some mini-splits plug into standard 110/120V outlets while others require a 230/240V outlet. Make sure to comply with the requirements to avoid a poor operation, circuit breaks, and, in the worst case, fires.

Warranty

The reason you need a warranty is that a mini-split AC can break down due to mechanical failure. When this happens and you’re certain that you’re not at fault, the warranty kicks in to protect your investment. In most cases, the manufacturer will fix the broken/damaged component or replace the entire unit.

A great warranty is one that covers as many scenarios as possible for as long as possible. With regards to the warranty period, a two-year cover on the compressor and at least five years on the compressor is considered great.

Summary

Mini-splits can be a valuable air conditioning solution in the garage. They are extremely efficient and typically come with in-built heating and dehumidification functions for all-year use. Above all, multi-zone mini splits allow you to warm multiple spaces simultaneously or individually.

Just be sure to find the right one. This often means keeping factors such as the size of your garage, the garage’s age, and climate patterns in your location in mind. Also, don’t forget to hire a professional for the installation.