Determining the best mini split systems involves knowing the cooling or heating power you need, the SEER rating and heating capabilities you're looking for, and how many zones you're looking to connect to a single condensing unit. Some of our most popular outdoor condensers this year include:
MRCOOL DIY Ductless (24,000 BTU): Ideal for the do-it-yourselfer, this one-zone system can heat or cool up to 1,000 square feet. Plus, it has a SEER energy efficiency rating of 20. Mr Cool also makes a series of multi zone DIY mini split systems: 2, 3 & 4 zones are available.
Daikin Wall-Mounted (24,000 BTU): This Daikin model of mini split can heat or cool up to 1,500 square feet. It includes advanced features like automatic temperature adjustment, quiet mode, eco mode, and turbo mode. Daikin mini splits also come with a 10-year warranty on parts and free labor.
Mitsubishi Quad Zone (42,000 BTU): Ideal for whole-home and multiple rooms heating and cooling, this ductless mini split can connect up to four air handlers from a single condenser to treat up to 3,000 square feet.
Gree Sapphire (12,000 BTU): A single-zone mini split ideal for home additions, the Gree Sapphire is incredibly efficient, boasting an Energy Star SEER rating of 30.
Why Are Mini Splits Beneficial?
Custom zone comfort
Ductless cooling and heating
Enhanced energy efficiency and low energy consumption
Ease of maintenance
There are plenty of reasons why mini split AC systems are becoming the preferred heating and cooling method in the United States. Here's a deeper look into why ductless mini splits are so beneficial:
Custom Zone Comfort
Perhaps the biggest benefit of a mini split system is its ability to offer custom comfort to the areas of the room it is heating or cooling.
Mini splits consist of an outdoor condenser that connects via tubes and wires to up to four indoor air handlers installed in various areas or rooms of the home. For instance, one air handler might be installed in the master bedroom, while another indoor unit is installed in the living room.
Unlike a conventional AC system, which typically operates off just one thermostat to heat or cool the entire property, mini splits can be connected to multiple indoor units and be adjusted based on personal preference and where residents are in a home at a given time. For example, it's possible to run the AC in the bedrooms at night while residents are sleeping and turn it off or down in other zones of the home that are unoccupied.
Enhanced Energy Efficiency
There are a variety of ways that a mini split air conditioner can offer a more energy-efficient alternative than a conventional HVAC system. We just mentioned one of them — the ability to offer custom zone comfort. Others include:
No duct system: Mini splits are a form of ductless air conditioner, so efficiency isn't sapped by duct system leakage. It's estimated that the average duct system loses up to 40% of its heating or cooling efficiency through leaks.
Higher SEER ratings: SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, is the standard for measuring the efficiency of air conditioning units. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system. The average conventional central air conditioner has a SEER rating between 13 and 22. Mini split SEER ratings typically start at 18 and can exceed 40.
When you consider these key benefits, it's easy to see how a ductless mini split is the more sustainable heating and cooling option. In fact, they can conserve up to 30% more energy compared to central air conditioning, resulting in lower utility bills.
What are the New Energy Efficiency Ratings for 2023?
Beginning in 2023, the federal minimum energy efficiency regulation was changed to reflect a one SEER point — or 7% — increase. This means that any new AC unit installed in 2023 and beyond will have to meet a greater minimum SEER requirement. This minimum standard also varies by what region of the country you're in.
Here's a look at 2023 energy efficiency regulations based on region:
North region: The minimum SEER rating on new installations is now 14.
Southeast region: The minimum SEER rating on new installations is now 15.
Southwest region: The minimum SEER rating on new installations is now 15.
Because of how efficiently they heat and cool air, property owners are better able to meet or exceed these standards with ductless mini split system installation.
A British thermal unit (BTU) is a measure of the heat content of fuels or energy sources. It is the quantity of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of liquid water by 1 degree Fahrenheit at the temperature that water has its greatest density. Learn more.
If you’re a homeowner and don’t have the requisite ductwork to facilitate a central air conditioning system, then you’ll want to go with a mini split air conditioner. A Mitsubishi mini-split is capable of effectively cooling multiple areas of your home at the same time but does not require any...