Best ductless mini split AC (2022)

Ductless air conditioning systems have been around since the 1970s, but homeowners are starting to catch on to their energy efficiency and affordability. We’re here to review the best mini split AC units and help you pick the right model for your home.

Best mini split ACs

Overall best
blueridge best mini split
Blueridge Five Zone
  • Energy-efficient
  • High capacity
  • Built to last
Best single-zone
pioneer best mini split
Pioneer Diamante
  • Good airflow
  • Attractive air handler
  • Heats in low temps
Best multi-zone
senville best mini split
Senville Quad-zone
  • Solid value
  • Self-cleaning
  • Practical feature set
Best for DIYers
mr cool best mini split
Mr. Cool DIY
  • Quiet operation
  • WiFi compatible
  • Easy installation
Best for energy savings
gree best mini split
Gree Sapphire
  • Gree+ app
  • WiFi compatible
  • 5-year warranty

Choosing the best mini split for you

Our mini split reviews cut through the confusion of how these systems work and introduce the best mini split options for your HVAC needs.

The following elements are important to analyze when choosing a mini split for your home.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)

This number measures how efficiently your device uses energy to cool your home. The higher the number, the more energy-efficient your mini split is.

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF)

This number measures how efficiently your device heats your space. Just like with SEER ratings, the higher the number, the better.

Capacity

You’ll also need an idea of how many square feet you want to treat. Below is a chart showing the ideal square footage ranges for the mini splits we mention in our best-of list.

Capacity (BTU/hour)Square footage
9K300-500
12K400-650
18K600-1000
24K800-1300
36K1200-2000
48K1600-2650

Zones

Ductless mini split ACs come in sigle-zone or multi-zone configurations.

Single-zone ductless mini split

A single-zone ductless system consists of one condenser (outdoor unit) and one air handler (indoor unit). These systems are best for homes that want to heat or cool a specific space, like an add-on or converted garage.

Multi-zone ductless mini split

A multi-zone system has one condenser that controls multiple air handlers. Multi-zone ductless ACs can connect with up to eight air handlers. If you have a big space or if you want to cool multiple rooms, you’ll need to opt for a multi-zone system. 

Mini split cost

According to HomeAdvisor, mini split condensers cost $1,000-6,000. Each indoor air handler will cost an additional $400-2,000. 

Some companies sell condensers and air handlers together as a package. Others let you mix and match them depending on what works best in your home. 

Typically, you can choose from different air handler styles. While most mount to the wall, others can sit on the floor or mount to the ceiling. Wall-mounted air handlers are usually the least expensive comparatively.  

Installation cost

Installing your ductless mini split system can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $14,000. The rate varies widely depending on the brand, number of air handlers, and labor costs. As we discuss below, some models make for easy DIY installation.

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Best mini splits

Best mini split overall

Blueridge Five Zone | $6,019

TheBLUERIDGE FIVE ZONE SYSTEMcan cool or heat your home without hiking up your energy bill. This mini split comes with five ceiling cassettes, so you don’t have to mount a bulky panel on your wall.

This ductless system comes with five remotes, one per air handler. You can control the ceiling cassettes individually to get different temperatures in different rooms. If your loved ones bicker over the thermostat, this is the best mini split option for you.

Quiet mode helps this mini split sound as silent as a library. We also love the smart sleep feature, which adjusts the temperature and airflow to your sleep schedule.

Reliability is another reason we gave this ductless system the number one spot. The coil inside the outdoor unit has a gold fin coating, which keeps it from corroding. This feature helps your device last longer and saves you money on repairs and maintenance.

Blueridge has an excellent limited warranty. The compressor is covered for seven years, and the parts are covered for five.

Buy online
blueridge best mini split
Capacity
48K
Max SEER
21.5
Max HSPF
10.4

Best mini split: Single-zone

Pioneer Diamante | $1,128

Our favorite single-zone unit won’t be an eyesore in your home. The PIONEER DIAMANTE SERIES boasts a wide variety of sizes and an aesthetically pleasing air handler.

This model has a dual swing louver system. It sends out the air in horizontal and vertical directions to cover every corner of your space.

The Pioneer Diamante works even when outdoor temperatures get as low as -13℉. It also has freeze protection, so it’s a great option for people in cold climates.

This ductless system has near-silent operation. The air handler works at around 32 dB, making it quieter than your refrigerator.

The main highlight of the Pioneer Diamante is the beautiful air handler. It’s got a sleek, silvery display that outshines even premium competitors.

Buy on Amazon
pioneer best mini split
Capacity
Up to 36K
Max SEER
20
Max HSPF
10.5

Best mini split: Multi-zone

Senville quad-zone | $3,119.99

If you want to treat a big space on a budget, this FOUR-ZONE SPLIT SYSTEM gets the job done without breaking the bank. It’s a great value for what you get, making it stand out over other multi-zone systems.

The Senville Quad Zone mini split system has one outdoor compressor and four wall-mounted air handlers. Most brands charge between $3,500 and $5,000 for the same size unit. Plus, with operation up to 22.5 SEER, you can expect a reasonable energy bill each month.

This model comes with a great limited warranty. The compressor is covered for seven years, and all other parts are covered for three years.

The mini split comes with a copper line set and an easy installation kit, helping save thousands on installment costs.

This may be a value pick, but its functional features perform above its price grade. The unit is self-cleaning, has smart app capability, and can even alert you when your refrigerant is leaking.

Buy on Amazon
senville best mini split
Capacity
36K
Max SEER
22.5
Max HSPF
10.2

Best mini split: DIY installation

Mr. Cool DIY | $1,784

This DIY-FRIENDLY OPTION efficiently cools and heats your space with a tech-forward flair. The Mr. Cool DIY single-zone ductless system can cool a room up to 750 square feet.

This mini split comes with a condenser, one air handler, and almost all the installation equipment you’ll need. The only parts not included are tools like a hole saw and a stud finder.

This mini split’s fan has plastic blades instead of metal, making for quieter operation. The system maxes out at 32 decibels, so you likely won’t even notice when it’s running.

This model is Wi-Fi compatible, and the SmartHVAC app turns your smartphone into a remote control. You can even control your split system with voice commands using Alexa or Google Assistant.

Overall, we find this pick to be a standout for its easy installation. It offers great tech features, smart safety touches, and energy efficiency that’s sure to please the DIYer in your house.

Buy on Amazon
mr cool best mini split
Capacity
Up to 36K
Max SEER
22
Max HSPF
10

Best mini split: Most efficient

Gree Sapphire | $2,161.53

If high-efficiency is your priority, the Gree Sapphire is your mini split system. This pick is the HIGHEST SEER MINI SPLIT on our list (and on the market) by a long shot. It maxes out at an unmatched 38 SEER, far more efficient than most systems that barely breach the 20s.

With an extra-efficient 9K BTU model, you can expect to see your energy bill decrease during the cooling season. The single-zone Gree Sapphire is available in four different BTU capacities.

If you live somewhere with brutal winters, this is the best mini split for you. It can operate in temperatures as low as -22℉.

We love the seven-speed fan and four-way airflow on this model. It saves you energy by working below its maximum capacity for most of the day.

The Gree Sapphire comes with Wi-Fi compatibility. You can use the manual remote control or use the Gree+ app to give commands using your smartphone.

Buy on Amazon
gree best mini split
Capacity
Up to 24K
Max SEER
38
Max HSPF
15

Why choose a ductless mini split AC?

As the name suggests, a ductless mini split system cools and heats your home without the need for HVAC ductwork. The system consists of an outdoor unit, an indoor air handler that mounts onto your ceiling or wall, and refrigerant lines that connect the two.

Ductless mini split ACs have been popular in Asia and Europe for decades, but they’re quickly gaining traction in American households. A number of factors play into this growth:

  • Ductless ACs save more energy than ducted systems. Air ducts can waste up to 30% of the energy created during the cooling process.
  • With regular maintenance, a ductless system can last 20 years or more.
  • Ductless mini splits are quieter than ducted systems and window ACs. Most of the ductless system’s noise comes from the outdoor heat pump, so the indoor air handlers are near-silent.
  • Many ductless systems double as dehumidifiers, helping remove excess moisture from your space.

Is a ductless mini split worth it?

No matter where you live, a ductless mini split could be a great investment for your home. They have the potential to be more efficient, more customizable, and quieter than traditional ducted systems.

The American mini split market has spiked in recent years. With a wide variety of high-quality products on the market, there’s never been a better time than now to get your hands on one.

Need help choosing a mini split?