Cassette ceiling AC units are a special type of air conditioner. These are cassette units that are mounted on the ceiling. They are very frequently found in offices and other workspaces.
You may find quite a lot of mini splits, portable, and window units. However, cassette ceiling air conditioners are a bit rarer.
This is quite a shame since these ceiling-mounted air conditioners have quite a lot going for them. They are:
- Very energy efficient (with 20+ SEER rating and 10+ HSPF rating).
- Can be mounted on the ceiling. That means you don’t reduce the overall space in the room you install it in. Window AC, for example, obstructs the window, portable AC is a big box you have to deal with. Cassette AC units are practically invisible.
- Best cool air distribution. The cool air comes from above and you can place these cassette units practically anywhere on the ceiling.
- Very quiet operation. The noisiest part – the compressor – is located in the outdoor unit.
- 2-ton cassette ceiling air conditioners have an over 1,000 sq ft coverage.
If you are looking for a cassette AC, you would prefer to pick the best ceiling AC unit there is.
To help you out in finding these rarer units, LearnMetrics made a list of the 4 best cassette ceiling air conditioners, complete with spec-by-spec analysis and individual reviews. You will find the list with the specific cassette AC models further on.
First of all, however, let’s check the basic specification you should check before buying any cassette ceiling air conditioner:
4 Factors To Check Before Getting A Cassette Ceiling AC Unit
Cassette units are split system air conditioners. That means they consist of two units: the outdoor condenser unit and the indoor ceiling unit.
Before you buy such a unit, you have to be sure you will be able to install it properly. All cassette ceiling AC units require ductwork and professional installation. If you don’t have existing ductwork, a professional installer can install that for you as well (for an extra cost, of course).
You will also need an upgraded 208/230V circuit for running them.
With these basics figured out, let’s look at what specs the top cassette ceiling air conditioner should have:
- Be adequately sized (correct AC capacity). What size ceiling AC unit do you need? The easiest way to figure out how many BTU cassette unit you need for the space you want to cool is to follow the DOE’s rule of thumb for AC sizing. This states that you should use ’20 BTU per sq ft with 8 ft ceiling’ for adequate cooling. Cassette AC units have from 9,000 BTU (0.75-ton) to about 36,000 BTU (3-ton) capacity. Here are the rough estimates for coverage area you can use:
Cassette AC Capacity (Tonnage): Coverage Area (Sq Ft): 0.75 Ton (9,000 BTU) 450 Sq Ft 1 Ton (12,000 BTU) 600 Sq Ft 1.5 Tons (18,000 BTU) 900 Sq Ft 2 Tons (24,000 BTU) 1,200 Sq Ft 2.5 Tons (30,000 BTU) 1,500 Sq Ft 2 Tons (36,000 BTU) 1,800 Sq Ft
- High cooling energy efficiency (SEER rating). Energy efficiency is everything with HVAC units. High energy efficiency AC units cost much less to run than low energy efficiency units (the difference in 10-20 years can be $1,000s). We denote the cooling energy efficiency of cassette ceiling AC units with the SEER rating. The higher the SEER rating, the better. When choosing the best cassette ceiling AC unit, always shoot for a 20+ SEER rating.
- High heating energy efficiency (HSPF rating). All cassette ceiling units are capable of both cooling and heating. Efficiency-wise, we use the SEER rating for cooling efficiency and HSPF for heating efficiency. Cassette ceiling heat pumps have an above-average heating efficiency. You should use that and invest in units with a 10+ HSPF rating.
- Choose a reliable brand. Not all HVAC brands made cassette ceilings. It, nonetheless, pay off to invest in a brand with a good track record. Cooper & Hunter, and Senville, are two of the biggest companies in the cassette AC industry. Choosing a brand with a good reputation is usually connected with higher reliability of cassette ceiling AC units and increased durability (up to about 20-year lifespan).
With all these specs in mind, let’s look specifically at which models of cassette ceiling AC are the best to buy:
4 Best Cassette AC Units Mounted On The Ceiling
1. Best Ceiling Cassette Air Conditioner: Cooper & Hunter 24,000 BTU
|Capacity:||24,000 BTU (2-Ton)|
|Coverage:||Up To 1,200 Sq Ft|
|SEER Rating:||21.5 SEER|
|HSPF Rating:||11.5 HSPF|
Cooper & Hunter is the go-to brand for cassette ceiling AC units. 24,000 BTU units (2-ton) is one of the most powerful models on the market. Overall, it has superb both cooling and heating energy efficiency which is ideal. It is the best cassette air conditioner currently on the market.
This is a 2-ton unit that can be mounted on the ceiling. With such cooling output, you can cool areas of up to 1,200 sq ft. For example, it is perfect for a 1,000 sq ft office space.
It has an above 20 SEER cooling energy efficiency (21.5 SEER rating, to be exact). That means you will have extremely low running costs. For example, the difference between 16 SEER and 20 SEER unit is 25% in favor of 20 SEER unit. That means that a 21.5 SEER Cooper & Hunter cassette unit is about 30% more efficient than a 16 SEER unit.
On top of that, it has a 10+ HSPF rating (11.5 HSPF). That means that if you use it for heating in the winter, you will have relatively lower heating costs compared to standard-efficiency cassette ceiling heat pumps.
Given its high cooling power, you will have to use a 208/230V circuit. If you don’t already have this voltage, you will have to upgrade your circuit which will result in extra installation costs. You also cannot use it in small offices with below 600 sq ft total square footage.
All in all, the Cooper & Hunter 24,000 BTU model is the overall best cassette ceiling air conditioner currently on the market. It has superb energy efficiency, can provide a lot of cooling/heating output, and it costs less than $2,000:
2. Best 1.5 Ton Cassette Air Conditioner: Cooper & Hunter 18,000 BTU
|Capacity:||18,000 BTU (1.5-Ton)|
|Coverage:||Up To 900 Sq Ft|
|SEER Rating:||22 SEER|
|HSPF Rating:||10.5 HSPF|
Cooper & Hunter 18,000 BTU is another superb cassette ceiling AC unit from Cooper & Hunter. This one has an 18,000 BTU cooling capacity, an even higher SEER rating, and it is available for less than $1,700.
The 1.5-ton unit (18,000 BTU) can be mounted on the ceiling in a room with a total square footage of up to 900 sq ft. It is appropriate for standard-sized offices.
It has an exceptionally high cooling energy efficiency rating. With a 22 SEER rating, you are going to save quite a lot on cooling expenses.
Heating-wise, the Cooper & Hunter 18,000 BTU unit has a 10.5 HSPF rating. This is superb compared to standard units but not as high as the most energy-efficient cassette ceiling heat pumps (those can achieve an 11 HSPF rating or higher).
Here you will also need an upgraded 208/230V circuit to properly install it.
All in all, the Cooper & Hunter 18,000 BTU model is the best 1.5-ton cassette air conditioner. It’s quite easy to install on the ceiling given that you already have the ductwork in place, and has a very high cooling energy efficiency:
3. Top-Rated Ceiling-Mounted Air Conditioner: Senville SENA-18IC-Z
|Capacity:||18,000 BTU (1.5-Ton)|
|Coverage:||Up To 900 Sq Ft|
|SEER Rating:||21 SEER|
|HSPF Rating:||11.5 HSPF|
Another good brand for ceiling cassette AC units is Senville. Their 1.5-ton model Senville SENA-18IC-Z can provide quite a lot of cooling/heating at a low cost. Senville cassette ceiling are also more affordable than Cooper & Hunter units.
When you run the Senville SENA-18IC-Z at 100% output, you get 18,000 BTU of cooling output. This is enough to cool down spaces with up to 900 sq ft. If you need more than that, you can just install several of these units.
With a 21 SEER rating and 11.5 HSPF rating, the Senville SENA-18IC-Z has a very high energy efficiency (both cooling and heating). For reference, standard-efficiency units have about 16 SEER and 8 HSPF rating.
Of course, Senville is a good brand but their units are not as reliable as Cooper & Hunter units. You will also require the upgraded 208/230V electric circuit to power it.
All in all, if you are looking for a good and affordable 1.5-ton cassette ceiling air conditioner, the Senville SENA-18IC-Z is the go-to model:
4. Smallest Most Energy Efficient Cassette Ceiling AC: Senville SENA-09IC-Z
|Capacity:||9,000 BTU (0.75-Ton)|
|Coverage:||Up To 450 Sq Ft|
|SEER Rating:||25 SEER|
|HSPF Rating:||12 HSPF|
Senville SENA-09IC-Z is a very unique cassette AC unit with superb qualities. With the 9,000 BTU cooling output, it is the smallest cassette ceiling air conditioner. With a 25 SEER rating, it is also the most energy efficient cassette AC unit. And, because it’s a smaller unit, it costs only about $1,000 (one of the cheapest cassette ceiling units).
This 9,000 BTU unit is meant for use in smaller offices. It has a coverage area of up to 450 sq ft. This is its major con; it is not as powerful as other units. It is perfect, however, if you are looking for a small cassette ceiling AC unit for small rooms.
Nonetheless, producing less cooling output gives Senville SENA-09IC-Z huge advantages as far as other important specs are concerned.
For example, it has the highest SEER rating of all cassette ceiling AC units (25 SEER rating). That means that it will slash your cooling costs. Given it also produces less indoor airflow, it is one of the quietest cassette ceiling air conditioners.
On top of that, it has only about a $1,000 price tag, making it one of the cheapest cassette AC units on the market.
As we can see, some important specs can get a boost if we have a smaller unit.
All in all, Senville SENA-09IC-Z is the best small cassette ceiling fan for small rooms. With a record-high 25 SEER rating, low indoor noise levels, and a very affordable price, it’s one of the best choices for a cassette ceiling air conditioner:
This has been a quick overview of the best ceiling cassette aircons on the market. Hopefully, this will help you to choose an adequately sized and energy efficient unit that is capable of both cooling and heating.