The best ductless mini split air conditioners can serve as an all-in-one ductless system solution for someone who wants to upgrade their home’s heating and cooling options without the headache of having a traditional central air system installed. You’ll want to think about whether you only need to cool one room (single zone) or multiple rooms (dual or multi-zone). Likewise, think about the size of your home and look for the right BTU level that’s compatible with that space. But you’ll want to note the energy efficiency rating as higher numbers are better. Also, consider if you want to integrate your mini split AC unit into a smart home system or if you’re okay with relying on the included remote controls.

After conducting thorough research through countless consumer reviews, we nominated the Pioneer Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner as our Top Pick. Keep reading to learn more about the rest of our recommendations and the criteria we developed to create our buying guide to help you buy the best air conditioner to suit your needs. 

Top 10 Best Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners

 #1  Pioneer Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner WYS012A-19

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: One of the best mini split air conditioners with a self-cleaning mode that offers 12,000 BTUs of power, comes with an installation kit, and features an energy efficiency rating of 19 for cooling and 10 for heating.

Pros
  • 19.5 SEER and 9.5 – 10 HSPF ratings
  • Includes a self-cleaning mode
  • 12,000 BTUs
Cons
  • Not a dual-zone air conditioner

Ductless mini split air conditioners are a quick way to upgrade your home with an energy-efficient HVAC system without the stress of having ductwork installed. We like the Pioneer mini split AC because it has a solid energy rating and is easy to install. You’ll like that it offers a 19.5 seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) and a 9.5 to 10 heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF) — meaning that you can use this air conditioner to effectively heat and cool spaces. We think it’s the best mini split air conditioner because it offers 12,000 BTUs of power, which is sufficient to heat or cool smaller spaces in the range of 300 to 450 square feet.

You’ll like that this pick comes with an installation kit, which is fairly common for split air conditioners. This includes a 16-foot copper pipe, and all associated parts to safely install the external compressor and ductless interior section. As is also common, you’ll also get a wireless remote with an LCD screen that is backlit for easier use in the dark or low light conditions. You’ll appreciate that this pick also has a self-cleaning, eco, and follow me mode. And just in case you’re planning a camping trip, you should definitely take a peek at the best portable AC for camping that will keep you cool in your tent or cabin.

 #2  Senville SENL-09CD Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: A ductless air conditioner that’s whisper-quiet, with 10,300 BTUs of power for a four-in-one solution with heating, cooling, a dehumidifier, as well as a fan and turbo function.

Pros
  • 4-in-1 system with dehumidifier
  • 9,000 BTUs
  • 12,000 BTUs
Cons
  • Lower square footage coverage than many
  • Lower HSPF rating than some models

For people looking to upgrade from window air conditioner units because they’re noisy and inefficient, you’ll like our Honorable Mention. The Denville mini split AC offers a commendable 9,000 BTUs of power. While this ductless air conditioner is a bit lower in the BTU range for mini split air conditioners, we think that the four-in-one nature of this pick more than makes up for that. While most ductless mini split air conditioners offer heating and cooling solutions, this one takes it farther by including a dehumidifier. Also, it’s great for bedrooms with an operation that puts out a whisper-quiet 25 decibels of noise.

At 9,000 BTUs you can heat or cool spaces ranging from 100 to 450 square feet. Still, you’ll get a 19 SEER rating which is competitive for this air conditioner category. However, the HSPF is between 7.2 to 8.5, which is in the lower range. As is standard, you’ll get an included installation kit with all of the hardware necessary to install your mini split with a 16-foot copper line that’s been pre-flared. You’ll also get a wireless backlit remote control with a 25-foot range. But if you’re still thinking of getting one of the best window ACs, why not have a look at the best LG air conditioner.

 #3  MRCOOL Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner

Award: BEST QUALITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: The best split air conditioner for the tech-obsessed thanks to the smart assistant integration functionality while still offering a solid 12,000 BTUs of power.

Pros
  • Smart assistant integration
  • 12,000 BTUs
  • 22 SEER and 10 HSPF
Cons
  • Not a dual-zone air conditioner

People who would otherwise not install a traditional ducted air conditioning system often find that mini split ACs are a great DIY project since it requires minimal effort as compared to installing ductwork in a home. The MRCOOL mini split is a great option for people who need to cool larger rooms and especially for those who want all of their appliances to be smart integrated. You’ll get 12,000 BTUs of power, making it ideal for rooms around 500 square feet. You’ll also get a 22 SEER for cooling and 10 HSPF for heating which makes it one of the best split air conditioners.

If you’re focused on smart assistant integration, this pick can be controlled either via the proprietary SmartHVAC app, Alexa, or with Google Assistant. The smartphone app works on Apple and Android devices as long as you have an internet connection. But if you prefer the traditional remote, this model comes with a backlit remote. We like that this air conditioner includes self-diagnostic features to detect leaks, low refrigerant, and any other problems. Likewise, you’ll get the Follow Me feature which automatically cools the room based on where within the space you leave the remote rather than solely relying on the air temperature immediately around the indoor unit. For outdoor units, you will want the best evaporative air conditioner, which is also ideal for people who live in drier climates.

 #4  Pioneer Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner WYS020GMHI22

Award: BEST FOR LARGE ROOMS

WHY WE LIKE IT: A serious heavy duty capacity ductless air conditioner with up to 24,000 BTU capacity for dual-zone support and a solid energy efficiency rating.

Pros
  • 12,000 to 24,000 BTU capacity
  • Dual-zone system
  • 18.5 to 21.3 SEER and 10 HSPF
Cons
  • Louder operation sounds at 62dB

For people that are trying to heat multiple rooms or spaces, they’re going to need a dual-zone mini split air conditioner. A dual-zone means that you can use one exterior compressor to power two (or in some cases more) interior units. This Pioneer pick is a great dual-zone option with an impressive 24,000 BTUs of power to provide plenty of heating or cooling relief through the two interior units. Because of the higher BTU rating, you can heat or cool spaces from 600 to 800 square feet.

And you’ll also get an 18.5 to 21.3 SEER as well as a 10 HSPF rating. Note that if you wanted to, even though we’re only highlighting a dual-zone, you can opt for up to five zones with this manufacturer. You’ll get the installation kit with an impressive 25 feet of piping. The air filters are also permanent and washable. This model comes with two remotes — one per interior unit. However, we did note that these units are noisier than the competition, emitting up to 62 decibels when in operation. The sound output is definitely worth thinking about especially when installing the best tower air conditioner in your bedroom.

 #5  Daikin Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner

Award: BEST FOR BEDROOMS

WHY WE LIKE IT: A mini split AC that’s perfect for bedrooms thanks to the quiet operation mode and 12,000 BTUs that can heat or cool up to 500 square feet.

Pros
  • Quiet operation mode
  • 12,000 BTUs for 550 sq. ft.
  • Installation kit included
Cons
  • Lower energy-efficient ratings

Noisy air conditioners can keep you up at night. So, if this is a concern, you’ll like the Daikin mini split AC. One of its biggest selling points is that it offers a quiet operation mode that emits a low 34 decibels. While this isn’t as low as some of the other mini split air conditioners on the market, it’s still a very low sound output. You’ll get 12,000 BTUs of power to heat or cool up to 550 square feet.

Keep in mind though, this pick has a lower energy efficiency rating than the competition. You’ll get a 17 SEER and a 9 HSPF energy rating. As is standard, you’ll get an installation kit that comes with 15 feet of piping. Likewise, you’ll get a remote control that includes a sleep mode that auto-adjusts as you snooze, an eco mode, and the option to swing the vents on your indoor unit. But if you’re in the market for an outdoor unit as well, do not forget to check out the best outdoor air conditioner that will keep you cool in the summer.

 #6  Senville SENA-18MO-209 Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner

Award: BEST FOR OVERSIZED ROOMS

WHY WE LIKE IT: A powerful four-in-one dual-zone mini split AC with an output of 18,000 BTUs that’s ideal for spaces as large as 1,000 square feet and impressive energy efficiency ratings.

Pros
  • Ideal for spaces up to 1,000 sq ft
  • 18,000 BTUs
  • 18.5 to 22.5 SEER, 9.9 – 10.3 HSPF
Cons
  • May require professional installation

For people with larger spaces that need to be heated or cooled, you’ll want to focus on a higher BTU rating. The Senville SENA-18MO-209 is a great ductless mini split AC with 18,000 BTUs. That means it can efficiently heat or cool up to 1,000 square feet of space. You’ll also like that this has a fairly impressive energy rating with 18.5 to 22.5 for the SEER and 9.9 to 10.3 for the HSPF.

You’ll love that this is a great four-in-one unit that includes heating, cooling, a dehumidifier, and a fan. Note that this is a dual-zone solution so you’ll get one exterior compressor, two interior units, the installation kit, two remote controls, and access to a smartphone app to control your home’s climate from the comfort of your phone. This pick also includes whisper technology for quiet operation — which makes it a great option for bedrooms. While you can attempt to DIY install this, we did note through customer reviews that you might want to have a set of helping hands with you. Or better yet, higher a pro to install these units and skip the headache. Better yet, have a look at the best air conditioner for sliding windows that comes with a complete installation kit.

 #7  Klimaire Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner

Award: BEST COMPRESSOR DESIGN

WHY WE LIKE IT: A mini split AC with a smartly designed exterior compressor with a built-in base pan to collect run-off, quiet operation, and 9,000 BTUs that’s ideal for smaller rooms.

Pros
  • Robust remote control
  • 9,000 BTUs
  • 19 SEER and 10 HSPF
Cons
  • Limited 350 sq ft of coverage

It’s important not to forget about the compressor design when you’re shopping for a mini split AC unit. While you want the interior unit to be quiet and functional, you want to make sure that the compressor is designed to be durable. We like this Klimaire pick because the compressor is designed with a built-in base pan to catch condensation run-off, an inevitable byproduct of using air conditioners. It also features an efficient compressor heater for improved reliability and an anti-corrosive golden fin.

You’ll get 9,000 BTUs of power which will heat or cool a space up to 350 square feet. While the covered square footage is lower, we do like that this is another quiet operation model with a low 25 decibels of sound output when it’s on. You’ll get a 19 SEER and 10 HSPF ratings which puts it in the solid choice category. The Klimaire model also comes with self-cleaning functionality to clean and dry the evaporator to prevent mildew growth. As is standard, this pick comes with the installation kit and a remote control to operate the interior unit. Now for a portable, evaporative, or a top AC, have a look at our picks of the best portable air conditioner for RVs.

 #8  DuctlessAire Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner

We're sorry, this product is temporarily out of stock

Award: BEST FILTERS

WHY WE LIKE IT: A powerful mini split AC unit with 24,000 BTUs, removable and washable filters — including a HEPA filter — and the ability to perform self-diagnostics and self-cleaning functions.

Pros
  • Self-diagnostic & self-cleaning options
  • 24,000 BTUs
  • Can also perform self-cleaning functions
Cons
  • Noisier operation up to 47.2 dB

If you have an air conditioner, you should know that it’s important to keep the air filters clean. In addition to helping to improve the air quality in your home, regularly cleaning your air conditioner filters helps to improve their efficiency — especially if you run them frequently. This pick from DuctlessAire features removable air filters, including a HEPA filter to trap even more dirt, dust, and other harmful things you don’t want to inhale. We like that this is a 24,000 BTU option that can effectively cool or heat rooms ranging from 900 to 1,200 square feet.

The energy ratings are in the higher range, with a 20.5 SEER and a 10 HSPF rating. We like that this pick comes with an installation kit that includes 25 feet of piping. You’ll like that this option also features a self-diagnosis and self-cleaning feature to keep it running in excellent condition. As is standard, you’ll get a backlit remote control that gives you a sleep mode function. While the brand says that this mini split AC offers a whisper-quiet mode, we noted that their listed decibel ratings range from 33 to 47.2 decibels depending on the fan speed. So, some people might find this too noisy to place in a bedroom. For something more reliable, quieter, and more energy efficient, have a look at the best window air conditioner.

 #9  Cooper & Hunter Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner

Award: BEST FOR COLD WEATHER

WHY WE LIKE IT: A 12,000 BTU mini split AC unit with four-in-one functionality that has one of the highest heating energy efficiency ratings at 13.5 HSPF.

Pros
  • WiFi-enabled 4-in-1 system with app
  • 12,000 BTUs
  • Includes a self-diagnosis function
Cons
  • Smaller coverage from 301 to 377 sq. ft

While most people think about air conditioners as being able to only cool a space, one of the biggest selling points of a ductless mini split air conditioner is that they can effectively heat and cool rooms. We’re including the Cooper & Hunter mini split AC unit because it has one of the best heating energy ratings that we found through our research for this product category. You’ll get a 21.5 SEER for cooling and 13 HSPF for heating. Note that this pick is a 12,000 BTU air conditioner that is rated for rooms from 301 to 377 square feet.

We liked that this is another great four-in-one model that includes cooling, heating, a dehumidifier, and a fan. You’ll also get a WiFi-enabled appliance that can be controlled either through the included remote or with the smartphone app that comes with this air conditioner. You’ll also get self-diagnosis, refrigerant leak detection, and a two-way draining connection. And again we found that while this pick promises quieter operation, as compared to competitors, the sound output is a bit higher with a range from 25 to 36.5 decibels depending on your fan speed. And for vertical window installation, check out the best dual hose portable air conditioners in the market today.

 #10  Innovair Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner

Award: BEST ON A BUDGET

WHY WE LIKE IT: An affordable ductless mini split AC unit with 12,000 BTUs that offers WiFi operation through your smartphone and has intuitive features like self-cleaning and smart-defrost to improve efficiency.

Pros
  • Innovative smartphone integration
  • 12,000 BTUs
  • Includes a self-cleaning and smart defrost feature
Cons
  • Lower cooling efficiency score

By default, ductless mini split air conditioners are more expensive than your average window or standing unit. But by and large, they’re considered significantly more efficient. Still, if you’re shopping on a budget, this pick from Innovair is a great wallet-friendly solution that gives you the energy efficiency benefits and improved heating and cooling without the headache of a traditional HVAC system installation. This pick comes with 12,000 BTUs, meaning that it’s best for smaller spaces from 300 to 400 square feet.

You’ll also get a lower energy efficiency rating from the Innovair mini split air conditioner, with a 17 SEER and 9 HSPF for cooling and heating respectively. Still, we like that this is another pick that offers WiFi controls and a smartphone app so that you can manage your heating and cooling needs with a few taps on your smartphone screen. Other key features we liked included the self-cleaning and smart-defrost features to keep your air conditioner working at optimal levels. Of course, this model also comes with the installation kit. Compare this with some of the best windowless air conditioners that are compatible with your needs and renovation limitations.

How We Decided

Air conditioners are essential but wall mounted ductless mini split AC units can pull double duty by serving as a heating and cooling solution. To create our guide, we focused on the BTU rating, zone design, energy efficiency rating, programmability, and upgrade options. The BTU rating can vary widely. But in our guide BTUs ranged from 9,000 to as high as 24,000. Keep in mind that if you have a larger room or want a dual/multi-zone unit, you’ll need a higher BTU rating to effectively heat or cool the space.

We included a range of ductless mini split systems that were single-zone and dual-zone models. We also noted that some brands that sell dual-zones also allow for reconfiguration to multi-zone solutions. In some cases, you can get as many as five interior units in one air conditioner kit. But you’ll also want to consider the energy efficiency rating. This determines how efficiently your units will operate and whether it will significantly contribute to your energy bills. With ductless mini split air conditioners, these figures focus on the SEER and HSPF. The SEER for this category can range from as low as 15 to more than 23 while the HSPF for mini split heat pumps ranges from sometimes less than seven to as much as 13 or more. The higher the number, the more efficient an appliance is.

Programmability is important if you’re interested in integrating your air conditioning into a smart home assistant. Some units are designed with WiFi compatibility or a smartphone app so that you can turn your air conditioner or heater on or adjust the temperature before you arrive home. This would be a great way to save on energy expenses by reducing consumption when people aren’t home.

And finally, you’ll want to think about upgrade options. For us, this included looking at units that are four-in-one solutions. Usually, this meant that in addition to heating and cooling, you would get a dehumidifier and a fan. In other cases, this includes units that can perform self-diagnostics or auto-clean to improve performance and alert you to issues as soon as they arise so that you can tackle them before they become expensive problems.

Best Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Factors to Consider

  1. BTU Rating
    One of the best ways to find the right air conditioner is by the BTU rating. BTU or “British Thermal Unit” defines how much heat an air conditioner can remove from a space. You’ll need to think about the square footage of the area you’re trying to cool. Smaller homes won’t need as many BTUs as bigger ones. BTUs can range from 5,000 to 36,000 BTUs. But you can’t focus solely on the BTU rate. Also consider how much direct sunlight your home receives and if necessary, pick a ductless mini split air conditioner with more BTUs than recommended for the room’s size to combat the additional heat a room may experience.
  2. Zone Design
    Do you want a ductless mini split air conditioner that can only cool one room or one that’s designed for multiple rooms? This refers to the zones. So a single zone unit can only cool one room while multi-zone air conditioners can cool multiple rooms or even an entire house or apartment unit.
  3. Energy Efficiency Rating
    Energy bills are one of the highest expenses for most people after their housing costs. But these days, more air conditioners are designed to be energy-efficient and won’t automatically lead to spikes in your energy utilities. Always look for air conditioners with an Energy Star which signifies that they’re energy-efficient. But you can also look at the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER) for an appliance to confirm how efficiently it operates.
  4. Programmability
    If you’re focused on cooling a room or home before you arrive home, you might want to look for air conditioners that can be integrated into smart technology or can be controlled via Bluetooth or mobile apps. Most ductless air conditioners also come with a remote since they’re normally installed near the ceiling — making it unrealistic to manually adjust your air conditioner controls.
  5. Upgrade Options
    Not all ductless air conditioners come with extra features like a heater option. But if you live in a more moderate climate where you don’t need a traditional heating system, a ductless unit that also offers a heat setting can be a great solution.

Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners FAQs

Are ductless mini splits worth it?

In short, yes they are. While they can have a higher upfront installation cost, their efficient ability to quickly cool spaces, their energy efficiency, and quiet operation can make them a much better option over traditional window air conditioners. They’re also ideal if you’re living in a home where installing a traditional duct system would be difficult or cost-prohibitive.

Do ductless mini splits increase home value?

This depends on what you’re currently using as a cooling system in your home. As compared to homes without any cooling system, or those with older or outdated systems, a home with ductless mini split air conditioners will offer a higher home value. This is also because mini-split air conditioners are more energy-efficient which can translate to lower energy bills.

Do I need a mini split for every room?

It depends. The general guide is that you should install a separate indoor unit for every room that you want to cool in your home. Because these units don’t rely on ductwork, there would be no way for one unit to efficiently cool other rooms. However, this doesn’t mean that you need a one to one ratio of compressors to indoor units.

How much does it cost to install a ductless mini split?

The cost can vary, and this will often depend on whether you’re installing the units yourself or hire a professional instead. While the average cost is $3,000, it’s possible to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $14,500. Keep in mind, costs can also vary depending on how many units you want to have installed.

Dorian Smith-Garcia

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a bridal and beauty expert/influencer and the creative director behind The Anti Bridezilla. She is a diverse writer across beauty, fashion, travel, consumer goods, and tech. She also writes for Inverse, Glowsly, and The Drive along with a variety of other publications. When Dorian's not writing she's collecting stamps in her passport, learning new languages, or spending time with her husband and daughter.

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