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
- Energy efficient
- High capacity
- Built to last
- Good airflow
- Attractive air handler
- Heats in low temps
- Solid value
- Practical feature set
- Quiet operation
- Wi-Fi compatible
- Easy installation
- Gree+ app
- Wi-Fi 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)
SEER 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.
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.
Ductless mini split ACs come in single-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 homeowners who 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, the national average of ductless AC mini split installation is $3,000, but the price can range between $2,000 and $14,500 depending on several factors including how many indoor units are installed and the type of system.
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.
Need a pro to install your new mini split?
Best Mini Splits
Best Mini Split Overall
Blueridge Five Zone | $6,099
The BLUERIDGE FIVE ZONE SYSTEM can 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.
Best Mini Split: Single-Zone
Pioneer Diamante | $998
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.
Best Mini Split: Multi-Zone
Senville quad-zone | $3,299
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 10 years, and all other parts are covered for five 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.
Best Mini Split: DIY Installation
MRCOOL DIY | $2,599
This DIY-FRIENDLY OPTION efficiently cools and heats your space with a tech-forward flair. The MRCOOL 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.
Best Mini Split: Most Efficient
Gree Sapphire | $2,038
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.
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.
FAQs on Ductless Air Conditioners
How does a ductless AC work?
A ductless AC works similarly to a central air conditioner or heat pump in cooling mode, minus the presence of ductwork. Instead of ducts, ductless ACs distribute conditioned air through indoor air handling units installed on ceilings or walls.
How expensive are ductless air conditioners?
Homeowners can expect to pay as low as $2,000 for a smaller unit with a single indoor air handler and up to $14,500 for a large, highly efficient system with multiple indoor air handling units. The national average is $3,000.
How many sq feet does a Ductless mini split cover?
A 12,000 BTU ductless mini split can cover about 550 square feet. If you need to provide coverage to a larger area or your entire home, you can purchase a system with a higher capacity.