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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 that’ll help you find the best air conditioner to suit your needs.
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.
Ductless mini-split air conditioners are a quick way to upgrade your home with an energy-efficient HVAC system that saves you energy costs without the stress of having ductwork installed like with a fine central air conditioner. 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 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. Or, to also stay warm, you’ll want the finest portable air conditioner and heater combo.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: A ductless air conditioner that’s whisper-quiet, with 9,000 BTUs of power for an efficient and cost-effective air conditioning and heating solution.
The Senville LETO Series Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump with a 9000 BTU cooling capacity is an excellent purchase if you’re looking for an efficient and cost-effective air conditioning and heating solution. This system uses inverter technology, which allows for precise temperature control and minimizes energy consumption, resulting in lower energy bills. The unit also features a whisper-quiet operation, making it ideal for use in bedrooms or other quiet spaces. Additionally, the system comes with a remote control, enabling users to adjust the temperature and other settings from a distance.
One of the drawbacks of the Senville LETO Series Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump is that it requires professional installation, which can add to the overall cost. Additionally, while the 9000 BTU capacity is suitable for smaller rooms, it may not be sufficient for larger spaces. However, if you’re looking for an efficient, quiet, and convenient air conditioning and heating system for their home, the Senville LETO Series Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump is a great option to consider. 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.
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.
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. Keep in mind that this is a single-zone system. For outdoor units, you will want the best evaporative air conditioner, which is also ideal for people who live in drier climates.
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.
For people that are trying to heat multiple rooms or spaces, they’re going to need a dual-zone mini split air conditioner for heating efficiency. 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.
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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.
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. Although, before you buy it’s a good idea to compare Daikin vs Voltas ACs, to see which one might be better.
Keep in mind though, that 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.
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.
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. But, a powerful window air conditioner with heat is something to also consider if you can’t have a portable one.
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 and special tools with you during the installation process. 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.
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.
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. But, compare VRF vs Split to find out which one is better.
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 19 SEER and 10 HSPF ratings which put 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 top AC, have a look at our picks of the best portable air conditioner for RVs. Or, for a stationary unit, you’ll want the greatest RV air conditioner to have on the go.
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.
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 functions. 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 any of the best dual hose portable air conditioners on the market today.
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.
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 in exchange for the price. 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. If your needs and budget align with this mini – split model’s abilities and cost, it could be the best ideal combination and choice for you.
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 an installation kit. Compare this with some of the best windowless air conditioners that are compatible with your needs and renovation limitations.
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.
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, a wide range that depends 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.
Air conditioners, such as the best mini split systems, are essential. But, wall-mounted ductless mini-split AC units can pull double duty by serving as a heating and cooling solution that saves floor space, unlike floor units. We recommend you learn more about what is a ductless air conditioner if you’re new to these systems. To create our guide on the best mini splits in 2023, we focused on the BTU (British Thermal Units) rating, zone design, energy efficiency rating, programmability, and upgrade options. The BTU rating can vary widely in the many best mini splits. 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 out of your mini-split system to effectively heat or cool the space. Also consider if you need a ductless mini-split system with advanced inverter technology, which can save on energy. In other words, buying the best mini split AC will keep you comfortable while saving you money.
In addition to our mini split reviews in 2023, we’ve 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. With that in mind, using five inside units in one best split AC unit will make it more efficient, especially for multi-family homes.
But, as with any best split air conditioner in 2023, 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. Consequently, ignoring the efficiency rating will inflate energy spending and budget size on investment of the best mini split in 2023. 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. With improved efficiency ratings, the better the unit can tackle extreme cold or heat if your space is susceptible to either. If they’re a multi-zone system, the model will be able to perform in multiple areas at once.
Alternatively, you don’t want the best mini split air conditioner in 2023 running continuously. Programmability is important if you’re interested in integrating your air conditioning into a smart home assistant. Some ACs 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.
It’s also a good idea to find the right features for a top rated mini split. Features for best mini split units include whisper-quiet operation, multiple temperature control options, and flexible installation choices. Ensuring the space is the right square footage for a best 12000 BTU mini split is important. Additionally, not having the necessary features for the best mini split systems in 2023 can be costly.
And finally, you’ll want to think about upgrade options for the best ductless air conditioner. 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.
Keep in mind maintenance as well and/or replacements. It’d be smart to invest in a model that provides a warranty, even if you’re confident in the durable quality. Life happens and even excellent quality products need maintenance in time. There are different limits to warranties out there, like a 1-year warranty or 5-year parts warranty has its limits versus a 12-year warranty. If you invest in whole-house systems (which are still a great solution for homes), it will be essential to keep up with their maintenance. However, they’re intricate systems, so a warranty that can help bring in the professionals would add to the convenience of your mini-split system you decide to go with.
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