3 Zone Mini Split Reviews: Installation Cost, Best Brands

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The best tri-zone mini split heat pump systems give adequate heating, AC and summer dehumidification to three separate rooms or zones in your home.  

Triple Zone Ductless Configuration Options

There are two options to choose from if you need multi-zone coverage.

  • A true triple-zone ductless heat pump with one condensing outdoor unit and three indoor air handlers
  • Three single zone units, installing one in each of the rooms or zones.  

Why would you consider three separate single zone systems? Single-zone mini split systems are easier to install than multi-zone mini split heat pump systems. And if something goes wrong, troubleshooting a mini split with just one zone is also less complex. And if one of the zones goes down, you’ll have some level of heating and air conditioning. If a tri-zone system fails, you won’t have any treated air.

Pro Tip: Refrigerant line sets for mini splits are mostly either 16 feet or 25 feet. If you need to install an air handler further than that from the condensing unit in a true three-zone system, you have two options. Order a longer line set, which you can do with some of these units, or do what we suggested and buy a separate single-zone system for the more distant location.

Note on Availability: These hot-selling ductless systems are difficult to keep in stock. As a result, some days their product page says, “Currently Unavailable.” However, we have discovered that they are often back in stock within a few days. So, consider bookmarking this page of PickHVAC and returning later if the model you want isn’t there today.

Top Picks for Triple Zone Systems

Let’s discuss true three-zone mini split systems first – one outside unit and three indoor units.

We’ve put together a list of 5 triple zone mini splits with various coverage abilities and BTU levels.

Select the link on models you’d like to know more about, check current pricing, or purchase. Full reviews are found after the single-zone selections.

      Image                              Product

MRCOOL Triple  Zone

MRCOOL Triple Zone 27,000 BTU

  • Top-rated Brand
  • Air Handlers in 9k, 9k & 12K BTUs
  • Includes Smart Controller
  • Sleep and Follow Me Functions
  • Auto Restart after Outages

Best Overall

Cooper & Hunter Triple  Zone

Cooper & Hunter Triple Zone 28,000 BTU

  • 3-12,000 BTU Air Handlers
  • 3 Kits, 25-foot Each
  • Extremely Efficient
  • Heats in Outdoor Temps to -13F
  • 3 Remotes

Best Small Size

Daikin Triple  Zone

Daikin Triple Zone 38,000 BTU

  • Air Handlers in 9000, 15000, and 24000 BTUs
  • 12-Year Parts Warranty
  • Cooling to 115F and Heating to 5F
  • 230V
  • Optional Sizes – Click and Select

Best Mid-Size

Daikin Triple  Zone

Cooper & Hunter Triple Zone 48,000 BTU

  • Air Handlers in 9000, 18000, and 24000 BTUs
  • WiFi Ready
  • 7-Year Compressor/5-Year Parts Warranties
  • Three 25-foot Install Kits
  • 208-230V

Best Large Size

Air-Con Triple  Zone Slim Duct Handlers

Air-Con Triple Zone Slim Duct Handlers 48,000 BTU

  • One 12K BTU & two 18K BTU Air Handlers
  • 3 Slim Duct Style Air Handlers
  • 21 SEER Efficiency
  • Customizable Individual Remotes
  • Pro-Grade Quality

Best Value

Single Zone Mini Splits

Here are the top single zone ductless heat pumps to use in a three-zone system. Obviously, you’ll need three of them to provide heating and AC for three rooms/zones of your home.

      Image                              Product

Pioneer Single Zone Diamante Series

Pioneer Single Zone Diamante Series 12,000 BTU

  • 115V Models Available
  • 20 SEER/10 HSPF
  • Sleek, Modern Air Handler
  • Vibration Absorber Feet
  • 5 Sizes Available – Select Link, Choose Size

Senville Single Zone Floor Mounted

Senville Single Zone Floor Mounted 18,000 BTU

  • Floor or Ceiling Mount Air Handler
  • High Efficiency DC Inverter Technology
  • 7-year Compressor & 3-year Parts Warranties
  • 208-230V
  • Easy Install Kit

OLMO Alpic Single Zone

OLMO Alpic Single Zone 24,000 BTU

  • Highly Rated
  • Defrost and Pre-Heating
  • Includes High Grade Installation Kit
  • Compressor by Toshiba
  • 9K to 24K Options – Select and Choose

Triple Zone Mini Split Reviews

There is much more detail here including pros, cons, features, ratings, and more. See the link for many more user reviews and the current price. 

Best Overall

#1 MRCOOL Triple Zone 27,000 BTU

This MRCOOL 3rd Generation model comes with a 12k and two 9k air handlers.

MRCOOL Triple  Zone

Reason it is on the list: This tri-zone unit is loadable with useful features designed to maintain evenly balanced heating and air conditioning. Plus, when in AC Mode, the air in your home will be dehumidified for greater indoor comfort. Don’t get up to adjust the Settings – use the full-feature remote control. There’s one for each zone’s air handler.

Most helpful user reviews:

This model has just a few customer reviews. Reviews are from another MRCOOL model on Amazon. However, MRCOOL is one of the top-rated mini split heat pump brands and gets high marks for quality and customer satisfaction.

Best pro: “Eight months after purchase I’m still happy, extremely quiet and cool.”

Best con: “Bought for a seasonal cabin, works great but was shipped with the wrong line set. Check everything before beginning installation.”

Room Size: 9k air handlers up to 450 sq. ft. and 12k up to 750 sq. ft.

Features:

  • Includes Smart App for all devices
  • 3 Customizable Remotes
  • Leakage Alert
  • Sleep Mode, Follow Me Function
  • 240V                                  

Installation: Easy to install

  • Efficiency Rating: 4.9 – 22 SEER
  • Customer Service Rating: 4.4 – Customers found tech support to be responsive and helpful.
  • Value Rating: 4.8 – This high quality, efficient unit comes with many features and is well priced.
  • Warranty Rating: 4.7 – 7 year compressor, 5 year parts
  • Overall Rating: 4.7

Best Small Size

#2 Cooper & Hunter Triple Zone 28,000 BTU

This Cooper & Hunter model comes with three 12,000 air handlers. These are ideal for three separate rooms. However, many homeowners put two in a single large zone. If you’ve got a great room or large living room, consider installing one on either side of the room for outstanding AC and heating.

Cooper & Hunter Triple  Zone

Reason it is on the list: With 36000 BTUs, this powerful unit can keep 3 large rooms comfortable.

Most helpful user reviews:

Best pro: “I can’t say enough good things about this unit, cool and quiet. Great customer service.”

Best con: “The unit had an issue with installation difficulty. Thankfully, customer service helped us resolve it.”

Room Size: 3 rooms at up to 750 sq. ft. each or a single 1,500 square foot room plus one smaller room.

Features:

  • WiFi Ready with the downloadable app makes it simple to change settings from anywhere and save energy by not heating zones you’re not using – or the entire space when you’re away from home.
  • Includes Installation Kits for Air Handlers
  • 208-230V
  • Ultra-efficient performance, so you’ll cut energy use and cost
  • Heats to -13F, meaning it can provide an adequate amount of heat for indoors even when it is below zero outside                               

Installation: Professional Installation necessary to maintain warranty.

  • Efficiency Rating: 4.9 – 22.5 SEER
  • Customer Service Rating: 4.8 – Customers found tech support to be responsive and able to resolve issues
  • Value Rating: 4.8 – Well priced, efficient, with many useful features.
  • Warranty Rating: 4.7 – 7 year compressor, 5 year parts
  • Overall Rating: 4.8

Best Mid-Size

#3 Daikin Triple Zone 38,000 BTU 4MXS

This unit provides customized comfort control with a  9k, 15k, and 24k air handler. The 12-year parts warranty is one of the best in the industry. Daikin patented much of the current inverter compressor technology in the last several decades as a leading-edge provider of ductless heat pumps.

This system is ideal if you have 3 zones of different sizes. You can also use two of the air handlers in a single zone.

Daikin Triple  Zone

Reason it is on the list: The Daikin comes with 3 individual customizable remotes and the 12-year parts warranty that gives excellent peace of mind.

Most helpful user reviews:

This Daikin has few reviews. But again, the brand is considered one of the top 5 in mini split system quality and design.

Best pro: “I was concerned about quality because of the low price. We are very pleased. The unit is quiet with nice air flow.”

Best con: “The unit works well and is quiet but the remotes are not programmable and the manual is difficult to understand.”

Room Size: 9k handler covers 450 sq. ft, 15k covers 1000 sq. ft., 24k covers 1500 sq. ft.

Features:

  • Ultra-high Efficiency Inverter
  • Cooling Range effective in outdoor temperatures up to 115F
  • Heating Range effective to 5F
  • Wireless Control

Installation: Professional Installation is recommended to maintain warranty. There are a few DIY mini split systems on the market, and we’ve reviewed them for you. But the majority specifically state that pro installation is required, or the warranty will be voided.

  • Efficiency Rating: 4.5 – 17 SEER
  • Customer Service Rating: 4.4 – Some customers had difficulty  getting issues resolved.
  • Value Rating: 4.8 – Well priced, efficient, with many useful features.
  • Warranty Rating: 4.8 – 12 year parts warranty
  • Overall Rating: 4.7

Best Large Size

#4 Cooper & Hunter Triple Zone 48,000 BTU

This Sophia Series unit comes with a  9k, 18k, and 24k air handler, so like the Daikin system above, it is a good choice when you have rooms to heat and cool of different sizes – or a large room where two air handlers will provide optimal indoor climate control.

Daikin Triple  Zone

Reason it is on the list: This powerful model features Hyper Heat for cold climates.

Most helpful user reviews:

This Cooper & Hunter gets very good ratings for quality and performance.

Best pro: “Powerful and quiet, quality product at a fair price. Quick shipping.”

Best con: “Had issues getting it up and running, operating instructions are not easy to understand.”

Room Size: 9k handler covers 450 sq. ft, 18k covers 1200 sq. ft., 24k covers 1500 sq. ft.

Features:

  • EnergyStar certified
  • Includes High-Grade Installation Kit
  • Hyper Heat for Cold Climates – Heats up quickly to overcome the chill in any zone
  • Heating Range Down to -13F outdoor temperatures
  • Toshiba compressor – Along with Daikin and brands like Mitsubishi, Toshiba has been a leader in mini split technology for a generation.

Installation: Professional Installation recommended – the warranty requires it.

  • Efficiency Rating: 5.0 – 21.5 SEER
  • Customer Service Rating: 4.7 – Knowledgeable support staff answer questions or get you to the right person
  • Value Rating: 4.8 – Customers feel Cooper & Hunter provides good value for the money
  • Warranty Rating: 4.7 – 7 year compressor, 5 year parts
  • Overall Rating: 4.8

Best Value

#5 Air-Con Triple Zone Slim Duct Handlers 48,000 BTU

This 48000 BTU unit comes with a 12k and two 18K slim duct air handlers. If you need a large tri-zone mini split system that doesn’t blow the budget, this one is a good choice.

Air-Con Triple  Zone Slim Duct Handlers

Reason it is on the list: This is a high quality, high efficiency unit that can keep a lot of space comfortable.

Most helpful user reviews:

This Air-Con unit does not have any reviews yet. The reviews below are from another one of their units.

Best pro: “Excellent quality, quiet, and efficient. Astronomical energy savings over our old window unit, would buy again.”

Best con: “Had the unit for 18 months and had to replace a part. User manual instructions are terribly vague.”

Room Size: 12k handler covers 450 sq. ft and 18k handlers covers 1200 sq. ft. each.

Features:

  • Auto Clean keeps the air in your home fresher
  • Auto Restart: When the power returns after an outage, the unit automatically returns to the same settings
  • WiFi Ready with the app that allows you to control the system from anywhere
  • Comes with 3 Complete Installation Kits
  • Highly Efficient for lower energy bills

Installation: Customers indicate that it is fairly easy to install

  • Efficiency Rating: 4.9 – 21 SEER
  • Customer Service Rating: 4.6 – Helpful tech support
  • Value Rating: 4.8 – This high quality product provides a lot of comfort for the price
  • Warranty Rating: 4.7 – 7 year compressor, 5 year parts
  • Overall Rating: 4.7

Single Zone Mini Split Reviews

Below are reviews for single zone units if you would rather install one of these in each area you need air conditioning and heat.

There is much more detail here including pros, cons, features, ratings, and more. See the link for many more user reviews and the current price.

These are DIY mini splits!

#1 Pioneer Single Zone Diamante Series 12000 BTU

This 12000 BTU Pioneer can heat and cool a 750 sq. ft. space.

Pioneer Single Zone Diamante Series

Reason it is on the list: This Pioneer mini split is highly rated, super-efficient, and very affordable.

Most helpful user reviews:

Best pro: “This is a superb unit, heats well down to single digits. Heats my garage quickly and has saved us money on energy bills.”

Best con: At this time there are no negative reviews on this product.

Room Size: 750 sq. ft.

Features:

  • 115V, so you won’t have to add an expensive 230-volt circuit to your electric panel
  • Durable Air Handler with modern styling won’t diminish the aesthetics of the room
  • Optional WiFi Receiver for Smart Devices makes controlling the unit simple and easy from anywhere
  • Whisper Quiet Operation
  • Wireless Remote

Installation: Easy installation – complete installation kit included.

  • Efficiency Rating: 4.8 – 20 SEER
  • Customer Service Rating: 4.8 – Pioneer is known for providing excellent tech support.
  • Value Rating: 4.9 – Reliable, well made, and efficient at a very fair price.
  • Warranty Rating: 4.5 – 5 year compressor, 5 year parts
  • Overall Rating: 4.8

#2 Senville Single Zone Floor Mounted 18000 BTU

This Senville Aura model comes with a floor or ceiling mount air handler.

Senville Single Zone Floor Mounted

Reason it is on the list: This well made, efficient unit comes with all of the features you’ll need.

Most helpful user reviews:

Best pro: “I used this system to replace baseboard heat. After one month my energy bill is lower and so is the outside temperature. It’s quiet and efficient. Very satisfied.”

Best con: “It’s quiet and efficient but a bit bulky on the wall.”

Room Size: Up to 1200 sq. ft.

Features:

  • EnergyStar Certified
  • WiFi Ready
  • Provides heat in outdoor air temperatures down to -22F
  • Diagnostics and Leak Detection
  • Installation Kit and Accessories Included

Installation: Easy installation with included kit and pre-charged line sets.

  • Efficiency Rating: 4.9 – 21 SEER
  • Customer Service Rating: 4.8 – Senville provides excellent customer service
  • Value Rating: 4.9 – With all of the features and a good price, this unit provides a lot of value.
  • Warranty Rating: 4.4 – 3 years on parts, 5 years on compressor
  • Overall Rating: 4.7

#3 OLMO Alpic Eco Single Zone 24000 BTU

This OLMO model will heat and cool up to a 1500 sq. ft. area.

OLMO Alpic Single Zone

Reason it is on the list: This high quality unit features a sleek, compact air handler. Plus, this series is available in 4 different sizes, 9K, 12K, 18K and this one, the 24K size. Select the link to review the sizes and prices and to select the right units for the space you want to heat and cool.

Most helpful user reviews:

Best pro: “Works great, priced right. I use this to heat an outbuilding. Amazingly quiet. No issues, love it.”

Best con: “I ordered two units. One came with a wiring issue and took the installer extra time to fix it.”

Room Size: Up to 1500 sq. ft.

Features:

  • Auto Restart after a power outage
  • Sleep Mode
  • Programmable Smart Remote – Some mini split remotes are not programmable, so this is a bonus
  • Self-diagnosis Feature with error codes that allow you to quickly resolve many issues
  • 230V (115V units available in other sizes. Choose the link to review and choose)

Installation: Is easy to install but DIY installation voids the warranty.

  • Efficiency Rating: 4.5 – 16.5 SEER
  • Customer Service Rating: 4.9 – Customers give this unit a high rating for customer service.
  • Value Rating: 4.8 – Well-made and packed with features, this model provides good value for the money.
  • Warranty Rating: 4.4 – 3 years on parts, 5 years on compressor
  • Overall Rating: 4.6

Mini Split System Installation Cost

Mini split heat pump installation cost factors include the size of the system you select and how you configure it. The cost to install three separate systems, for example, will be slightly higher than for installing a system with one outdoor and three indoor units.

This chart shows installed costs for single-zone and triple-zone systems of the most common capacities when three zones are being heated and cooled. 

Zone SizesSingle Zone SystemsTriple Zone Systems
9,000$895 - $1,050N/A
18,000$1,425 - $1,685N/A
24,000$1,495 - $1,750$4,285 - $5,450
2,700$1,525 - $1,840$4,415 - $5,595
30,000$1,585 - $1,895$4,530 - $5,600
36,000$1,795 - $2,475$4,600 - $5,875
42,000$2,350 - $2,750$5,175 - $6,700
48,000$2,595 - $3,300$5,750 - $7,425
60,000N/A$6,125 - $8,550

Top Mini Split Brand Reviews

In this article we’ve reviewed three zone systems but there are units with 4 zone, 5 zone and up to 10 zones of coverage. Mini splits are available in a variety of BTU levels, the higher the BTUs, the more area the mini split can cover.

Below is a list of some of the top brands and an overview of the models they sell. 

Air-Con

Air-Con makes mini split systems in single zone, dual, triple and quad-zone units. The BTU levels range from 18k to 42k with most systems at a 22 SEER rating. The Air-Con Blizzard, a 9k single zone unit has a 28 SEER, an outstanding choice for hot climates. Air handlers are available in wall mount, ceiling cassette, and slim duct.

Coopers & Hunter

This brand is well-represented on the list above with a good offering of single-zone mini split and multizone mini split options from 9K to 48K BTUs.

Many offer high SEER ratings which are ideal for climates with extreme heat. The Sophia Series is a best-selling ductless series with high ratings for quality and performance.

Pioneer

You will find a large selection of mini splits in the Pioneer brand. There are single zone units and multi-zone units with two to five zone capabilities. BTU levels run from 9k to 48k and SEER ratings range from about 17 to 22. Pioneer carries wall mounted, ceiling cassette, and concealed duct air handlers. All units come with a variety of features including WiFi.

MRCOOL

This brand was one of the first to make DIY mini split systems that can save you $500 to $2,000 on the cost of installation.

Check out the MRCOOL 3rd Generation Series in a range of sizes for fast installation and excellent energy efficiency. If winters are especially cold where you live, the MRCOOL Olympus Hyper Heat Series is one to consider.

Senville

Senville makes an impressive variety of single and multi-zone mini split systems and is consistently reviewed as providing excellent value in their units. The units are available in single zone through 5 zone systems with BTU levels from 9k to 48k. The units all have many features including WiFi, diagnostics, and leak detection. SEER ratings are in the 22 – 23 range and many of the units are EnergyStar certified. Air handlers are all the wall mount style.

OLMO

OLMO makes single zone 9k to 24k BTU mini splits with SEER ratings ranging from 15 to 17. All of the units include wall mounted air handlers featuring a sleek and compact design. OLMO models are loaded with features including Sleep Mode, Auto Restart, Self-diagnosis, and a self-cleaning function.

Buying Guide - Things to Consider When Shopping for the Right Mini Split System

Six Reasons to Consider a Mini Split System

Here are the most common reasons that homeowners and property owners select a ductless system.

1. No ductwork required means easier, less costly installation.

2. No ductwork also means a mini split system is ideal for those with airborne allergies that often multiply in damp ductwork.

3. Mini split systems allow you to target areas where you want maximum heating and/or cooling. For example, if you like your bedroom extra-cool in summer or toasty warm in winter, place a large indoor unit there.

4. Money-savings by only heating or cooling zones in use. Use the separate thermostats/remotes to turn down the units not in use. For example, during the day, turn down or off the air handler in the bedroom. At night, turn down the units in the rest of the house while keeping the bedroom comfortable.

5. Heat and cool underserved areas. Even if you have central HVAC, some rooms distant from the furnace or air handler don’t get sufficient heating or AC. This is especially true in older homes or where the installed unit is too small for the job. Place a tri-zone ductless system in that part of the home, and have all the comfort you want.

6. Additions, attic conversions and garage conversions are perfect locations for a tri-zone (or single / dual zone system depending on size) ductless mini split system. 

Ideal Locations for a Triple-zone Mini Split

Using a multi-zone ductless system with three evaporators is an excellent choice for these settings:

A medium-size to large ranch home with an open floor plan: A tri-zone mini split system with a total capacity of 36,000 to 48,000 can easily serve a 1,500 to 2,400 square foot ranch home. The key is a floor plan that is fairly open, so that air can circulate through the zones. Place one air handler in the main living area – usually the largest of the air handlers you choose. The second air handler is often placed in the kitchen, especially if it also contains an eating area. Since the kitchen gets warm when cooking, you definitely want it cooled off. The third unit is typically installed in the bedroom area. If the doors are often closed, then adding a quiet window air conditioner or portable air conditioner to the bedrooms might be necessary.

A small home with a converted attic or garage: In this scenario, the garage or attic will definitely need an air handler. The other two can be placed in the main living area and in the kitchen. If you want a large bedroom served too, then using a four zone or quad ductless setup might be better.

A home addition: Whether your home has a ducted system or uses ductless heating and air conditioning, the addition will need its own system. Depending on the size of the addition and the number of rooms, select a dual zone, triple zone or quad (or larger) with the right amount of BTU output to serve its zones.

Configuring your Triple Zone Mini Split System

Because various air handler sizes, from 9,000 to 24,000 BTUs for most systems, are available, you’ve got options.

Keep in mind that the total output capacity of the indoor units, the air handlers or evaporators, shouldn’t greatly exceed the total capacity of the outdoor condensing unit. For example, a condensing unit with 24,000 BTU capacity can serve three indoor units of 9,000 BTU each, or a total of 27,000 BTU. But that’s about the limit. If you tried installing three 12,000 BTU indoor units, the 24K outdoor unit couldn’t do the job.

Common configurations include these:

  • 24,000 BTU system: Three 8K or 9K indoor units.
  • 30,000 BTU system: Three 9K indoor units; two 9K indoor units and one 12K indoor unit (ideal setup).
  • 36,000 BTU system: Three 12K BTU indoor units (ideal); One 18K indoor unit and two 9K indoor units (also ideal); One 24K and two 9K indoor units (OK for a mild climate, but not for a very warm climate).
  • 42,000 BTU system: One 24K and two 9K indoor units (ideal); One 18K and two 12K units (also ideal); One 18K, one 12K and one 9K units, One 24K; one 12K and one 9K indoor units (OK for a mild climate).
  • 48,000 BTU system: One 24K and two 12K indoor units (ideal); Two 18K and one 12K indoor units (also ideal); One 24K, one 18K and one 9K units (OK for milder climates). 

Indoor Unit Installation Locations

There are several places to install the indoor air handler or air handlers for your ductless mini split heat pump system. Each has their pros and cons. Reminder: The air handler is also called the evaporator, head or indoor unit.

Let’s explore your air handler style options.

  • Wall-mount: These are the most common indoor units. They are installed high on a wall and are ideal for air conditioning. This is because cool air sinks, so when released near the top of the wall will settle over the room nicely. Most wall-mounted air handlers, aka evaporators, have multi-directional louvers that do a good job dispersing the cooled or heated air to the various parts of the room or zone.
  • Floor-mount: Ideal for heating, a floor mounted air handler takes up  floor space, its only disadvantage. They’re OK for air conditioning too, but since heat rises, having a floor mounted rather than wall or ceiling mounted air handler allows the heat to circulate better at ground level before rising toward the ceiling.
  • Ceiling-mount: There are two basic types of ceiling mounted air handlers. The first hangs from the ceiling. The second is mounted into the ceiling so that it is nearly flush with the ceiling surface. Both types are typically placed near the center of the zone – a real advantage in that they do a better job evenly dispersing heated and cooled air over the zone. Cassette style air handlers are ceiling mounted units. They have a low profile, so are unobtrusive.
  • Duct-concealed: If you don’t want visible air handlers inside the rooms or zones and the space is already ducted, these are a great option. The air handler/evaporator is installed inside the ductwork right behind the air grate. Installation is a little trickier, but if you do it right, the treated air will flow out of the grate just like with a standard ducted system, and the air handler will never be seen.
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