) Best Ductless Mini-Split Brands: Which is Best for Your Home?

Best ductless mini-split brands: which is best for your home?

Image source: Amazon

Chris Gennone

By Chris Gennone

May 26, 2022


If you have a smaller-sized space or you’re looking to cool specific rooms in your home more efficiently, you should consider installing a ductless mini-split system. Mini-splits not only act as air conditioners but also as a heating system and a dehumidifier.

While central air conditioners are more powerful and can cool the entire home, they can be more expensive than mini-split systems and also cool unnecessary rooms or zones in your home, increasing energy costs. Because mini-splits are DIY friendly, they come with refrigerant lines that are already charged and don’t require a professional to install.

But what’s the best mini-split system for your home? Let’s find out.

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What to know before buying a mini-split

Professional vs. DIY installation

Many HVAC companies feature mini-split AC units that can be installed yourself and ones that require professional installation, but it depends on the brand. When you buy a mini-split air conditioner, it comes with an outdoor unit which is known as the compressor or condenser and an indoor unit mounted on the wall known as an air-handler or evaporator.

These DIY units don’t require any ductwork and you just drill a hole in the wall for the lines to the outdoor unit. While DIY mini-split air conditioners are a great way to save money, they can be a little more complicated than they seem or are advertised. If you’re on a budget or looking to cool one or two rooms, DIY is a solid choice – but we recommend opting to hire a professional to install your unit.

Rooms or zones

Another key factor to keep in mind is how many rooms, also known as “zones”, you need to cool. Though there are several different types of mini-split system types like floor units or ceiling cassette units, the most common are mini-splits on a wall mount.

Types of mini-split zones

Single-zone ductless mini-splits - Single-zone mini splits are designed to cool and heat smaller areas like kitchens and bedrooms. Since they only feature a single outdoor unit and an indoor air unit, they’re the easiest to least expensive to install.

Dual-zone ductless mini-splits - These ductless AC units are designed to cool and heat two different areas with two air-handlers and one outdoor condenser. This works best if you’re looking to regulate the temperature throughout several different rooms.

Multi-zone ductless mini-splits - Multi-zone systems feature a specific kind of condenser unit which allows multiple air-handlers to cool down more rooms in your home. Installation for these units can be difficult, so we strongly recommend that a professional install them.


Ductless mini-split air conditioners are available in different sizes and cooling capacities, and it’s important to understand how many BTUs or amount of square feet you’re looking to cover. Many models typically range from 9,000 BTU units all the way up to a 24,000 BTU mini-split unit.

BTU chart by room size

Image source: Fixr

The best mini-split brands


Daikin mini-split

Image source: Amazon

Average cost range (materials only): $1,200-$4,000

Daikin features both single-zone and multi-zone mini-split air conditioning systems. Their top-selling multi-zone system is able to cool and heat up to eight different rooms with one outdoor unit. These units also feature strong efficiency ratings with SEER ratings up to 21. Daikin offers a six-year warranty for the compressor, indoor unit, and repair costs while offering an optional extended warranty of up to 12 years.


MrCool mini-split

Image source: LumberJocks

Average cost range (materials only): $1,000-$4,000

MrCool offers six different types of ductless mini-split heat pump AC units, including two different DIY mini-split options available with pre-charged refrigerant line sets, corrosion-free condenser, and four different cooling capacities. MrCool may not be the most well-known HVAC company, but we recommend choosing one of the MrCool DIY mini-splits if you’re on a budget and want to save on installation costs or if you just prefer to install the unit yourself.


Mitsubishi mini-split

Image source: Remodeling Magazine

Average cost range (materials only): $2,500-$6,500

Mitsubishi features a variety of different options, including indoor and outdoor units and hybrid ones as well. These units may be more expensive upfront but include designs that boost energy efficiency and save you money in the long run. Mitsubishi features Energy Star certified units with cooling capacities reaching between 18,000 and 36,000 BTU/hr. You’ll be able to control the thermostat with a remote control and through various smart features.

If you’d like to see how Mitsubishi stacks up against the competition, check out our analysis of Mitsubishi vs. Fujitsu.


Image source: Fujitsu

Average cost range (materials only): $2,700-$4,500

Fujitsu offers a variety of different mini-split systems, including single-zone and multi-zone options. Fujitsu utilizes inverter technology for all of its models, which tries to set a more level temperature, increasing efficiency, comfort, and quiet operation. Some of these units also have WiFi capabilities, so you’ll be able to control temperatures through your smartphone or tablet.


Gree mini-split

Image source: Gree

Average cost range (materials only): $1,500-$4,500

Gree is another affordable and highly efficient brand of ductless heat and cooling systems, with some units reaching SEER ratings as high as 38 for homeowners in harsh climates. Gree’s units also feature smart features which allow you to control temperatures, humidity, and airflow. You’ll be able to choose between several different single and multi-zone units.

Mini-splits vs. central air

Ductless mini split next to a central AC unit

Image source: Arnica


Mini-split systems - If your home doesn’t have any ducts installed, it typically costs between $4,000 and $7,000 to install a single-zone mini-split system for a standard 2,000 sq. ft home. While these units may be more expensive up front, they still cost less to install than central air and may reduce your energy bills.

Central air conditioning - Central air usually costs between $5,000-$12,000 if you have ducts in your home already. If not, installing ducts may cost an additional $3,000.

Our recommendation: Mini-split systems


Mini-split systems - Though both mini-splits and central air conditioners have high-efficiency ratings, mini-splits tend to have higher SEERS than central air conditioners due to the lack of ducts.

Central air conditioning - Since ductwork accounts for 30% of a unit’s energy usage, central air is not as efficient. The compressor in many central air units operates at full capacity, mostly at times when it’s unnecessary, thus increasing energy costs.

Our recommendation: Mini-split systems


Mini-split systems - While we do recommend you hire a professional to install your mini-split system, some brands make units you can install yourself. Though it requires both an outdoor unit and an indoor unit to operate, installation is simpler and cheaper.

Central air conditioning - If you need new ductwork, central air installation can be extensive, invasive, and expensive.

Our recommendation: Mini-split systems


Mini-split systems - Mini-splits tend to have low decibel levels, making for a quieter HVAC system. Levels for many mini splits are typically in the 30-decibel range.

Central air conditioning - Though some central air units are quieter than others, many units feature noise levels in the 60-decibel range.

Our recommendation: Mini-split systems

Which mini-split brand is right for me?

If your home doesn’t have any ducts and you decide to opt for a mini-split system, choosing the right brand and size can be overwhelming. Knowing how many rooms you need to cool or heat will help determine what’s within your budget.

If you prefer not to pay for a professional installation, choosing a DIY-friendly brand like MrCool may be best. Less expensive brands like Pioneer are a solid choice if you’re on a budget, but you can’t really go wrong with brands like Fujitsu, Daikin, Mitsubishi, or Gree.

Get in touch with a local contractor today.

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