The best mini split HVAC systems deliver excellent energy efficiency and reliable performance you can count on.
Your options include single zone and multi-zone mini split heat pump systems from brands known for high quality. Similar to central heat pumps, they deliver air conditioning and heating.
This buying guide includes our ranked list, plus full reviews of the top ductless mini split systems with details needed to make an informed buying decision. Cost, pros and cons, efficiency ratings, number of zones, system sizes and features are included. At the end of the list, a brief Buying Guide concludes this post.
The Best Ductless Mini Split HVAC Systems
Gree Vireo Gen3 (single zone)
Carrier Infinity (single zone)
Fujitsu Halcyon (single and multi-zone)
Daikin Aurora (single and multi-zone)
Mitsubishi Hyper Heat Systems (single and multi-zone)
Samsung FJM (single zone)
Daikin MXS Series (multi)
LG Multi F & Multi F Max (multi)
Gree Multi+ Ultra and Super+ Multi Ultra (multi zone)
The best 2022 solar water heaters for whole-house residential use (not for pools, hot tubs or camping shower bags!) are available in two types, active and passive models.
Active vs. Passive Solar Water Heaters
The first major decision you have is which system type to select – and your local weather and climate are going to be a major factor.
In short, you can install either active or passive system in a warm climate, but where winter freezes are possible, an active system that employs antifreeze is essential. — These are indirect systems.
Here are more details describing each type:
Passive solar water heaters rely on water pressure from a municipal water supply or a well pump to move heated water from the tank through your plumbing. They are easier to install and cost significantly less. Heated water rises into the storage tank through convection/buoyancy in thermosiphon systems or it flows to the storage tanks in integrated models.
Active solar water heaters have circulation pumps circulating antifreeze plus more control features to regulate temperature and protect the unit from freezing in cold weather.
Direct vs. Indirect Water Heating
Direct systems heat potable water sent directly to a storage tank or tankless water heater for use as domestic hot water – the water coming from your hot water taps or connected to a dishwasher or clothes washer.
Indirect systems circulate antifreeze, usually propylene glycol, that is heated in the solar collectors. The heated liquid is pumped through a coil of pipe in a hot water storage tank or through a heat exchanger that transfers heat to the potable water in the tank.
There are other brands, too, all listed and explained below.
The general rule is to stay away from Johnson Control brands (York, Luxaire, Coleman & Champion), Nortek brands (Maytag, Frigidaire, Gibson & Broan) and anything sold online or at Home Depot as a DIY option.
As for Lennox, avoid its cheapest units – and a couple of its most complex furnaces because they are prone to mechanical failure. And the more complex the furnace, the higher the repair bill when it breaks down.
What is on this page about furnace brands to avoid? This page has a list of the worst brands and furnace types and why you should not buy them. Reasons are explained, so you can decide for yourself.
Poor quality and/or installation: It’s more than just furnace quality, though that’s at least half of the equation. The rest of it surrounds installation – which is a huge factor in how durable a furnace will be.
Furnace Brands to Avoid Because of Bad Quality
Some HVAC manufacturers make inferior furnaces. It doesn’t matter if the “Furnace Technician of the Year” installs them, they won’t have the durability of a Trane or a Carrier. There are two families of brands that make the worst gas furnaces.
Avoid Maytag, Broan, Frigidaire and Gibson Furnaces
These are four identical brands manufactured by Nortek Global. Never heard of the company. It was Nordyne until the name change in 2015, if that name rings a bell.
This company also made Tappan and Westinghouse furnaces, but those brands have been retired.
Average Cost To Install a Warm Air FurnaceTypical Range: $3,840 - $5,570
See costs in your area
Top Reasons to Avoid These Furnaces
Poor quality parts plus design issues in these furnaces leads to them breaking down early and often compared to quality furnace brands.
Parts that failed at an unacceptably high rate, along with pro repair cost, include:
Draft inducer motors ($390-$800)
Control boards ($275 – $600)
Gas valve assemblies ($300 – $500)
Heat exchangers ($1,500+ or a new furnace)
Cheaper parts with a higher-than-average failure rate include various sensors ($125 – $225) and igniters ($100 – $175).
One pro installer gives insight into what might be causing most of these issues. Keep in mind that moisture is a byproduct of natural gas combustion.
The technician, Jason F, said, “There is entirely too much moisture building up inside these units and they are shorting out the motors and the control board.”
That shoe seems to fit the major complaints from homeowners who are frustrated with these brands. The technician says that the “fix” for one of the issues is to “put the control board in a plastic bag…” OK then. That’s not going to solve the issue.
The installer goes on to criticize in graphic language the cheapness of Nortek – in this case Maytag – parts and sheet metal. Anecdotal, yes, but not isolated. This is what we’re hearing from pros around the country.
*What about MrCool gas furnaces? Did you know MrCool makes furnaces? Well, they don’t. MrCool-branded furnaces are Nortek Global furnaces, identical to Maytag models. Perhaps that is all that needs to be said.