Eco mode reduces energy consumption. It works year-round, thanks to the The 4-in-1 design with air conditioning, a built-in heat pump, a dehumidifier and a fan. This unit's handy to have in small apartments where space is in an issue; especially at night, thanks to Sleep Mode.
Some say that it undersold its 5-year claim of life.
The stealth LED mode is a slick feature that turns the display on and off as needed. Unit has a quiet mode that operates at a noise level of 27.5 dB. The turbo mode is useful for quick heating or cooling. Offers remote operation and has a dehumidifier mode.
Remember, this is a budget model so it may not offer the durability that is found in higher-priced units.
This well-built, quiet, and easy-to-install system is very reliable. Cools quickly. Offers remote access to controls through the MRCOOL app. Comes with pre-charged line sets, and the connecting line doesn't require special tools or training to install.
The line that comes with this set is 25 inches long, which might mean extra tubing for some shorter installs.
Extremely quiet. Includes a remote control with an LED readout that is simple to use. Has a heat pump unit for colder weather. LED temperature display on the interior unit.
While this kit does come with installation instructions, the setup can be tricky and might be best handled by a professional. DIY is not generally recommended for these units.
The four systems are air conditioning, a heat pump, a dehumidifier, and several fan functions including a turbo option. It comes with a remote control and an installation kit. Includes a 5-year warranty.
You might need to hire a professional to install it, which can get expensive.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
When the weather warms up, you have plenty of home cooling options. But standard fans and air conditioners have limitations and may not do the job as efficiently as you’d like. If central air conditioning isn’t feasible, a mini split air conditioner can be the best alternative for powerful, effective cooling.
Many home heating and cooling systems, including central AC, are referred to as split systems because they include both interior and exterior components. A mini split air conditioner also has interior and external parts, but it doesn’t require ductwork like a central AC system. While it has an exterior compressor or condensing unit to take heat and moisture out of the home, it uses refrigerant lines to connect to the air handling unit inside the wall or ceiling and bring cooled air inside.
After researching a range of mini split air conditioners, our favorite is the Senville Leto Series Mini Split Air Conditioner; it’s easy to use, effectively cools up to 1,250 square feet and offers heating and dehumidifying functions, too. We also recommend the less expensive Homelabs Split Type Inverter Air Conditioner for its quiet operation, user-friendly LED display and multiple functions.
If you want a powerful, easy-to-use mini split air conditioner that can cover more than 1,000 square feet and reduce energy costs, this model is at the top of our list. It features an energy-efficient inverter compressor and an Eco Mode that reduces energy usage by maintaining a temperature of 75 degrees. Best of all, it’s designed for year-round use, offering a heating function for fall and winter and a Dry Mode when you need to remove excess moisture from the air.
Other convenient functions include the automatic setting, which selects the best mode to reach your selected temperature for optimal performance; Sleep Mode, which automatically adjusts the temperature at night to save energy; and a Turbo setting, which quickly cools the space to your desired temperature. This model has 24,000 Btu of cooling power, which is perfect for large spaces up to 1,250 square feet, so it’s ideal for open-floor plans, including offices and commercial spaces.
This mini split air conditioner is one of the most affordable models on our list, but it still has plenty of convenient features. It offers 9,000 Btu of cooling power, making it a solid choice for midsize spaces. In addition to cooling, it has modes for heating, drying and fan, making it an all-season unit.
The LED display is easy to read, but you can also control the unit from across the room with the backlit remote. The Follow Me function allows the remote to serve as a thermostat and monitor the temperature where you are and adjust accordingly. The Sleep Mode maintains a comfortable temperature to save energy while you sleep, and at 27.5 decibels, you don’t have to worry about the unit keeping you awake. This unit also has a timer so you can set a schedule to turn it on and off.
Another 24,000 Btu model, this mini split air conditioner easily handles large spaces. It has an inverter condenser that uses up to 50% less energy than zonal and baseboard HVAC systems and allows for quiet operation. The LED display is easy to use, and the unit comes with a smart remote so you can adjust the settings from a distance.
In addition to its regular cooling capabilities, it can cool a space quickly with Turbo Mode, as well as heat or remove humidity from the space. The Sleep Mode maintains a comfortable temperature overnight, and the intelligent defrosting feature means you never have to worry about your air conditioner icing over. If you run into any issues, it can quickly self-diagnose the problem. The compressor is backed by a 5-year warranty, so you can trust that your investment is protected.
This mini split air conditioner offers an impressive 36,000 Btu of cooling power, so it’s your best bet for a large space of up to 1,500 square feet. It’s even powerful enough to use in a server room or greenhouse. But it isn’t just its cooling capabilities that make this one of our favorites. It also offers Wi-Fi connectivity with the MrCool app and is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can use voice commands to control the settings.
It can also heat your home in winter, making it versatile enough for year-round use. If you want to install the unit yourself, it’s designed specifically for DIY installation. It comes with a precharged line set and requires no special tools or training to install.
This highly efficient mini split system can help you save money on cooling and heating costs all year. It offers 12,000 Btu of power and includes everything you need for installation. It’s also extremely quiet, making it a perfect unit for a bedroom. The multifunction wireless remote has a large LCD backlit display so you can adjust settings quickly and easily.
A timer function lets you set a schedule for the system to turn on and off to save money on energy costs. Maintenance is made easier with the built-in, washable air filters that are extremely easy to remove.
This 12,000 Btu mini split air conditioner and heater is the most affordable on our list, but it still stands out with plenty of convenient features. It has an energy-efficient inverter compressor and offers Auto, Cool, Dry, Heat and Fan Modes. The fan runs at four speeds, and a Turbo function lets you cool off a space in no time.
You can adjust settings from across the room with the included remote, while the washable filter and self-cleaning setting make it easy to keep the unit in prime working condition. It also automatically defrosts to prevent damage. The compressor has an eight-year warranty, so you can have confidence that this air conditioner will last a long time.
With 24,000 Btu of cooling power, whisper-quiet performance and a convenient remote, this mini split air conditioner and heating system is ideal for a large bedroom or family room. The inverter compressor allows for more efficient operation, but you can also cool your space quickly with the Turbo function. The Sleep Mode regulates your room’s temperature to keep it comfortable at night, and you can set the timer to choose when the unit is on or off.
The LED display and remote on this user-friendly model make it easy to adjust settings and customize performance. The removable filters and self-cleaning function simplify the maintenance process too.
This energy-efficient mini split air conditioner provides 12,000 Btu of cooling and heating power, so you can use it in all seasons. The ductless design makes installation easier and gives you a choice of installation locations throughout your home. This versatile model offers cooling, heating, dehumidifying and fan settings that you can adjust with the wireless remote.
If you’re worried about how the air moves around your room, the wall unit’s double-directional sweeping louvers let you control the airflow for more efficient temperature control. Operation is nearly silent, so you can use it in a bedroom or other space where you need quiet, and this mini split’s sleek, flat front panel blends well with any decor.
This ductless mini split air conditioner and heater system gives you 12,000 Btu of cooling and heating power for up to 750 square feet. Its inverter compressor provides energy-efficient operation, while the smart sensor detects the temperature at the remote control to adjust the temperature and airflow in response. It operates at just 30 to 41 decibels, making it quieter than regular conversation.
The built-in filters are washable, which makes it easy to keep the unit in optimal condition. And you don’t have to worry about forgetting to wash them, because the automatic filter cleaning reminder alerts you when it’s time.
Easy installation: These systems are usually easier to install than other heating and cooling systems. You might still need an HVAC professional to install it, but the work can be done quickly, which allows you to use your new system as soon as possible.
Interior design flexibility: The air-handling unit can be installed in a variety of ways, allowing you to control the way your home’s interior looks. It can be hung from the ceiling, installed in a wall or mounted flush in a drop ceiling. There are even some floor-standing options.
Ease of use: Many mini split air conditioners have a remote control that makes it easy to adjust the temperature from across the room.
Zone cooling: Because a mini split air conditioner can include multiple air handling units, you can set up multiple cooling zones throughout your home and control how warm or cool specific rooms are. If you spend a lot of time in one particular room, this is a great advantage. Why? Because you’re not wasting energy trying to cool the rooms you aren’t using.
Improved security: AC units installed in a window can provide a way for intruders to get into your home. With a mini split air conditioner, there are no openings to your home’s interior, making your home more secure.
Variety of features: In addition to the usual heating and cooling options, mini split air conditioners offer other features and modes that make them even more useful. Some models can dehumidify the air.
Better air quality: Dirt, dust and other allergens can easily accumulate in HVAC system ducts. With a ductless mini split air conditioner, you don’t have to worry about the air in your home being full of allergy-triggering particles.
Quiet operation: Mini split air conditioners are extremely quiet, especially compared to noisy window air conditioners.
Less energy loss: Looking to save money? One way to do this is to cut back on energy costs. The lack of ductwork means that mini split air conditioners usually don’t suffer the same energy loss as central air conditioners. Keep in mind that the energy loss from central AC can make up nearly 30% of the system’s energy consumption.
Mini split air conditioners are available in models designed to cool air in a single room and models that can cool several rooms. A single-zone unit is the least expensive option.
Most mini split air conditioners can have up to four zones, though there are some models that allow for as many as six. Each room or zone has its own indoor air handling unit that connects to the outdoor unit via refrigerant lines. Because these lines can be fairly long, you can have zones on different floors of your home to make sure the entire living space is comfortable. You can expect to pay a little more for each additional zone.
The reason why many homeowners enjoy multi-zone mini split air conditioners is that the temperature in each zone can be controlled individually. If your system has two zones, you can set a different temperature for each room. This is ideal if there’s someone in the household who’s always cold and someone who’s always warm.
A multi-zone mini split air conditioner can also help save energy — and money — because you can turn off the air conditioning in a room that doesn’t need it or increase the temperature in a room that doesn’t need as much cooling. You can’t do this with a central AC system, which means the energy costs for central air are higher.
Like any air conditioner, mini split air conditioner power is measured in British thermal units (Btu). The greater the Btu, the more square footage the unit can cool. Some manufacturers list the area that a unit can cover. This makes it easier to choose a model, but it helps to have a general idea of how many Btu are necessary to cover a particular room size:
Many mini split air conditioners come with the usual 110-volt to 120-volt plug. However, if you purchase a larger model, you may need a 220-volt to 240-volt outlet, which typically requires having an electrician upgrade an existing outlet to prevent blown fuses or fire hazards.
The outdoor portion of a mini split air conditioner is called a compressor, and you can choose one of two types: rotary or inverter.
Rotary compressors are the most common type; they essentially turn the air conditioner on and off to regulate temperature. The air conditioner initially operates at full power to cool the room; it then cycles on and off based on the temperature.
Inverter compressors offer a newer technology that helps save energy. These compressors don’t automatically turn on at full power. Rather, they use only the amount of energy necessary to reach the desired temperature. You’ll pay more money up front for a unit with an inverter compressor, but you may find the long-term energy savings make it a worthwhile investment.
All mini split air conditioners have a cooling mode, but some offer additional functions to help make your home as comfortable as possible. You might want to look for a unit that has the following modes.
Heat: You won’t need a separate heater if your mini split air conditioner can also heat your home in the winter.
Fan: When you want to circulate air through your home, you can switch on the fan function without any cooling.
Automatic: This mode senses the ambient temperature of the room and automatically selects the most appropriate setting to help make the space more comfortable.
Dehumidify: If you live in a particularly humid climate, a mini split air conditioner can help remove excess moisture from the air.
Many mini split air conditioners come with a remote control that allows you to adjust the temperature or turn the unit on and off from across the room. This is a particularly helpful feature if you plan to install the interior air handling unit in the ceiling or high up on a wall.
You might also want to consider a model that includes a programmable timer so you can choose specific temperatures for your room based on the time of day, which can help you save money.
Like any air conditioner, a mini split air conditioner requires filters for proper operation. To save money, choose a model with reusable filters that you can clean and put back in the unit rather than those that must be replaced. Filters can be fairly expensive, so if you have to replace them, it can add to the operating cost of the unit.
A. It depends on the number of British thermal units a model offers. If you need a mini split air conditioner with 5,000 to 9,000 Btu, expect to pay between $600 and $750 for a quality unit. For a slightly larger space, a system with 9,000 to 12,000 Btu can cost up to $1,000. If you want a more powerful model for a very large area, you’ll typically pay $1,000 to $2,000 for one with 12,000 to 18,000 Btu. Remember that these are the prices for a single-zone mini split system. If you add zones, the price will increase.
A. Perhaps the biggest drawback is the upfront cost, which can easily climb over $1,000. Further, installing a mini split air conditioner is more difficult than setting up a window or portable air conditioner. It’s advised that you have a professional install it rather than making it your next DIY project. Why? Installing a mini split system requires some specific know-how that only an HVAC professional is likely to have. For example, an HVAC pro will know what size system you need and where to place it. If you were to buy a system that’s too large for your space, or if you were to install it in the wrong location, the machine could short-cycle, wasting lots of your energy (and money). Also, DIY installation of your mini split AC could void the warranty. (However, know that there are some systems that are specially configured for DIY installation.)
Another drawback of these systems is their aesthetics. Mini split air conditioners are not as attractive or streamlined in appearance as some other HVAC system appliances. What’s more, you’ll have to find a place to drain condensed water from your outdoor unit, which is not necessarily a pretty sight, although you could certainly find a piece of outdoor decor to camouflage it.
A. The indoor units are typically installed horizontally on the wall. You can have the component installed flush with your ceiling if you prefer, though this type of installation doesn’t work with all ceilings. It’s also possible to have the unit mounted to a ceiling stud or even in a vertical upright position on the floor. Keep in mind that these customized installations typically cost more.
A. It can last 10 to 20 years if it’s installed properly and you maintain it properly by cleaning it regularly, replacing the filters when necessary and having it checked annually by an HVAC professional.
A. In northern regions of the United States, a SEER rating of at least 14 is recommended. In the hotter regions of the country, a minimum SEER rating of at least 15 is recommended.
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