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)
- MrCool 3rd Generation DIY (single zone DIY)
What isn’t here is a list of heat pumps available on Amazon that could provide affiliate cash for us if you buy one. Why do we say that? Because most of the “Best Ductless Mini Splits” lists online are nothing more than an opportunity for someone to make money off readers regardless of whether the systems they promote are any good.
Those lists are filled with names like Pioneer, Senville and Klimaire. These brands are OK, but not among the best – You can’t have a “Best Mini Splits” list without premium brands like Daikin, Fujitsu, and Mitsubishi. If you’ve searched the topic and perused the results, you know what we’re talking about. We’ve chosen the top equipment, and we’re not selling anything.
Comparison of Complete Installation Costs
Both equipment cost and installed costs are listed.
In the chart below, we include the equipment cost by itself, since many of these systems can be purchased from local and online dealers. Some homeowners do that and then find their own installer.
A few do all the installation except what must be done by an HVAC technician with a refrigerant certification who can legally purchase refrigerant and charge the system.
We also include the installed cost – the equipment plus the installation labor costs. These costs are accurate whether you buy the equipment and find an installer or locate an installer who then supplies the equipment you want.
|Model||Zones||BTU Sizes||Equipment Cost||Installed Cost|
|Gree Vireo Gen3||1||9K – 24K||$1,900 – $3,700||$3,100 – $6,100|
|Carrier Infinity||1||9K – 24K||$2,350 – $6,800||$3,600 – $9,200|
|Daikin Aurora||1-4||9K – 36K||$2,450 – $8,500||$3,700 – $12,750|
|Fujitsu Halcyon||1-5||18K – 45K||$2,900 – $8,900||$4,100 – $13,400|
|Mitsubishi Hyper Heat||1-8||12K – 48K||$2,550 – $10,600||$3,800 – $16,750|
|Samsung FJM||2-5||18K – 48K||$3,100 – $8,800||$4,350 – $13,200|
|Daikin MXS Series||2-5||18K-48K||$3,200-$10,400||$5,450 – $16,550|
|LG Multi F & Multi F Max||2-6||18K-42K||$3,050 – $9,900||$5,100 – $15,300|
|Gree Multi+ Ultra||2-7||18K-48K||$3,550 – $10,750||$5,700 – $16,850|
|MrCool 3rd Gen DIY||1-4||12K-36K||$1,850 – $5,400||N/A|
Equipment costs include the outdoor unit, indoor unit, or units, remote, line sets with refrigerant lines, wiring and drain and wall bracket or pad for the ground. The top costs include a wireless thermostat and a WiFi module if it is an accessory.
Installed costs include the labor, installation supplies and refrigerant to complete the charge of the system.
10 Best Mini Split HVAC Systems – Full Reviews
This list is about quality, which translates into reliable performance you can count on to deliver heating and air conditioning whenever you need them. Yes, some of them are among the most efficient, but that alone doesn’t get them on the list.
You’ll note that there are three types of mini split ductless systems:
Single zone: These have one indoor unit and are most commonly used in additions, garages, converted attics and to supplement heating and AC in a zone that isn’t adequately served by another HVAC system.
Multi zone: These systems include outdoor units, or condensing units, that work with 2 to 8 indoor units. Most are designed as whole-house systems or light commercial HVAC systems.
Single and multi-zone systems: Several of the ductless mini split heat pumps are available in single-zone and multi-zone systems.
We have included the best mini split HVAC systems in these ranges to give you quality options to fit your specific needs.
The Gree Vireo Gen 3 ductless heat pump makes the list for its proven dependability, ability to capture heat in extreme cold and a good set of options. Gree systems are also among the most affordable available.
Installed Cost: $3,100 to $6,100
Outdoor Unit Sizes: 9K, 12K, 18K and 24K BTU.
Indoor Unit Options: Wall mount, ceiling cassette, floor/ceiling, slim duct
Pros and Cons: Good value based on quality and affordability, four indoor unit types and sizes from 9K to 22K BTU, WiFi is a $115 option, efficiency is better than average, though this isn’t Gree’s most efficient system – Sapphire is with a 38 SEER rating. The warranty of 5 years is below average for quality mini split systems.
Features: Variable capacity inverter compressor, 7-speed fan with Turbo for faster heating and cooling, timer, remote included, wired thermostat an option,
Efficiency Ratings: Up to 25.3 SEER and 11.5 HSPF
Energy Star: Yes
Low ambient temperature: Gathers heat in temperatures down to -22 degrees F.
Warranty: 5 years on all parts.
The Carrier Infinity 38MPRA mini split is built to last and is the most efficient ductless system available today with a top SEER rating of 42 and 15 HSPF heating. It delivers 75% of heating capacity in extreme cold too – down to -22F with 100% heating at 5 degrees F.
*Carrier uses technology supplied by Midea’s subsidiary Toshiba.
Outdoor Unit Sizes: 9k, 12K, 18K and 24K BTU.
Indoor Unit Options: High wall only
Installed Cost: $3,600 to $9,200
Pros and Cons: High quality and outstanding efficiency are combined in this Carrier ductless heat pump, but the cost is quite high. Your only indoor unit option is a high-wall mounted air handler.
Features: Modes are AC, Heat, Fan-only and Dry (dehumidifies without changing temperature). Built-in WiFi, carbon filter for cleaner air.
A basepan heater prevents freeze up, refrigerant leak detection and automatic restart after outage. The indoor air handlers have modulating fans and Turbo for quick heating and cooling.
A wireless remote is included – it has “follow me” technology, meaning the system senses the temperature at the remote, so if you keep it close by, the air near you will be the temperature you desire. A wired thermostat controller is an option.
Efficiency Ratings: Up to 42 SEER and 15 HSPF.
Energy Star: Yes.
Low ambient temperature: Delivers 75% of heating capacity in temperature down to -22F.
Warranty: 10 years on all parts.
Daikin makes several mini split HVAC systems, and Aurora (PDF) is the top of the line. It’s similar to the Fujitsu Halcyon in efficiency and quality. Daikin is a global leader in inverter compressor technology that delivers precise air conditioning and heating.
Outdoor Unit Sizes: 9K, 12K, 18K, 24K and 36K BTU.
Indoor Unit Options: Two wall mounted styles, floor/ceiling, ceiling cassette and ducted/hidden.
Installed Cost: $3,700 to $12,750
Pros and Cons: This system delivers proven reliability in a decent range of sizes, though they top out at 36K BTU. Delivers 100% AC in outdoor temperatures to 104F. Includes a handheld remote.
WiFi control with the app is standard for all Aurora systems. The 12-year warranty is one of the longest offered. The Aurora system is compatible with 5 styles of indoor unit (listed below).
Features: Outdoor units have auto-restart after power interruptions. Indoor units offer Dry mode – humidity reduction without cooling. Hot start heats the indoor coils before the fan starts to reduce cool drafts in heat mode.
Deodorizing photocatalytic filter for fresher air. Occupant sensor directs airflow away from people to prevent uncomfortable drafts. Daikin also uses Powerful mode – 20 minutes of heating or AC for faster temperature changes.
Efficiency Ratings: Up to 20.3 SEER and 12.5 HSPF.
Energy Star: Yes.
Low ambient temperature: 100% heating at 5F with heating functional to -13F.
Warranty: 12 years on all parts.
The Halcyon line (PDF) is highly rated and manufactured in single zone and 2-5 zone systems. Halcyon heat pumps are produced in standard systems and those with XLTH – extra low temperature heating – technology.
Zones: Standard systems in 1-5 zones; XLTH systems in 1-4 zones.
Outdoor Unit Sizes: Single zone 18K and 24K BTU; multi zone 18K, 24K, 36K and 45K BTU.
Indoor Unit Options: Wall mounted and floor mounted options.
Installed Cost: $4,100 to $13,400
Pros and Cons: Premium quality and dependability, a good range of sizes for multiple zone systems, though the largest are only 45,000 BTU. The single zone systems are only produced in 18,000 and 24,000 BTU options. Efficiency is not as high as some of the other systems on the list.
Features: AC, heat, and energy saver modes plus “Powerful” mode – the unit runs for 20 minutes at top output for faster heating and AC.
24-hour timer and sleep timer, high-performance filters including a deodorizing filter, basepan heater in outdoor units. The units automatically change between heating and AC when seasons change. 99
Efficiency Ratings: Up to 24 SEER and 12.6 HSPF.
Energy Star: Yes
Low ambient temperature: 100% of rated heat at 5F for standard models and -15F for XLTH systems.
Warranty: 7 years on the compressor; 5 years on other parts.
Mitsubishi is another global leader in mini split HVAC development. It’s H2i Hyper Heat systems are its low-ambient temperature version. These feature-rich systems can be configured many ways to suit your heating and air conditioning requirements in up to 8 zones.
Installed Cost: $3,800 to $16,750
Pros and Cons: Excellent quality, a good warranty, and good options for indoor units to fit your purposes. With up to 8 zones offered, Mitsubishi gives you the opportunity to customize the system configuration.
Features: Econo Cool mode raises temperature 4 degrees but removes more humidity, so the air feels just as comfortable.
24-hour timer and weekly timer, auto-restart, anti-allergen filtration, airflow volume can be adjusted in the indoor unit – increased for high ceilings and decreased for low ceilings.
iSee sensors in some indoor units detect the location of people in the room to prevent drafts.
Efficiency Ratings: Up to 33 SEER and 13.5 HSPF.
Energy Star: Some systems.
Low ambient temperature: 100% capacity to -5F and operational to -13F.
Outdoor Unit Sizes: 12K, 18K, 24K, 30K, 36K, 42K and 48K BTU.
Indoor Unit Options: Wall mounted, ceiling cassette, floor mounted and horizontal ducted that can be hidden in existing ductwork.
Warranty: Standard warranty is 10 years on all parts. If you hire a Mitsubishi certified Diamond installer, the warranty is 12 years.
Samsung is another hall of fame mini split brand with decades of proven success in the industry. The Free Joint Multi, or FJM, systems are built to light-commercial specs but are commonly used in homes too.
The FJM Max Heat line offers heating performance in low temperatures consistent with others in this top mini split HVAC system list.
Zones: 2-5 zones for standard FJM systems. 2-4 zones for FJM Max Heat systems.
Installed Cost: $4,350 to $13,200
Pros and Cons: With multiple outdoor unit sizes and indoor units from 7K to 24K BTU, you can configure a custom system from 18K to 48K BTU total. The 5 zones max isn’t as many as a few other systems listed here. Also, efficiency isn’t as high in these systems as in most others.
Features: WiFi and the Samsung SmartThings app is available for most systems. A wireless remote is included. Two wired wall-mounted controllers are available.
Efficiency Ratings: Up to 18 SEER and 10.0 HSPF.
Energy Star: Yes
Low ambient temperature: -13F
Outdoor Unit Sizes: Standard FJM – 18K, 24K, 36K and 48K BTU; Max Heat FJM – 20K, 24K, 30K and 36K BTU.
Indoor Unit Options: 4-way mini cassette, floor console, slim duct, and several wall-mounted options from 7K to 24K.
Warranty: 10 years on parts plus a 1-year labor warranty.
Daikin’s best multi-zone heat pump system gives you plenty of configuration options and indoor unit styles (PDF) for a tailored HVAC system. As you might guess, this system can be quite expensive.
Installed Cost: $5,450 to $16,550.
Pros and Cons: Proven quality and reliability, suitable for cold climates as well as the warmest regions of the country. Daikin’s warranty is among the very best. Cost might be prohibitive for some homeowners.
Features: Quick-warming mode preheats the compressor to speed warmups, the outside unit automatically defrosts to prevent freezing, multiple controls including Bluetooth, WiFi and the nest-like Madoka thermostat.
Most indoor units have Daikin’s “Intelligent Eye” that reduces heating and AC to unoccupied rooms.
Efficiency Ratings: Up to 20.2 SEER and 12.2 HSPF
Energy Star: Yes
Low ambient temperature: -5F
Outdoor Unit Sizes: 18K, 24K, 36K and 48K BTU.
Indoor Unit Options: Two wall units including the stylish Emura line, floor, ceiling cassette and two concealed duct styles.
Warranty: 12 years on all parts.
LG makes a few excellent single zone ductless heat pumps, but this multiple zone system really stands out for quality and high-capacity heating and air conditioning. And yes, larger systems can get expensive.
Zones: 2-4 with Multi F and up to 6 with Multi F Max.
Installed Cost: $5,100 to $15,300
Pros and Cons: The best range of indoor unit options, decent efficiency in all systems including the largest, low-ambient heating, durable quality. The system cost is among the highest.
Features: Full-feature remotes for each indoor unit, central controllers are an option. WiFi and smart home capability. Auto setting – set the temperature you desire, and the system will adjust output accordingly.
Auto restart after outages, soft start prevents drafts at the beginning of the cycle. The condensing unit automatically defrosts as needed.
Efficiency Ratings: Up to 21 SEER and 11.5 HSPF.
Energy Star: Yes
Low ambient temperature: Functional to -13F.
Outdoor Unit Sizes: 18K, 2K, 30K, 36K, 42K, 48, 54 and 60K BTU – the highest capacity of any system on this list.
Indoor Unit Options: LG also offers the most indoor unit styles of any manufacturer. They are standard wall mount, a floor/ceiling model that can be installed either place, 2 ceiling concealed duct units, a 4-way ceiling cassette, low wall, or floor console and two stylish wall models – the LG Art Cool Mirror and the Art Cool Gallery, which is fronted by a picture frame that you fill with artwork of your choice.
Warranty: 10 years on the compressor and operating parts.
Some readers are wondering how a brand they’ve never heard of, Gree, gets two systems on the list of the best ductless mini split HVAC systems. It’s because Gree equipment is proven reliable. It is very efficient and offers extreme-weather heating dependability.
Installed Cost: $5,700 to $16,850
Pros and Cons: Multiple configuration options for the size of the outdoor unit and size and type of indoor units. This system has the lowest operating temperature of any – down to -31F, and the highest – they can still dump heat outside and cool your home in temperature to 129F.
The two disadvantages are higher cost than some others plus the efficiency ratings are not as high for the Super+ Multi Ultra – not uncommon in larger sizes.
Features: The condensing units feature auto restart after an outage, anti-corrosion coil protection, intelligent defrost and high-performance inverter compressors.
Indoor units offer WiFi as a standard feature, multi-speed fans with control of louver direction, i-Feel function that senses the temperature at the remote to keep the air comfortable where it is (so keep it near you) and options for wall-mounted wired and wireless controls.
Efficiency Ratings: Up to 23 SEER and 10.5 HSPF.
Energy Star: Some sizes are Energy Star certified.
Low ambient temperature: -31F
Outdoor Unit Sizes: 18K, 24K, 36K, 42K and 48K BTU.
Indoor Unit Options: Several wall mounted units, floor/ceiling air handler, floor console, ceiling cassette and slim concealed duct options.
Warranty: 5 years on all parts – not as long as most others in the list.
There are currently two manufacturers of DIY mini split systems, MrCool (often written as MRCOOL) and Klimaire. MrCool is clearly the better of the two.
And since some homeowners are very eager to save installation charges by doing it themselves, we thought it appropriate to add a DIY mini split to our list.
There are single-zone and a newer dual-zone MrCool 3rd generation system.
Installed Cost: $1,850 – $5,400 when you DIY. If you plan to hire an installer, add up to $2,000 for a single-zone system and another $1,200 per unit for each additional zone.
Pros and Cons: Good quality and DIY are the biggest advantages for those who want to do it themselves. The efficiency levels are good. Cost is affordable. You only have one indoor unit option – wall mounted air handlers.
Features: 24-hour timer, Sleep Mode for energy savings, Auto restart, full-feature remote with a Follow Me sensor to keep temperature where you want it at the remote, WiFi and compatibility with Google Assistant and Alexa.
Efficiency Ratings: Up to 22 SEER and 10.3 HSPF.
Energy Star: Yes.
Low ambient temperature: 5F
Outdoor Unit Sizes: Single zone 12K, 18K, 24K and 36K BTU. 2-4 zone units 27K and 36K BTU.
Indoor Unit Options: Wall only.
Warranty: 7 years on the compressor and 5 years on other parts. The remote has a 1-year warranty.
Here are a few issues to consider when buying a ductless mini split heat pump system.
Sizing your Mini Split System
Proper sizing is critical to a comfortable home and to energy efficiency.
“Too big” isn’t any better than “too small,” because an oversized system will waste energy and won’t properly dehumidify the space in the warm months.
The general rule is that you need about 25 BTU per square foot of space – a little more if your space is a kitchen where a lot of cooking heats it up or if the room is sunny – for the same reason.
You might need a little less, as low as 20 BTU/square foot, if your climate is mild and/or your home is really energy efficient with house wrap, excellent windows, and the maximum insulation levels in the attic (R-50 to R-60) and walls (R-13 to R-20).
However, our recommendation is to have an HVAC contractor do a load calculation, such as a Manual J, on your home to precisely determine the right size system. There are too many variables to use a “rule of thumb” to decide the right size mini split for your needs.
Advantages of Contractor Sourcing vs Buying a System and Hiring and Installer
This issue dovetails with the sizing issue.
Should you buy a mini split at Home Depot or online and then hire an installer?
Not in our opinion. Yes, sizing it properly is a huge part of it. But a knowledgeable contractor will also assist in decisions about:
Brand – what brand(s) have they found to be reliable? What brands do they repair most often – so you can stay away from them?
Indoor unit type – A wall mounted unit gives you a different climate control experience than a ceiling cassette or a floor console. Plus, if you run AC more than heat, wall and ceiling options are preferred to floor options, since cool air (AC) sinks.
If you heat more, then a floor console or low-wall indoor unit makes more sense because heat rises.
Indoor unit sizes and number – OK, let’s say you need 36,000 BTU of heating and AC capacity. Given your floor plan, how many rooms or zones need an indoor unit? What about a large, open plan?
Should you choose one large indoor unit for it or two smaller units? In short, a pro can help you configure the system for optimal temperature and humidity control.
A 36,000 BTU system, for example, can be configured in many ways. It can be designed with two 18K, three 12K or four 9K units, two 9K and one 18K indoor units, a 12K and a 24K, etc.
Explaining Indoor Unit Types
Here’s a little more information about your indoor unit options. These units are technically called air handlers and are often referred to as “heads.”
Wall mount: The most common and most affordable, these are good all-around indoor units, but better for AC since they are installed high on the wall. Sizes are 6K to 36K BTU.
Most have louvers that move air side to side and up and down. Some have sensors that detect where people are located, and they avoid blowing cool air directly on them. They are installed on flat (not slanted) exterior walls.
Low wall/Floor mounted or floor console: These units are good for heating and in rooms with low or sloping ceilings, such as an attic or the upstairs of a 1.5-story bungalow. The disadvantage is that they take up a few square feet of floor space.
Ceiling cassette: Costlier than most types, these units fit between ceiling joists and install flush to the ceiling. Most have fans and louvers that disperse air in 4 directions. A few are round and move air 360-degrees. The advantage is more even distribution of air within a room than other types can achieve.
Concealed duct: These units are hidden in the ceiling, usually, or the wall. They have 2 to 4 outlets. Flexible ducts are attached to them, and the ducts run to grilles in the ceiling or wall.
Higher cost for the unit and installation comes with the advantage of concealed equipment plus better air distribution.
Cold Weather Options
Significant advances in technology allow some mini split heat pumps to gather heat in subzero temperatures. It’s pretty amazing.
If your winter temperatures are consistently below freezing, you don’t have to shy away from a mini split system. They all work in temperatures in the “teens,” and the most advanced are functional below zero F.
However, know what the system limitations are. For example, the Carrier Infinity mini split heat pump in the list above delivers 100% heating capacity to 5F but only 75% capacity at -22F.
Yes, these are extremes that few climates experience, but if you live in one of them, you want to be sure you’ll have adequate heat to keep your house warm and your pipes from freezing.