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 “Mini split air AC unit”.

We will look at the best mini split air conditioner system in 2021, based on specifications such as SEER rating. LearnMetrics recommends 7 mini-split systems:

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 the benefits of using it.

We’ll look at a speedy 3-key-factors-to-look-for ductless mini-split AC buyers guide to illustrate what makes the best mini-split 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 enables the compression of the refrigerant. 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 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 people require a 1 zone mini split AC. That’s why the table of the best ductless units below consists 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 is as obvious as it gets; the ductless unit can help the central air conditioner or as a stand-alone AC.
  2. Zone cooling. You can actually pick the room you want to cool down. Do you want to cool down the bedroom? Just install the inside unit on your bedroom 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 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 a mini-split AC you need is the first thing you need to figure out. Usually, we have a certain square footage of a room or rooms in mind. Those we want to cool down, of course.

The recommendation is to multiply the room size (in sq ft) by 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 AC Room Size (In Sq Ft)
9,000 100-350 sq ft
12,000 (1 ton) 350-500 sq ft
18,000 500-700 sq ft
24,000 (2 ton) 700-900 sq ft
30,000 900-1,100 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.

In the end, you can also find a connection to 2, 3, 4, and 5 zone mini-split systems.

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 bigger brands: MrCOOL, PIONEER, Bosch, GREE, 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 big brand 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 GREE unit without charge. Because they pretty much know how unlikely big brand units are 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 need to prove themselves.

Some smaller brands such as DELLA and Klimaire offer ductless systems that almost reach (but do 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 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 12k #7 Klimaire KSIV 12k
SEER: 22.5 19
HSPF: 12 9.5
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 the difference in cost between the #1 MrCOOL 22 SEER and #7 Klimaire KSIV 19 SEER is actually about $400.

Note: Over the years, the high SEER and HSPF ratings can save you a lot of electricity (compared with the 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 2021 list:

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

Mini Split AC: #1 MrCOOL DIY 22 SEER #2 GREE Vireo+ 22 SEER #3 C&H Sophia 21.5 SEER #4 Bosch Quiet 20.7 SEER #5 PIONEER Diamante 20 SEER #6 Della 12,000 BTU 20 SEER #7 Klimaire KSIV 19 SEER
Photo: very energy efficient mini split ac gree vireo+ Cooper and hunter Sophia 21.5 SEER Bosch Ultra-Quiet 20.7 SEER PIONEER Diamante 20 SEER della mini split with higher seer rating Klimaire KSIV 19 SEER
SEER Rating: 22 SEER 22 SEER 21.5 SEER 20.7 SEER 20 SEER 20 SEER 19 SEER
EER Rating: 12.7 EER 12.5 EER 13 EER 12.5 EER 11 EER N/A 11.5 EER
HSPF Rating: 10 HSPF 11 HSPF 9.8 HSPF 9.6 HSPF 10 HSPF 8 HSPF 9.5 HSPF
Energy Star Certified? No No No No
Noise Levels: 38/23.5 dB 45-29 dB 36.5/30/25 dB 39.5/35/28 dBA 40/37/34 dB N/A 38/32/25 dB
Airflow Up to 533 CFM 400-171 CFM 306/212/147 CFM 306/265/200 CFM Up to 383 CFM N/A 292/212/171 CFM
Available Capacities: 12k, 18k, 24k, 36k BTU 9k, 12k, 18k, 30k BTU 9k, 12k, 24k, 30k, 36k BTU 12k BTU 9k, 12k, 18k, 24k, 36k BTU 9k, 12k BTU 12k, 18k, 24k, 30k BTU
Price: $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 4.8 out of 5 stars 4.8 out of 5 stars 4.6 out of 5 stars 4.2 out of 5 stars 4.2 out of 5 stars 4 out of 5 stars
Availability: Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

Let’s look at each of these mini-splits in depth. We’ll use specifications of 12,000 BTU units in order to compare them as objectively as possible. You will also see that most of the mini-splits can be found in 9,000 BTU, 18,000 BTU, 24,000 BTU, 30,000 BTU, and 36,000 BTU output cooling capacities:

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

best ductless mini split air conditioner in 2021
Available Capacities: 12,000, 18,000, 24,000, 36,000 BTU
SEER Rating: 22 SEER
HSPF Rating: 10 HSPF
Noise Levels (Indoor): 38/23.5 dB
Airflow: Up to 533 CFM
Warranty: 5 Year Parts / 7 Year Compressor
Price: $$$$
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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. It is the highest seer mini split.

MRCOOL, with many decades of experience, has engineered the 3rd Gen DIY model with a SEER rating 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 than an average mini split AC unit. Just wow!

What is more, the incredible inverter compressor MRCOOL enables the production of the record-breaking 533 CFM (cubic feet per minute) 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 level 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 of removing up to 2.5 pints of moisture from your indoor air every hour.

The MRCOOL ductless mini split AC unit’s main drawback 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 all else, reliable system with a 5/7 warranty is the wet dream of every HVAC engineer.

MRCOOL offers its 3rd Gen model in 4 sizes: 12,000, 18,000, 24,000 and 36,000 BTU. You can check an in-depth Mr COOL review here as well.

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 (and save $3,000 in installation costs)
Cons
  • 12k unit needs 115V but larger (18k, 24k) units need 230V grid
  • Has a premium price tag ($3,000 saved on installation justifies it)

#2 GREE Vireo+ 22 SEER (Most Reliable Mini-Split Air Conditioner)

GREE Vireo+ 22 SEER mini split ac
Available Capacities: 9,000, 12,000, 18,000, 30,000 BTU
SEER Rating: 22 SEER
HSPF Rating: 11 HSPF
Noise Levels (Indoor): 45-29 dB
Airflow: 400-171 CFM
Warranty: 5 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Nobody wants a power-hungry AC unit that frequently breaks down. GREE has developed its best mini split AC based on three distinct advantages:

  1. Superb energy efficiency (with 22 SEER rating)
  2. Wi-Fi connected mini-split for easy use.
  3. Tested reliability. GREE has been in the industry for 20+ years; they have a very good track record.

With that in mind, the Vireo+ Series – GREE’s best ductless mini-split ACs – were created. The GREE Vireo+ is the most reliable energy-efficient mini-split currently on the market.

The rotary compressor is capable of generating up to 400 CFM airflow. The bad side of that is that the GREE Vireo+ does produce up to 45 dB of noise levels due to above-average airflow.

Reliability and GREE go hand in hand. GREE 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 GREE Vireo+ model is a unit that rarely needs additional fixes or maintenance.

All in all, the proficiency of GREE devices is reflected in the Vireo+ model, as is the price. This is one incredible ductless mini-split unit, to say the least. You can get it in 9,000 BTU, 12,000 BTU, 18,000 BTU and 30,000 BTU cooling capacities:

GREE Vireo+ Mini-Split Review

Pros
  • The most reliable mini-split air conditioner currently on the market
  • Reliability is prioritized (little to no fixes needed/no breakdowns)
  • Extremely high cooling efficiency (SEER = 22) and heating efficiency (HSPF = 11)
  • 5 year limited warranty
  • Premium materials (can last for 20+ years)
Cons
  • Doesn’t have an Energy Star rating
  • For Wi-Fi connectivity, you can to buy Wi-Fi Kit WSBEC04 which is extra
  • Not the most novel model

#3 COOPER AND HUNTER Sophia 21.5 SEER (Energy Star Quietest Mini-Split With DIY Installation)

C&H Sophia 21.5 SEER energy star ductless mini split air conditioner
Available Capacities: 9,000, 12,000, 24,000, 30,000, 36,000 BTU
SEER Rating: 21.5 SEER
HSPF Rating: 9.8 HSPF
Noise Levels (Indoor): 36.5/30/25 dB
Airflow: 306/212/147 CFM
Warranty: 5 Year Parts / 7 Year Compressor
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Let’s first look at the COOPER AND HUNTER Sophia Series mini-split air conditioner 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, COOPER AND HUNTER have put together a unit with 21.5 SEER for (a bit) more than $1,000. That’s just something you don’t really see every day. The heating specs quite great as well; almost 10 HSPF rating.

So, this can’t be all gold for about $1,100, right? Well, it’s not. The Sophia Series has below-average dehumidification levels. Also, the airflow goes up to 306 CFM. But that does have one big advantage: silence.

Let’s listen to how quiet it is. Do you hear that? No? That’s the silent purr of the Sophia Series’s 36.5/30/25 dB indoor air handler. For comparison, 10 dB is the breathing noise, and 20 dB is the noise created by rustling leaves. Well, the most silent COOPER AND HUNTER Sophia Series mini-split is, on a low setting, almost as quiet at rustling leaves.

On top of that, 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). With Energy Star certificate, this is the quietest mini-split air conditioner and one that will save you about $100 on electricity bills every year:

C&H Sophia Mini-Split Review

Pros
  • Easiest ductless AC to install yourself (with included installation kit)
  • Super air cooling (SEER = 21.5) and heater (HSPF = 9.8) energy-efficiency ratings
  • Quietest mini-split air conditioner (36.5/30/25 dB)
  • Industry’s best possible warranty (5 years on parts, 7 years on the compressor)
  • Very affordable
Cons
  • Below average dehumidification levels
  • Below average airflow
  • Rotary compressor type

#4 Bosch Quiet 20.7 SEER (Reliable Mini-Split With The Best Warranty)

Bosch Ultra-Quiet 20.7 SEER the quietest mini split air conditioner
Available Capacities: 12,000 BTU
SEER Rating: 20.7 SEER
HSPF Rating: 9.6 HSPF
Noise Levels (Indoor): 39.5/35/28 dBA
Airflow: 306/265/200 CFM
Warranty: 5 Year Parts / 7 Year Compressor
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

Bosch is one of the most popular big mini split AC brands. With their 12,000 BTU model, they put reliability first. It’s only sad to see that great specs were the cost of having great reliability.

Without a doubt, the Bosch 12,000 BTU mini-split air conditioner will serve you well. The energy-efficiency metrics (SEER = 20.7 and HSPF = 9.6) are above-average.

The indoor unit noise levels of 39.5/35/28 dBA are one of the quietest; it’s hard to find a mini-split air conditioner with below 40 dB noise levels. The 306/265/200 CFM airflow levels, however, are below to 400 CFM you can get if you check out #1 MrCOOL and #2 GREE units.

The best thing about the Bosch device is the reliability coupled with the ‘5 Year Parts / 7 Year Compressor’. That effectively means you will have to sweat less when thinking about AC breakdowns:

Bosch Quiet 20.7 SEER Mini-Split Review

Pros
  • Very reliable mini-split AC
  • One of the quietest mini-split air conditioners
  • High 20.7 SEER energy efficiency
  • 5 Year Parts / 7 Year Compressor
  • Bosch in one of the big HVAC brands
  • Very budget-friendly price
Cons
  • Above-average price tag
  • Average airflow (306/265/200 CFM)
  • Only 12,000 BTU cooling output unit available

#5 PIONEER Diamante 20 SEER (Cheapest Mini-Split Air Conditioner With Superb Energy Efficiency)

PIONEER Diamante 20 SEER best seller ductless mini split air conditioner
Available Capacities: 9,000, 12,000, 18,000, 24,000, 36,000 BTU
SEER Rating: 20 SEER
HSPF Rating: 10 HSPF
Noise Levels (Indoor): 40/37/34 dB
Airflow: Up to 383 CFM
Warranty: 5 Year Parts / 5 Year Compressor
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

PIONEER Diamante 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 price their ductless AC lower, but the specs are usually lower.

How has PIONEER achieved to create a cheap mini-split AC with impressive big-brand big-buck specs? I mean, the PIONEER Diamante does have a very high SEER level of 20.

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 upgrade the inverter type. Did they develop it themselves? Not at all.

Here the simple and ingenious move explains the great specs: PIONEER decided to build in Toshiba’s ASN98D22UFZ compressor. That is how the WYS012GMFI17RL can achieve the SEER levels of 20, HSPF levels of 10 (for heating), and an above-average up to 383 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-spec 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 Diamante AC unit.

The noise levels are low as well (with 40/37/34 dB levels). Keeping the decibel levels below 40 dB is the point of all quiet mini-split air conditioners.

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, or 36,000 BTU. The great thing about the 12,000 BTU is that you can choose to run 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 Toshiba’s ASN98D22UFZ compressor:

PIONEER Diamante

Pros
  • High energy-efficiency at a low cost (SEER = 20, HSPF = 10)
  • Secret: Toshiba Inverter+ compressor
  • 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)
  • Toshiba’s compressor has a 5-year warranty
  • Very high up to 383 CFM airflow
  • 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
  • 20 SEER is good but some units have more than 20 SEER
  • Can’t be controlled with a smartphone
  • Not as reliable as Bosch unit, for example

#6 Della 12,000 BTU 20 SEER (Good Mini-Split For Less Than $1,000)

Della 12,000 BTU 20 SEER mini split air conditioner with high energy efficency
Available Capacities: 9,000, 12,000 BTU
SEER Rating: 20 SEER
HSPF Rating: 8 HSPF
Noise Levels (Indoor): 34+ dB
Airflow: N/A
Warranty: N/A
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars

If you’re looking for the best cost-benefit mini-split unit, you need to look no further than the Della mini-split air conditioner. This is a 4-in-1 ductless air conditioner + heater + fan + dehumidifier for less than $1,000.

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 Della air conditioner.

With a great cooling-efficiency rating (SEER = 20), it’s not hard to see why the Della is a best-seller ductless mini-split AC unit.

To install the Della unit yourself, you will have to mount both of the units on your wall’s internal and external sides 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 Della has a strong dehumidifier capabilities. Sadly, the airflow specs and noise levels specs are unknown.

The whole point of the Della 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 few technical skills.

DELLA Mini-Split Review

Pros
  • Great specs for a below $1,000 unit (SEER = 20)
  • Inverter compressor
  • Specialized for smaller units; 9,000 BTU and 12,000 BTU cooling capacity mini-splits
  • Powered by a standard 110/120V voltage (no need for upgrades)
Cons
  • Can be a bit noisy, especially the outside unit
  • Made by a lesser-known brand
  • Only average 8 HSPF rating
  • Many specs are unknown (airflow, exact noise levels)

#7 Klimaire KSIV 19 SEER (Up-And-Coming Inexpensive Mini-Split AC Brand)

Klimaire KSIV 19 SEER very efficient mini split ac
Available Capacities: 12,000, 18,000, 24,000, 30,000 BTU
SEER Rating: 19 SEER
HSPF Rating: 9.5 HSPF
Noise Levels (Indoor): 38/32/25 dB
Airflow: 292/212/171 CFM
Warranty: 5 Year Compressor
Price: $$$$
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Klimaire is a new brand in the HVAC world. Their flagship mini split AC is the Klimaire KSIV 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 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 38/32/25 dB for the indoor unit make the Klimaire one of the most silent mini split AC units (we’ll see how Klimaire engineers 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 an installation kit.

The ‘secret’ behind the low noise levels is the weaker-than-average KSIV012-H119-S(W) DC inverter compressor. It generates only 292 CFM of airflow. 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. You can plug it in the standard 115V voltage if you go for a 1 ton (12,000 BTU) unit.

Like MrCOOL and PIONEER, Klimaire offers a wide range of capacities, from 12,000 BTU to 30,000 BTU.

All in all, the Klimaire KSIV model is a true cost saver and delivers a solid cooling and heating effect.

Klimaire Mini-Split Review

Pros
  • Very quiet indoor unit (38/32/25 dB)
  • Wide range of capacities available: 12,000, 18,000, 24,000 or 30,000 BTU
  • 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 airflow (294 CFM)

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 an AC installer, you are more than welcome to share your thoughts below.

We are always updating the 2021 list to get even the freshest models with the high specs in.

Thank you.

For everybody who’s looking to get a multi-zone mini split, you should check out:

44 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
  10. Single ducted mini-split system: A single indoor unit is served by one outdoor unit. There are two common installation options. First, the indoor unit can be installed in a wall between studs and covered with a grill made by the manufacturer for the purpose. The second option is to install the unit in the wall or floor ductwork near an air grate.

    Reply
  11. I’m in the process of having AC PRO Mini-splits installed. I’m a bit worried about them. I cannot find how they rate in comparison. There are two condensers and four inside units. I’m being charged almost $10,000.00 plus another thousand for electrical upgrade. Are you familiar with AC PRO?

    Reply
    • Hello Sandra, we don’t have experience with AC PRO. There a lot of HVAC installers that have experience with mini-splits; you can use this form here to get some free quotes just to compare. $10,000+ is a really high number for just an electrical upgrade.

      Reply
  12. Thank you for your review! I’m looking into a 4 zone system (3 bedrooms, none exceeding 300 sq/ft) and main living space – do your reviews/rating hold true for multi-zones? Meaning, does your review only hold true based on the models listed, or do they shuffle a bit when evaluation a multi-zone option (different models)? Also, I’m mostly buying to replace my swamp cooler (I already have central air for heating, so what I get will supplement existing heating). Utah resident = low humidity region.

    Reply
    • Hello David, we do compare 12,000 BTU mini-split units because they are rather popular, and the specifications at 12,000 BTU output are the easiest to compare. We have some light reviews of multi-zone mini-splits, you can check out the 4-zone mini-split reviews here.

      In your case, you would probably need 3 8-9,000 BTU indoor units for 3 bedrooms (under 300 sq ft), and a larger indoor unit for the main living space; something like 12,000 BTU or 15,000 BTU, depending on the square footage. Hope this helps, glad to hear you’re replacing a swamp cooler. If you compare swamp cooler vs mini-split, you’ll find the mini-split a far superior device.

      Reply
  13. First, I want to say that I do appreciate your information on the mini-splits.
    I am one that currently owns a Gree system that has 3 blowers in a 399 sf Tiny home with a 150 sf loft. (like attic)
    I agree that when maintained the electrical cost and performance is great and better than the traditional HVAC system. But….. the key word here is maintained.
    With that being said, I am now moving into something twice the size and I am searching for the best mini-split system to have installed.
    The best would include everything that you mentioned in your article with the exception of one thing, that is maintaining the system so that it can perform it’s best. You did not mention this. Why is this so important? Because if you do not maintain your system like cleaning filter etc, then your warranty is basically voided.
    That being said…how easy is it to clean the blower wheel?
    Can you reach it to clean or does it have to be removed? Can you remove it easily? This is so very important to me since this Gree system I have is next to impossible to clean the blower wheel. Not user friendly. I experienced that I will get an error light come on and the unit will not work if the blower wheel is dirty and it will take me an hour to brush it off. It is VERY hard to reach with a brush.
    So PLEASE…. enlighten us on WHICH SYSTEM is the BEST with how easy it is to clean a blower wheel which WILL build up dirt throughout each season. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hello Vicky, thank you for your input. You’re correct; regular maintenance is important in order for mini-splits to be capable to achieve the initial specifications. However, truth be told, mini-splits across the board do not differ significantly as far as the ease/difficulty of maintenance is concerned. They do differ in other very important metrics like SEER rating significantly. Hope this helps.

      Reply
  14. I just moved into a 400 sq. ft. house that was built in 2020 that is located in Arizona. There is the living area, the kitchen, then a small bathroom, and a small bedroom. An HVAC guy told me I need a 2-zone 1800 BTU unit. Is this overkill? Can one zone in a house this small, located in the living area, not serve the bathroom and bedroom if the doors to them are open? Also, the only quote I’ve gotten so far is for a 21.5 SEER Fujitsu, at a total cost of $6800. This seems awfully high to me. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Hello Anthony. Ok, let’s figure this out from the start; according to EPA 20 BTU per sq ft recommendation, a 400 sq ft house would require about 8,000 BTU of cooling power. Add Arizona, the inclusion of kitchen to that, are you’re looking at about 12,000 BTU max. 18,000 BTU unit is definitely overkill. You need a 12,000 BTU AC.

      2-zone is also overkill for such a small house. If it was incredibly long (let’s say 40×10 ft), maybe you would need 1 zone on each end. For a 400 sq ft, you don’t even need a mini split. You could also use a portable or window AC unit.

      About the 21.5 SEER Fujitsu; it’s energy-efficient, yes, but you don’t need such a big device and the cost is a bit high for 2-zone 18,000 BTU Fujitsu.

      Instead of 2-zone 18,000 BTU you’re looking for 1-zone 12,000 BTU. Check the list above; any of these mini splits will do very well for your 400 sq ft house. If you’re a bit of a DIY enthusiast, you can easily go with MrCool 12,000 BTU mini split and install it yourself (saving quite a bit on installation costs). Hope this helps.

      Reply
      • Thank you for your prompt and efficient reply! I wound up buying a 1200 BTU, 17 SEER Mitsubishi based on a great in-house presentation (and a fair price) offered by an “Elite Diamond Contractor” who is local. Some presentations were downright shabby. I went with a company and a contractor I trusted. Thank you for helping!

        Reply
  15. First, thanks for your informative site, and for answering questions so clearly and kindly!

    I am shopping for a mini-split AC in anticipation of a brutal summer-to-come. I’m in Northern California (dry summer) where in the last couple years temps have hit 110F+ at the same time heavy wildfire smoke required shutting all windows. Gaw!

    This year, I hope to do better. Is there a mini-split that will accept a HEPA filter to deal with the smoke?

    If I can check that box, next requirement is best possible energy consumption and use of standard 110-120 voltage. (I am completely solar powered and off grid, with inverter et al. for standard appliances. Will only run the AC while sun is out.) Don’t need dehumidifier or heater functions.

    I have a tiny house, less than 400 sf. Yes, can do DIY installation — in fact, prefer it.

    Suggestions? Advice? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hello Mary, that’s all completely understandable. Mini-split AC do have filters but they are not HEPA filters (HEPA is defined as a filter that removes more than 99.97% of air pollutants that are 0.3 microns in diameter). EPA recommended turning off ACs during the 2020 fires; if mini-split ACs had HEPA filters, that presumably wouldn’t be a problem. A HEPA filter would restrict the airflow mini-split ACs produce to generate the cooling effect.
      There is a separate device – an air purifier – that has both HEPA filters (removes wildfire dust particles) and, more importantly, activated carbon filters (adsorbs wildfire smell). If you feel it’s likely you will have problems in the summer, you can check the air purifiers with the highest smoke CADR rating here.

      Ok, let’s look at the other boxes to check. The majority of 12,000 BTU mini-splits use 110-120V; in fact, the 240V is only required when you get to 15,000+ BTU units. For a 400 sq ft house, you would need a maximum of 12,000 BTU, given it’s California. DIY-wise, there is only one unit on the list that is designed as a DIY unit – the #1 MrCool AC. Luckily, that is also the most energy-efficient and has the best energy consumption (given the 20+ SEER rating) throughout the summer. The choice here is pretty clear.

      Hope this helps. If you need any more info, just comment here and we’ll try to help you out.

      Reply
      • So I need two separate devices: an AC and an air purifier w/ HEPA. Too bad the technology isn’t there (yet). Two devices means a lot more expense, more power draw, and a bigger footprint in a tiny house. Oh well.

        Meanwhile, for the AC itself, I have looked but cannot find the wattage for the Mr Cool at 9k or 12k BTU. It does want 20 amp wiring, so could be quite a power draw. With my mild-mannered, elderly Trace inverter, I might do better to consider a direct current set up, as with the Hot Spot solar air conditioner, plug and play with three solar panels. Expensive unit, though, plus three panels plus pro installation.

        Thanks for your advice, it’s very helpful for the newbie novice!

        Reply
  16. I am considering a Cooper and Hunter 9,000 BTU Sophia mini split for use in a conversion van for off grid use. Obviously amp draw on cooling is very big and this unit is advertised at 5.2 amps. I haven’t been able to find anything better at this point. What is your opinion on this choice or would you recommend something different?

    Reply
    • Hello James, Cooper and Hunter Sophia is a perfect choice for a 9,000 BTU unit. It has an absurdly high 25 SEER rating; that alone will save you up to $100 per year on electricity alone. It’s actually a heat pump that runs on 115V; it has a 600 W cooling input, so it’s no surprise you have a 5.2 amp draw. On heating, you have 715 W input and 6.22 amps draw (with a great 10.4 HSPF4 rating). Noise levels are superb; 36/32/23 dB.
      Realistically, Cooper and Hunter Sophia mini split is one of the best choices for a 9,000 BTU mini-split. You can’t really go wrong with it and you can literally buy it from Amazon here.

      Reply
  17. Hello: I want a 2 zone mini split system. Room 1 is 200 s/feet, and room 2 is 400 s/feet. Does anyone sell a package that has an 9,000 & 12,000 BTU head? If not, what would you recommend? Thank you.

    Reply
  18. I purchased a Fujitsu Halycon system in April 2015. It’s a single room unit. In May 2021, I turned the unit on and nothing. A tech examined the unit and said the boards are the problem and they’re not repairable, nor replaceable. The entire system must be replaced. FIVE YEARS and done, REALLY !? I’ve called several HVAC installers and they tell me they have no availability before August 2021. The unit has been a problem from year one. I have a 9K unit. My room is 16×12. In the past, we’ve called the original installer, and then a second one, and we were told the system was fine. Clearly not. I called the original installer this year and they’re O of B. I can’t replace with Mr Cool nor LG because they’re 220V units. On Long Island, many installers are offering Fuji only – NEVER ! We’ve accepted that our bedroom will have no AC this year. I’m hunting for a reliable 115V unit, and hoping I can find a Mitsubishi installer.

    Reply
    • Hello Laurence, sorry to hear that about your Fujitsu unit. Thank you for sharing, might be helpful for everybody looking to buy a ductless mini-split unit.

      Reply
  19. Hello and thank you for the reviews.
    I am a retired general contractor, therefore would DIY installation.

    My question is regarding a multi zone system requiring a 220V circuit. Is the one compressor in this scenario hardwired to the electrical panel or is a nearby 220V outlet required?

    Also, I live in a snow zone so I guessing that covered or reasonable overhang would be best, yes, no, or?

    Reply
    • Hello Brian, thank you for the insightful question. In practice, you can have both hardwired to an electrical panel or 220V outlet plug scenarios. It basically comes down to the specific model; more often than not, the whole thing is hardwired to an electrical panel.

      For the heating season, an overhang might be useful. It’s certainly best to have a roof over the outdoor unit.

      Reply

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