7 Best Ductless Mini Split AC Units With Highest SEER Ratings

The ductless mini split AC units are known as the most energy-efficient air conditioning type. Energy-efficiency is denoted by a SEER rating. The most energy-efficient mini split air conditioners can have a SEER rating above 20. In short, they can produce an incredible amount of cooling power for a fraction of electricity costs (compared to other AC types).

The excellent energy costcooling power ratio is the No. 1 reason why the ductless mini split AC units are becoming increasingly more popular.

In recent years, the #1 unit type air conditioning engineers suggest when asked “I want to cool down 1 or several rooms at a reasonable price, which AC should I get?” is the “Ductless mini split air conditioning unit”.

We will look at which ductless AC units have the highest SEER rating. You will find the full list and comparison here:

See Comparison Of Best Mini Split AC Units With Reviews

But first, let’s learn a thing or two about what this AC unit actually is and what are the benefits of using it.

Most mini split units need professional installation. If you’ll ever need an HVAC expert to install any AC unit, you can get free advice and free estimates from 4 different vetted HVAC experts in your area using this form.

We’ll also look at a very quick 3-key-factors-to-look-for ductless mini split AC buyers guide to illustrate what makes the best mini splits systems, well, the best.

What Does Mini Split System Air Conditioner Consist Of?

The mini split system keeps all the noise and the fuss outside the house. The unit inside the house is as quiet, comfortable, and energy-efficient as it gets.

The ductless mini split AC is made out of 4 parts:

  1. Outdoor unit (see sketch below). The compressor generates all the power and powers the fans. Usually attached to the outer wall.
  2. Indoor unit (see sketch below). Quiet and elegant part mounted on the inside wall (bedroom wall, bathroom wall, basement wall, etc.). It consists of cooling coils, an air filter, and a blower.
  3. Refrigerant lines (connection between outdoor and indoor unit). These lines enable the exchange of the refrigerant between the two units. To install it, you need to drill a hole in your wall. Hint: If you can do that yourself, there’s a good chance you can DIY mini split AC installation.
  4. Remote control or/and mobile app. You can lower or raise the temperature, set a programmable timer, and so on with remote control. With smart mini split ACs, you can even connect your smartphone and control the whole AC with a simple app.

Here is what the insides of the indoor and outdoor unit consist of:

look inside the ductless mini split air conditioner with air filter, blower, evaporator, and the outside unit with condenser coils and compressor

You always have 1 outdoor unit but you can connect more than 1 indoor unit. The most powerful (and expensive) devices will be able to handle up to 5 indoor units.

Nonetheless, most of the people require a 1 zone mini split AC. That’s why the table of the best ductless units below consist solemnly of the 1 zone mini split AC systems.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Ductless AC?

The benefits of using a ductless air conditioner instead of ducted one or room air conditioners are quite obvious:

  1. No ducts. That as obvious as it gets; the ductless unit can serve as a help to the central air conditioner or as a stand-alone AC.
  2. Zone cooling. You can actually pick the room you want to cool down. You want to cool down the bedroom? Just install the inside unit on your bedroom’s wall. You don’t even need a window – this makes a perfect air conditioner for basements. You just need to drill a hole in the wall.
  3. Quietness. The outdoor unit creates all the noise (because it contains the compressor). That means that the indoor mini split AC unit is quiet as a cat. The noise levels even go below 50 dB; this is a noise level window air conditioner or portable ones can’t match.
  4. Superb energy-efficiency. The big brands offer mini split units with a SEER rating of 20 or more; which is incredible. With zone cooling, you don’t need to waste the cooling effect on parts of your house you don’t need to be cooled.
  5. Heating. One of the best benefits of ductless AC units is that they often include a high-efficient heater for winter. You can basically use the air conditioner for heating as well.

3 Key Factors To Consider When Buying A Mini Split Unit

Some ductless AC units are obviously better than others.

Here are the 5 rules you have to follow if you want to pick the best ductless AC unit for your house:

1. Right Capacity In BTU (Be Aware Of The Voltage)

Knowing how powerful of a mini split AC you need is the first thing you need to figure out. Usually, we have the certain square footage of a room or rooms in mind. Those ones we want to cool down, of course.

The recommendation is to multiply the room size (in sq ft) with 20-30 to get a BTU value. 20 is the most eco-friendly, 30 basically guarantees you won’t buy a ductless mini split AC that’s too weak.

Here are our recommendations for an average household based on available ductless AC sizes:

Capacity (In BTU) Of Ductless ACRoom Size (In Sq Ft)
9,000100-350 sq ft
12,000 (1 ton)350-500 sq ft
18,000500-700 sq ft
24,000 (2 ton)700-900 sq ft
30,000900-1,100 sq ft
36,000 (3 ton)1,100+ sq ft

The 12,000 BTU are the most commonly sold 1-zone mini split ACs. That’s why we have based our comparison of the best mini split ACs by comparing 12,000 BTU models.

Note: With the high capacity mini split units, be aware of the voltage. The 15,000+ BTU devices usually need a higher voltage; 208/230V instead of the standard 110/220V. The high-capacity units will almost always require you to install the 208/230V which will add to the standard installation costs.

2. Which Are The Best Ductless AC Brands?

Taking the brand into account is very important. The reliability and the brand are very firmly connected in this industry.

The big brands have a good track record and can charge well over $1,000 for a ductless AC unit. The lesser-known brand, on the other hand, can be less trustworthy. The upside of this is that they price their units below $1,000; they are trying to build a good reputation.

Big Brands

Namely, there are two big brands: MRCOOL, LG and Mitsubishi. They have been in this industry for decades and have a pristine reputation with the mini split AC installers.

In fact, some installers will only be willing to install MRCOOL ductless AC units because they’re aware of just how reliable they are. They are also more willing to give you a guarantee they’ll come back and fix a MRCOOL or LG unit without charge. Because they pretty much know how unlikely a MRCOOL unit is to break down.

Smaller Brands

Obviously, the lesser-known brands don’t have the length of experience in the engineering mini-split system that the big brands have. That doesn’t mean they aren’t any good; it just means they are in need to prove themselves.

Some smaller brands such as PIONEER, DAIKIN, and Klimaire do offer ductless systems that almost reach (but not breach) SEER 20. They do offer reliable models at a reduced price compared to the big brand name models.

If you want to spend less than $1,000 for a SEER 19 12,000 BTU ductless mini split air conditioner, these lesser-known brands can deliver. The big ones can too but the price there can be up to 50% higher.

3. Energy-Efficiency And Price (Let’s Talk SEER And HSPF And Dollars)

Here at LearnMetrics we especially love metrics. For mini split units, the two energy-efficiency metrics are crucial to understanding:

  • SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). Measures how energy-efficient the cooling effect of the mini split AC is. Simple rule: The bigger the SEER, the higher the energy-efficiency.
  • HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor). Same thing as SEER; it’s just for heating instead of cooling.

When determining the energy-efficiency, we really need to look at both the SEER and HSPF. That’s because we don’t use the mini split AC just for cooling but also for heating.

SEER and HSPF affect the electricity bill. As an example, let’s say we use the cooling function 8 hours per day over 3-month summer, and the heating function 4 hours per day over 3-month heat. Also, let’s say that the watt-hour costs 13 cents.

What would be the yearly dollar difference between the #1 AC and the #7 AC on the list? Let’s calculate a bit:

Metrics#1 MRCOOL DIY-12-HP-115B#7 DAIKIN RXB12AXVJU+ FTXB12AXVJU
SEER:2217.5
HSPF:108.8
Summer cooling cost:$48,62$66,07
Winter heating cost:$42,87$66,07
Yearly cost:$91,69$132,14

The difference in yearly cost between a superb mini split AC and an above-average one is $40,45. In 20 years, the difference is $809,02.

The funny thing is that the difference in cost between the #2 MRCOOL DIY-12-HP-115B and #8 DAIKIN RXB12AXVJU+ FTXB12AXVJU is actually about $700 to $800.

Note: Over the years, the high SEER and HSPF ratings can save you a lot of electricity (compared with average SEER, HSPF rating unit).

It’s no wonder that ductless ACs with extremely high SEER and HSPF cost more than $1,000. Big brands create those. On the other hand, the smaller brands assemble high SEER and HSPF units that cost less than $1,000.

Based on these three metrics (and a bunch of others such as dehumidification rates, airflow, noise levels), we’ve compared the best ductless ACs in the 2020 list:

Comparison Of The Best 12,000 BTU Ductless Mini Split AC Units

Ductless AC Unit:Photo:Important Metrics:Rating And Price:
#1 MRCOOL DIY DIY-12-HP-115B 3rd Gen (Best DIY Mini Split AC Unit)

Capacity: 12,000, 18,000, 24,000, 36,000 BTU
SEER: 22 (superb)
EER: 12.7 (superb)
HSPF: 10 (superb)
Voltage: 220/240V
Noise (Indoor): 38/23.5 dB
Noise (Outdoor): 49 dB
Dehumidification: 2.5 Pt/h
Air Flow: 533 CFM
Compressor: Inverter (type)
Warranty: Parts (5 years),
Compressor (7 years)
$$$$
4.8 out of 5 stars
Check on Amazon
#2 COOPER AND HUNTER CH-12SPH-115VI/O-WK (WiFi Smart Mini Split + Complete DIY Installation Kit)cooper and hunter CH-12SPH-115VI/O-WK mini split ac with the installation kit, its possible to install the mini split system yourself
Capacity: 9,000, 12,000, 18,000, 24,000, 30,000 or 36,000 BTU
SEER: 21.5 (superb)
EER: NaN
HSPF: 11.2 (superb)
Voltage: 115V or 208/230V
Noise (Indoor): 36/32/23 dB
Noise (Outdoor): 52.5 dB
Dehumidification: NaN
Air Flow: NaN
Compressor: Rotary (type)
Warranty: Parts (5 years),
Compressor (7 years)
$$$$
4.7 out of 5 stars
Check on Amazon
#3 LG LS120HSV5
High Efficiency Model
(Best LG Quiet Mini Split AC)
lg mini split ac with the highest SEER rating
Capacity: 12,000
SEER: 21.4 (superb)
EER: 12.5 (superb)
HSPF: 11.4 (superb)
Voltage: 220/240V
Noise (Indoor): 39/19 dB
Noise (Outdoor): 48 dB
Dehumidification: NaN
Air Flow: 459 CFM
Compressor: Inverter V
Warranty: 5 Year Limited
$$$$
4.7 out of 5 stars
Check on Amazon
#4 Senville SENA-12HF/Z (4-in-1 Ductless AC With Heater, Dehumidifier And Fan + Installation Kit)Senville 12 HFZ condensing unit, wall mounted unit, refrigerant lines in neopren and the wi-fi app or alternatively a remote control
Capacity: 9,000, 12,000, 18,000, 24,000 or 36,000 BTU
SEER: 19 (great)
EER: 10.5 (great)
HSPF: 8.5 (average)
Voltage: 110/120V
Noise (Indoor): 43/36/24 dB
Noise (Outdoor): 56 dB
Dehumidification: 2.54 Pt/h
Air Flow: 418 CFM
Compressor: Inverter (type)
Warranty: Parts (2 years),
Compressor (7 years)
$$$$
4.6 out of 5 stars
Check on Amazon
#5 PIONEER
WYS012GMFI17RL
(Cheap Mini Split AC Unit With Inverter Compressor)
+ Complete Installation Kit
complete set for installing a pioneer mini split AC with the 16ft refrigerant lines, the inner unit to mount on a wall, remote control and the outdoor ventilator
Capacity: 9,000, 12,000, 18,000, 24,000, 30,000 or 36,000 BTU
SEER: 19 (great)
EER: 10.5 (great)
HSPF: 9.5 (great)
Voltage: 110/120V or
208/230V
Noise (Indoor): 40.5/24 dB
Noise (Outdoor): 54 dB
Dehumidification: 2.54 Pt/h
Air Flow: 500 CFM
Compressor: Toshiba
ASN98D22UFZ
Warranty: Compressor
(5 years)
$$$$
4.3 out of 5 stars
Check on Amazon
#6 Klimaire
B07TDR51BW (Quietest And Cheapest Units With A Weaker DC Compressor)
all parts of klimaire B07TDR51BW ac unit in order to DIY install it yourself
Capacity: 9,000, 12,000, 18,000, 24,000 or 36,000 BTU
SEER: 19 (great)
EER: NaN
HSPF: 9.5 (great)
Voltage: 115V or 208/230V
Noise (Indoor): 38/30/28 dB
Noise (Outdoor): 55 dB
Dehumidification: NaN
Air Flow: 294 CFM
Compressor: Inverter (type)
Warranty: Manufacturer
waranty (5 years)
$$$$
4.3 out of 5 stars
Check on Amazon
#7 DAIKIN RXB12AXVJU+
FTXB12AXVJU By Maxwell
(AC Unit With The Best 10 Year Limited Warranty + Installation Kit)
maxwell made daikin ductless mini split ac you can install yourself with the help of the wall unit, compressor and the refrigerant line 15 feet long
Capacity: 9,000, 12,000,
18,000 or 24,000 BTU
SEER: 17 (average)
EER: 10.5 (average)
HSPF: 8.5 (average)
Voltage: 208/230V
Noise (Indoor): 41/34/30 dB
Noise (Outdoor): 48 dB
Dehumidification: NaN
Air Flow: 358 CFM
Compressor: Inverter (Type)
Warranty: 10-year
limited warranty
$$$$
4.4 out of 5 stars
Check on Amazon

#1 MRCOOL DIY DIY-12-HP-115B 3rd Gen (Best DIY Mini Split AC Unit)

Just one look at the MRCOOL DIY DIY-12-HP-115B 3rd Gen model and you can immediately tell the specs are just incredible. I mean, some units do manage to create a ductless mini split AC with a SEER over 20.

MRCOOL, with many decades of experience, has engineered the 3rd Gen DIY model with a SEER of 22. Every HVAC expert’s heart jumps when seeing such tremendous energy-efficiency. This makes the MRCOOL the ductless mini split AC with one of the highest SEER ratings. And that’s just the cooling part.

The heating efficiency is top of the notch a well. The HSPF rating is 10. To put it into perspective: the MRCOOL’s best mini split is almost 15% more energy efficient as an average mini split AC unit. Just wow!

What is more, the incredible inverter compressor MRCOOL is capable of producing the record-breaking 533 CFM (cubic meters of air) airflow. The compressors – the heart of every ductless mini split system – and the thing responsive for incredible specs, in hidden in the outdoor unit you can install on your outer wall:

MRCOOL DIY DIY-12-HP-115B 3rd Gen mini split air conditioner
MRCOOL DIY 3 Gen ductless mini split air conditioner. Superb specs, reliable and simple installation.

With such tremendous power, you would think that this thing will be loud as hell. Well, it’s not. All the noise levels are created by the outdoor unit (that contains the inverter compressors) and even this unit doesn’t breach the 50 dB. In fact, the maximum noise levels of the MRCOOL’s outdoor unit is 49 dB.

The indoor unit (the one you will see more frequently) is connected with the outdoor unit via a refrigerant line. All the power of the MRCOOL compressor is transferred right into your home.

Additionally, the 3rd Gen MRCOOL has a built-in dehumidification function. It’s capable to remove up to 2.5 pints of moisture from your indoor air every hour.

The main drawback of the MRCOOL ductless mini split AC unit is the high electricity voltage – 220/240V. That means your mini split installer will probably have to upgrade your electricity grid. This is very reasonable, however; it’s impossible to deliver such power (with the 14,400 BTU heater, mind you) with a standard voltage.

Obviously, you also have to consider the price. MRCOOL has created the best ductless mini split system, and its cost reflects that. Nonetheless, having a superb and, above else, a reliable system with the 5/7 warranty is the wet dreams of every HVAC engineer.

MRCOOL offers its 3rd Gen model in 4 sizes: 12,000, 18,000, 24,000 and 36,000 BTU.

MRCOOL DIY DIY-12-HP-115B 3rd Gen

Pros
  • High energy efficiency for AC (SEER = 22)
  • 4 different sizes available (12k, 18k, 24k, 36k BTU)
  • One of the quietest indoor units (min. 23.5 dB)
  • Heater + Dehumidifier functions
  • Industry’s best possible warranty (5 years on parts, 7 years on the compressor)
  • Premium materials (can last for 20+ years)
  • You can even DIY the installation
Cons
  • Needs 220/240 voltage
  • Has a premium price tag

#2 COOPER AND HUNTER CH-12SPH-115VI/O-WK (WiFi Smart Mini Split With DIY Installation Kit)

Obviously, every ductless mini split AC unit you can install yourself is that much more valuable because you don’t have to pay the installer.

Nonetheless, lets first look at the COOPER AND HUNTER CH-12SPH-115VI/O-WK specs because they are quite fantastic (especially for the price).

Every time we see a SEER rating above 20 we ask “Wow, great, but what’s the price?” That’s because the super high SEER ductless mini split ACs cost $1,500 or more. Because, you know, in 10 years you are expected to get all this money back due to lower electricity bills.

Well, the COOPER AND HUNTER has put together a unit with 21.5 SEER for (a bit) less than $1,000. That’s just something you don’t really see every day. Add to that a superb 11.2 HSPF heaters; it’s just crazy how great these specs are.

So, this can’t be all gold for $1,000, right? Well, it’s not. The CH-12SPH-115VI/O-WK has a very low capacity as far as it’s dehumidification levels are concerned. Also, the air flow is rather weak. That’s because they used the cheaper (but still energy-efficient) rotary type compressor.

Nonetheless, besides the great specifications, the two main advantages of the COOPER AND HUNTER ductless unit are the WiFi connection and, above all else, the DIY installation process.

Yes, this is a mini split system you can install yourself. The only thing you’ll need to do is to drill a hole in your wall, everything else comes in a DIY installation kit:

COOPER AND HUNTER CH-12SPH-115VI/O-WK Installation kit includes: Outdoor consdenser, indoor unit, line set, comm wires and a WiFi USB adapter
Installation kit includes: Outdoor condenser, indoor unit, line set, communication wires, and a WiFi USB adapter.

The ductless mini split AC installation manual will guide you through the installation process. To simplify, you have to connect the indoor unit with the outdoor condenser via insulted and pre-flared line set and communication wires.

That will require you to drill a hole in the wall and mount both the indoor and outdoor unit on your wall. The 12,000 BTU COOPER AND HUNTER unit can be powered by the standard 115V (you can also get a 12,000 BTU 230V unit). More powerful units, however, will need a 208/230V voltage.

Along with the purchase, you get the industry’s best warranty (5 years for parts, 7 years for the compressor). This is one of the quietest mini split system with an indoor unit making low 36/32/23 dB noise levels.

The additional trick up the CH-12SPH-115VI/O-WK sleeve is the WiFi connection. When you’ve installed the AC unit, just plug in that USB key and you’ll be able to control your ductless unit via WiFi.

COOPER AND HUNTER CH-12SPH-115VI/O-WK

Pros
  • Easiest ductless AC to install yourself (with included installation kit)
  • Super air cooling (SEER = 21.5) and heater (HSPF = 11.2) energy-efficiency ratings
  • One of the quietest indoor units (36/32/23 dB)
  • Industry’s best possible warranty (5 years on parts, 7 years on the compressor)
  • Smart mini split AC – Can be controlled via WiFi)
  • Very affordable (less than $1,000)
Cons
  • Below average dehumidification levels
  • Below average air flow
  • Rotary compressor type

#3 LG Inverter V LS120HSV5 (The Quietest Reliable Unit)

Nobody wants a loud and power-hungry AC unit that frequently breaks down. LG has developed it’s best mini split AC based on three distinct advantages:

  1. The quietest ductless unit.
  2. The most energy-efficient unit.
  3. The most reliable unit.

With that in mind, the LS120HSV5 – LG’s best ductless mini split AC – was created. In short, they’ve managed to score 2 out of 3. The LS120HSV5 is the quietest and most reliable but, despite being incredibly energy-efficient, the 1st spot for energy-efficiency was taken by Mitsubishi mini split unit (#1 pick in this 2020 list).

Let’s listen to how quiet it is. Do you hear that? No? That’s the silent purr of the LG’s 39/19 dB indoor blower. For comparison, 10 dB is the noise of breathing and 20 dB is the noise created by rustling leaves. Well, the most silent LG mini split is, on low setting, quieter than rustling leaves.

The outside unit, on the other hand, is powered by the silent Inverter V compressor. The noise levels on the wall-mounted outside unit is 48 dB or less:

secret to lg most quiet ductless mini split ac in a quiet compressor and even quieter blower
LG LS120HSV5 is the quietest mini split AC thanks to the Inverter V compressor and a silent blower.

Reliability and LG go hand in hand. LG is one of the biggest brands in the HVAC industry. They know how important it is to make a reliable device. It’s no wonder the LS120HSV5 model is a unit that almost never needs additional fixes or maintenance.

One side effect of the upgraded reliability is the 2nd place for energy-efficiency. With the superb 22.7 SEER and 11.4 HSPF ratings, the LG’s ductless AC unit is incredibly energy-efficient. However, the #1 Mitsubishi unit has the edge here; primarily because of LG priorities reliability above all else. This, in turn, meant they decided not to go in extremes with the energy-efficiency specs.

The LG’s Inverter V compressor runs on 220/240V which is not ideal for people who don’t already have a 220/240V grid. The airflow of 459 CFM just shows you that the LG created a great specs unit while still prioritizing the reliability.

All in all, the proficiency of LG HVAC device is reflected in the LS120HSV5 model, as is the price. This is one incredible ductless mini split unit, to say the least.

LG Inverter V LS120HSV5 12,000 BTU

Pros
  • The most quiet AC unit with 19 dB on low setting
  • Reliability is prioritized (little to no fixes needed/no breakdowns)
  • Extremely high cooling efficiency (SEER = 22.7) and heating efficiency (HSPF = 11.4)
  • Inverter V compressor
  • 5 year limited warranty
  • The most reliable brand: LG
  • Premium materials (can last for 20+ years)
Cons
  • Needs 220/240 voltage
  • Has a premium price tag
  • Can’t be controlled with a smartphone (only remote control)
  • Not the most novel model

#4 Senville SENA-12HF/Z (Cheapest Unit For Less Than $800)

If you’re looking for the best cost-benefit mini split unit, you need to look no further than the Senville SENA-12HF/Z. This is a 4-in-1 ductless air conditioner + heater + fan + dehumidifier for less than $800.

And if you really don’t like to spend money on AC installers, here’s a bonus: You can DIY the installation with the installation kit you get with the Senville SENA-12HF/Z air conditioner.

With great cooling-efficiency rating (SEER = 19), it’s not hard to see why the SENA-12HF/Z is a best-seller ductless mini split AC unit.

Here are both the indoor and outdoor units with all  you need to DIY the installation yourself:

senville SENA-12HF/Z installation kit with 16 feet log copper line set
Senville SENA-12HF/Z is the cheapest ductless AC model. You can even DIY the installation with the easy installation kit (comes in the package).

To install the Senville unit yourself, you will have to mount both of the units on the internal and external side of your wall, and drill a hole in between. The added 16 feet copper line set goes in that wall; just follow the included guide and you should be fine.

The SENA-12HF/Z has a strong dehumidifier that is capable of extracting 2.54 pints of water out of your air every hour. The strong 418 CFM enables all the great energy-efficiency, cooling, heating and dehumidification metrics.

The bad parts of the Senville mini split AC unit are the higher-than-average noise levels (43/36/24 dB for indoor unit), the average heating-efficiency with HSPF rating of 8.5 and only 2-year warranty on parts (instead of the standard 5-year).

The whole point of the Senville unit is to decrease the cost as much as possible while still maintaining the great specs. The inverter compressor is powered by 110/120V so you won’t have to upgrade your electricity grid and you can even install the whole mini split system yourself with a bit of technical skills.

Senville SENA-12HF/Z 9,000 - 36,000 BTU

Pros
  • Great specs for a $800 unit (SEER = 19)
  • Inverter compressor with 7 year warranty
  • Wide range of capacities available: 9,000, 12,000, 18,000, 24,000 or 36,000 BTU
  • Heater + Dehumidifier functions (2.54 Pt/h dehumidification rate)
  • Powered by a standard 110/120V voltage (no need for upgrades)
  • Strong 438 CFM air flow
  • Comes with the installation kit including the easy-install 16ft copper piping kit; you can DIY the installation
  • Cheapest and the best-seller among ductless mini split ACs
Cons
  • Can be a bit noisy, especially the outside unit with 56 dB
  • Made by a lesser-known brand
  • Only 2 year warranty for parts
  • Average HSPF heater-efficiency levels of 8.5

#5 PIONEER WYS012GMFI17R (Cheap Best-Seller With Toshiba ASN98D22UFZ Compressor)

PIONEER WYS012GMFI17RL is, at first, a mystery. It’s a ductless mini split AC with tremendous specs. However, it does cost less than $1,000. Obviously, the less-known brands such as PIONEER do price their ductless AC lower but the specs are usually lower.

How has PIONEER achieved to create a cheap mini split AC with the impressive big-brand big-buck specs? I mean, the WYS012GMFI17RL does have a very high SEER level of 19.

Well, the reason is quite simple. The heart of every mini split system in the compressor. While the standard compressor is of the rotary type, the PIONEER decided to go for the upgraded inverter type. Did they develop it themselves? Not at all.

Here the simple and ingenious move that explains the great specs: PIONEER decided to build-in the Toshiba’s ASN98D22UFZ compressor. That is how the WYS012GMFI17RL is capable of achieving the SEER levels of 19, HSPF levels of 9.5 (for heater), and the incredible 500 CFM airflow.

pioneer WYS012AMFI19RL with the outdoor unit, indoor unit, refrigerant line and a remote control
PIONEER’s genius decision: Use the superb Toshiba’s Inverter+ compressor and get a great-specs mini split AC for less than $1,000.

Toshiba is one of the best compressor makers in the world. They add those big brand experiences in building compressors to a rigid and capable ductless mini split shell of the PIONEER’s WYS012AMFI19RL AC unit.

The noise levels of the outside unit, however, are quite high – 54 dB. But what truly matters is how quiet the indoor unit is. With the 40.5/24 dB noise profile, it’s one of the quietest indoor mini split AC units.

With the air conditioning, you also get an energy-efficient heater for winter as well as a dehumidifier (with 2.54 Pt/h levels).

PIONEER offers this model in many different capacities; 9,000, 12,000, 18,000, 24,000, 30,000 or 36,000 BTU. The great thing about the 12,000 BTU is that you can choose the one running on 110/120V or 208/230V. With the more powerful 15,000+ BTU units, you will need an upgrade to a 208/230V voltage.

All in all, PIONEER has created a low-priced ductless unit with superb specs thanks to the Toshiba’s ASN98D22UFZ compressor.

PIONEER WYS012AMFI19RL 9,000 - 36,000 BTU

Pros
  • High energy-efficiency at a low cost (SEER = 19, HSPF = 10.5)
  • Secret: Toshiba Inverter+ compressor
  • Widest range of capacities available: 9,000, 12,000, 18,000, 24,000, 30,000 or 36,000 BTU
  • Heater + Dehumidifier functions (2.54 Pt/h dehumidification rate)
  • Toshiba’s compressor has a 5 year warranty
  • Incredible 500 CFM air flow
  • Comes with the installation kit including the easy-install 16ft copper piping kit; you can DIY the installation
  • Very cheap and the best-seller among ductless mini split ACs
Cons
  • Louder than average outdoor unit (54 dB)
  • Made by a lesser-known brand
  • Can’t be controled with smartphone

#6 Klimaire B07TDR51BW (New Up-And-Coming Inexpensive Brand)

Klimaire is a new brand in HVAC world. Their flagship mini split AC is the B07TDR51BW model that has reasonably high specifications. Nonetheless, Klimaire doesn’t have that great length of experience Mitsubishi and LG have in designing mini split units.

What the Klimaire has going for it is the below $1,000 price tag and the inclusion of the installation kit.

What is more, the 19 SEER rating and the 9.5 HSPF rating are quite decent. The noise levels of 38/30/28 dB for the indoor unit make the Klimaire one of the most silent mini split AC units (we’ll see how Klimaire enginners have achieved such low noise levels in a second).

Here’s how the whole installation kit with the indoor and outdoor unit looks like:

wiring and cables of B07TDR51BW klimaire installation kit with both indoor and outdoor unit shells
Klimaire B07TDR51BW is one of the quietest and cheapest mini split AC units. It comes with the installation kit.

The ‘secret’ behind the low noise levels is the weaker-than-average KSIV012-H119-S(W) DC inverter compressor. It generates only 294 CFM air flow. That means both the outdoor unit and the indoor unit are that much quieter. If the indoor blower doesn’t have to handle 500 CFM, it will obviously make less noise.

The KSIV012-H119-S(W) DC compressor is also cheaper-than-average; which explains the low price point as well. You can plug it in the standard 115V voltage if you go for a 1 ton (12,000 BTU) unit which is nice.

Similar to Senville and PIONEER, Klimaire offers a wide range of capacities; from 9,000 BTU to 36,000 BTU.

All in all, the B07TDR51BW model is a true cost saver and delivers a solid cooling as well as heating effect.

Klimaire B07TDR51BW 9,000 - 36,000 BTU

Pros
  • Very quiet indoor unit (38/30/28 dB)
  • Wide range of capacities available: 9,000, 12,000, 18,000, 24,000 or 36,000 BTU
  • Heater + Dehumidifier functions
  • 5 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Powered by a standard 115V voltage (no need for upgrades)
  • Comes with the installation kit including the easy-install 15ft copper piping kit; you can DIY the installation
  • Very budget-friendly price
Cons
  • Outside unit is not as quiet as some would like (55 dB)
  • Made by a lesser-known brand
  • Weak KSIV012-H119-S(W) DC compressor
  • Low air flow (294 CFM)
  • Can breakdown more than the Mitsubishi or LG devices

#7 DAIKIN RXB12AXVJU+ FTXB12AXVJU (Reliable Unit With Best 10-Year Warranty)

DAIKIN is one of the most popular smaller mini split AC brands. With their RXB12AXVJU+ FTXB12AXVJU model, they put the reliability first. It’s only sad to see that great specs were the cost of having great reliability.

Without a doubt, the DAIKIN RXB12AXVJU+ FTXB12AXVJU will serve you well. Nonetheless, the energy-efficiency metrics (SEER = 17 and HSPF = 8.5) are pretty in line with the average specs in the industry.

The whole installation kit you get can make for a cool DIY project:

daikin-RXB12AXVJU-FTXB12AXVJU-WAFP21-IKM1438-ductless-ac-unit-with-the-installation-kit
DAIKIN mini split AC installation kit; a nice cost-saving DIY project first, cool down later.

The indoor unit noise levels of 41/34/30 dB are quite average. But it does need to be said that the air flow if only 358 CFM. Its easier to design a silent mini split AC if you have a reduced air flow rate.

The best thing about the DAIKIN device is the reliability coupled with the 10-year warranty. That effectively means you will have to sweat less when thinking about AC breakdowns.

DAIKIN RXB12AXVJU+ FTXB12AXVJU 9,000 - 24,000 BTU

Pros
  • Very reliable mini split AC
  • Wide range of capacities available: 9,000, 12,000, 18,000 or 24,000 BTU
  • Heater + Dehumidifier functions
  • 10 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Comes with the installation kit
  • Very budget-friendly price
Cons
  • Average noise levels
  • Weaker-than-average compressor with 358 CFM
  • Not that great energy-efficiency levels (SEER = 17)

Help Us Upgrade And Improve List With Your Suggestions

We make this list to help people decide which ductless mini split systems are best for them.

If you have a personal experience with a certain AC or are AC installer, you are more than welcome to share your thoughts below.

We are always updating the 2020 list in order to get even the freshest models with the high specs in.

Thank you.

 

22 thoughts on “7 Best Ductless Mini Split AC Units With Highest SEER Ratings”

  1. what about fujitsu? I am trying to find best – Mitsubishi is a lock but wondering because of price Fujitsu or LG – I am considering LG

    Reply
    • Hello Seth, Fujitsu does have some good mini split AC units with fairly good specs (even some impressive SEER ratings). However, those units tend to be substantially less reliable in the long term compared to Mitsubishi and LG devices. High SEER is great to have, but the reliability of the HVAC device itself really has to be top of the notch for electricity saving to start kicking over the years as a consequence of the high SEER rating.

      Reply
      • I think you are being biased for some reason. I’ve had Fujitsu’s in my home now for 13 years. They are extremely reliable. It was now after 13 years that I has to replace one of them. Now, Fujitsu does offer high seer units, ranging from 23 seer to 27 seer, so I really don’t know where you get your information. Now, the brands you chose for this review are good brands, but there are many others equal or better, for example, Fujitsu, Trane, Carrier, to mention some.

        Reply
        • Hello Robert, we completely understand what you mean, and it’s true that there are other renowned brands that offer high SEER mini split AC units. Mini split units usually last for 10 to 20 years. Most reliable units will last 15+ years with minimum maintenance without losing the energy efficiency. If you had to replace the Fujitsu unit after 13 years, this might be an indication that it may not be as extremely reliable as other brands. In most cases, where the reliability really kicks in is after 10-15 years of use; there you start to have problems with decreased performance and mechanical issues.

          Reply
  2. I am also considering a Samsung unit. Should I assume it is not as “good” as the others highlighted above? Or was there a different reason all together? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hello there, Samsung does produce quite reliable mini-split AC units. Do you have any particular Samsung device in mind? We can check the specs (SEER rating, BTU, and so on) and give an opinion on how good it actually is.

      Reply
      • I am considering the Samsung FJM, 5 port mini condenser- 36k btu as recommended by HVAC contractor. 1 – 24k unit inside fir large Living area + 3 – 7k units for small bedrooms. Concerned with overall Samsung reviews on web. Can you provide insight as to quality?

        Reply
        • The layout by the HVAC contractor is reasonable. We don’t have that much experience with Samsung devices; they are a relatively new brand compared to established ones like LG and Mitsubishi. Asking your HVAC contractor would be the best advice. They usually have experience working with specific devices – in this case, Samsung FJM – and know how reliable the units are pretty well.

          Reply
  3. Thanks much. Do you have any experience with the Bosch 48K BTU units? Again with similar layout of 1 24K unit for the main living area, and 3 smaller 9K units for the smaller bedrooms/offices. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Bosch does have very decent units and track record. For a big 48,000 BTU unit Bosch it would be a good idea; Bosch 4 zone mini splits usually have high (above 20) SEER ratings.

      Reply
  4. I have spent 100’s of hours over many months reading researching and interviewing installers and calling factory’s and distributors before making my decision. It also shows me that this article (while updated) is still using pretty outdated info. The brand new Pioneer Diamante series is my final choice for an area that will be using the Heat Pump as both the primary heating and cooling systems. With a vent-less blue-flame on wall gas heater to supplement for heating on the coldest days. I am installing these in a 12-unit apartment building 500 sq ft 1 bed apartments with an average winter temp of 20F and using the 12k 22 seer Pioneer Diamante in each unit. I am using a combination of the 120 volt and the 220 volt units based on other logistics as they seem to be nearly identical in efficiency specs, I decided to use some of each. I am confident that they will age well as they use the Toshiba Inverter compressors and definitely hope to get at least 15+ years out of them since the price tag for 12 of them installed is still giving me coughing fits 🙂 I will be doing the installs myself using spooled copper and flaring and flanging all linesets myself with a 2 layer approach to insulation on the linesets. I know this voids the warranty on most units, but dont really care since it will save me like 20k total to do the installs myself. I have invested around 1k in HVAC tools and worked with a close friend who has installed HVAC for 30 years as a my mentor. Wish me luck and I will definitely report back once the installs are done 🙂 Cheers

    Reply
    • Hello Troy, thank you for the extensive insight. That’s exactly what we need here; people sharing experiences, DIY projects and enabling us to update the list. Pioneer Diamante series is a good choice; the problem we have encountered is that when buying online, the air conditioners are often missing (limited supply). We really appreciate the input; we’re looking forward to the report to see how everything goes.

      Reply
  5. I interested in buying the LG “Cool Art Gallery” series mini split but the reviews are terrible for LG on line. I’m having it pro installed and would love to get some “reliable” feedback. What do you guys think of these units ?

    Reply
    • In general, LG has quite a good reputation. We don’t have experience with LG’s “Cool Art Gallery” mini-splits. It’s comforting that they have the LG’s DC Inverter compressor known for its performance and reliability. You will probably find somebody with hands-on knowledge about Cool Art Gallery series mini-split units in our expert base.

      Reply
  6. I bought an LG about 10 years ago. We only used it about ten-15 times in summer and the same in winter, and only for a few hours each day. It stopped working, even though we used it the equivalent of one year. I had three technicians come in. They all thought that it could not be fixed, that LG does not make the electronic card anymore that they thought might be the reason it does not work, so I am stuck buying a new unit. I also was unhappy that if the temperature dropped below 32 degrees the heating unit stopped working. We only bought it for ectreme weather to begin with. Very disappointed.

    Reply
  7. Hi. I am going to purchase a mini split but need to know if you can have 2 outdoor condensers? 2 seperate units would be easier to install on my 1905 home. I had a heat pump with an electric furnace when purchased it last year, but they’ve now stopped working…i have a HVAC man to install it so I am researching them completely and he told me to purchase but not what. So I am learning a lot!..except for my question lol Thanks! 😊

    Reply
    • Hello Anita, HVAC is all about learning and being updated. Any installer will recommend 1 outdoor unit with up to 5 indoor units. Obviously, you also use separate outdoor units but HVAC installers will hardly find that a rational decision.

      Reply
  8. I understand the most HVAC installer will hardly find installing multiple units an irrational decision, however, consider when it is really hot or very cold and you only have one condenser you risk being left out in the cold upon failure. With at least 2 condensers there is a semblance of a backup system. Bursting frozen water pipe leak damage is expensive and heartbreaking.

    Reply
  9. I read a review that said creatures get into the outside unit and short it out (this was a Mitsubishi). We live in Florida…many creatures. Can you recommend a unit that is more reliable in keeping creatures out?

    Reply

Leave a comment