The mini split AC and heat pump market continues double-digit growth every year because the equipment is efficient, cost-effective and offers versatile installation options. But what are the best mini split system brands? This guide covers the top ductless HVAC brands for single zone, multiple zone and a newer category of heat pump, the cold-climate mini split system.
If you’d like to research mini split HVAC basics, brands, prices, options and sizing a system for your home, our comprehensive Mini Split Buying Guide is packed with information.
The units on this top ductless HVAC list aren’t necessarily the most efficient. They are the mini split heat pumps that will give you durable performance you can count on for 15-20 years or more.
- Best Single Zone Ductless Mini Split Units
- Best Multiple Zone Ductless Mini Split Units
- Best Cold Climate Ductless Mini Split Heat Pumps
- The Importance of Installation Expertise
Best Single Zone Ductless Mini Split Units
A single-zone system is an outdoor unit (condensing unit) with one indoor unit (evaporator/air handler). The zone can be a single small bedroom or office or something as large as a spacious living room or garage or shared workspace. Units from 9,000 to 24,000 BTU are common.
In short, single zone units are used for spaces from less than 100 to more than 1,000 square feet.
This table gives the top single zone mini split units with basic features. There are additional details below.
|Model||BTU Output||12K Unit's|
|Mitsubishi MUZ-FH||6K, 9K, 12K, 15K, 18K||25.5/12||$3,800-$5,175||7/5|
|Fujitsu General Halcyon RLF/RLX||9K, 12K,18K, 24K||23/10.6||$2,550-$5,500||7/5|
|Gree Crown+||9K, 12K, 18K||23/10.5||$2,485-$4,275||5/5|
|LG Art Cool Premier||9K, 15K||25.5/12||$2,885-$4,450||10/10|
|Daikin Aurora / 20 Series||9K, 12K, 15K||20/12||$3,100-$4,035||12/12|
|BTU Output: We use "K" for 1,000 BTUs. Some brand literature uses MBH for 1,000 BTUs.|
SEER/HSPF: For direct comparison, the ratings are for each model's 12K unit. Units smaller than 12K are more efficient; models larger than 12K are less efficient.
System Cost: This is the installed cost range for complete 12K systems.
Warranty: The first number is the compressor warranty. The second is the general parts warranty.
#1 – Mitsubishi MUZ-FH:
There’s a reason every mini split retailer sells Mitsubishi. The brand has an excellent reputation for performance and durability. The MUZ-FH is a super-efficient series available in multiple sizes, each with a compatible indoor wall-mount unit.
- 48db operation
- Hot-start technology waits until the indoor coil is hot before the blower starts
- 3D i-see sensor scans the room and directs air to hot/cold spots where AC or heating are needed
- Works with a range of indoor units
- Effective in extreme cold
- Compare Mitsubishi models using our Mitsubishi Mini Split buying guide
#2 – Fujitsu General Halcyon Wall Mounted RLF/RLX Series:
Fujitsu is perhaps the most trusted name in mini split technology. The 12,000 BTU system offers 23 SEER/10.6 HSPF efficiency and loads of features:
- Heats and cools with variable-capacity inverter technology
- 55-decibel outdoor unit
- Advanced humidity control in AC mode
- Wireless remote
- 24-hour timer with sleep function
- Safe restart after power outage
- There’s more information on this brand and models in our Fujitsu General buying guide
#3 – Gree Crown+:
Gree is serious about efficiency, as this 30.5 SEER, 10.5 HSPF model shows – and it’s not even Gree’s most efficient heat pump! This is a cold climate air source heat pump that effectively heats in temperatures to -22F, an impressive feat. It’s apparent, by the way, that Gree has licensed its technology to Trane, and that says something about Gree quality and dependability. It’s the whole package for any climate. The Gree Crown+ is full-featured:
- Variable-speed, two-stage inverter technology
- Heats and cools
- Defrosts as needed, rather than continuously, to reduce energy use
- RF remote
- WiFi-enabled for remote monitoring and control
- 7-speed fan with 4-way airflow
- Learn more in our Gree Mini Split buying guide
#4 – LG Art Cool Premier:
This complete system with indoor wall mount units is not LG’s most efficient, but certainly its most reliable.
- 9K (HYV1) and 15K (HYV2) outdoor units with compatible indoor evaporators
- Hot start
- 24-hour timer and sleep mode
- Auto restart after power outages
- Heats in outdoor temps as low as 14F
- Advanced dehumidification of 3.2 pints per hour in AC mode
- Get prices and additional information in our LG Mini Split buying guide
#5 – Daikin Aurora / 20 Series Wall Mount:
Daikin sells its heat pumps in complete systems. This unit is also sold as a floor-mount combination. It combines good efficiency with excellent performance.
- Economy mode turns on automatically when the sensor determines the room/zone is empty
- Hot start, so no blasts of cold air at the beginning of a cycle
- Inverter swing compressor
- 49db outdoor, 19db indoor noise
- Wireless remote
- Browse more Daikin mini split information in our Daikin Guide
Best Multiple Zone Ductless Mini Split Units
These systems include a single outdoor unit and 2 or more indoor units with 8 maximum for the largest systems. For example, a 36K outdoor unit might support four 9K indoor units three 12K indoor units, two 18K indoor units or some other configuration that adds up to 32K to 38K. The total can be close if not exact.
|Model||BTU Output||SEER/HSPF||Indoor units||System Cost||Warranty|
|LG Multi VS||24K, 38K, 48K, 60K||23.5/10.5||All types||$5,225-$7,700||10/10|
|Friedrich J Series||9K to 33K||28/12.5||All types||$3,375-$6,150||7/5|
|Fujitsu General Halcyon||48K||17/10||All types||$4,975-$7,365||7/5|
|Daikin MXS Series||18K, 24k, 36K, 48K||19.5/11.3||All types||$5,065-$7,535||12/12|
|Mitsubishi MXZ Series||13 units 20K to 60K||20/11.4||All types||$5,200-$7,695||7/5|
|See the Single Zone table above for explanatory notes on each column.|
SEER/HSPF ratings vary widely with multi-zone systems based on number of zones and type of indoor units.
#1 – LG Multi VS:
The efficiency of these models is good; their reliability is excellent. These are hardworking heat pumps with few bells and whistles, and that makes them an excellent value. Four units are available from 24,000 to 60,000 BTU, aka 2 to 5 tons. Features include:
- VRF variable-refrigerant flow optimizes efficiency and indoor comfort
- Each indoor unit can be controlled separately with different temperature set points
- Can heat one zone (living space) and cool another (a computer room, for example), transferring heat between them as needed
- Excellent low-temperature heating to -13F
#2 – Friedrich J Series:
This is a fully variable system that modulates compressor capacity and fan speed to optimize climate control. Both cooling-only and heat pump models support multizone operation.
- Twin rotary compressors for precise heating and air conditioning
- Variable-capacity compressors adjust from lowest to highest capacity in 56 increments to reduce energy waste
- Soft start technology – the fan ramps up slowly to meet AC/heating capacity
- Electronically adjusted louvers work with sensors to direct air to where it is needed
- Residential and commercial applications
- Auto restart after power outage
- 24-hour time with remote
#3 – Fujitsu General Halcyon HFI AOU48RLXFZ1:
This advanced-tech system offers flexibility to heat and cool from 2-8 zones in a single system. You decide which zones receive heating or air conditioning, and climate control is programmed separately for each one. While the outdoor unit’s capacity is 48,000 BTU, you can install a collection of indoor units totaling 62,000 BTU, though all can be running at full capacity all the time.
- Up to 8 individually controlled zones
- Ideal for large homes and office settings
- Central remote-control option
- Economy and away modes reduce energy use
- Multiple indoor unit options
- WiFi monitoring and control
#4 – Daikin MXS Series:
This is an efficient and versatile multi-zone split system from a global leader. The Daikin MXS Series top features are:
- Multiple capacity outdoor units and indoor units
- Suitable for light commercial application too
- Long-lasting, washable filters
- Wireless remote with LCD screen
- Advanced dehumidification in AC mode
#5 – Mitsubishi MXZ Series:
Here’s another outstanding series from Mitsubishi Electric. The MXZ Series includes more than 10 outdoor units, and each one can be matched with a complete range of floor, wall and ceiling indoor units, six styles total. This allows you to customize your HVAC system to your exact needs.
- Half the models in the series have Hyper Heat technology for heating effectiveness to -13F/-25C
- 50db is the quietest model – that’s 3-5db higher than the quietest on the market
- All models in the series cool and heat
Best Cold Climate Ductless Mini Split Heat Pumps
Heat pumps have been ruled out for use in very cold climates until recently. The cold-climate technology has improved significantly, and now many brands make units capable of heating effectively in temperatures well below freezing. They do it with traditional heat pump technology.
Among the models listed above are several capable of heating in freezing weather: Gree Crown+ (-22F), LG Multi V S (-13F).
Here are 3 more that stand out for heating effectively in the very coldest weather.
|BTU Output||Top |
|Gree Sapphire||To -22F||9K-24K||38/15||$3,885-$4,815||5/5|
|Fujitsu Halcyon XLTH||To -15F||18K-36K||22/10||$4,200-$5,635||7/5|
|Mitsubishi Electric MXZ H2i||To -13F||12K-48K||19.1/11.3||$5,050-$7,535||7/5|
#1 – Gree Sapphire:
The ratings on this single-zone heat pump are the best available. It delivers 15 HSPF heating and is 90% effective in temperatures to -22F. It’s SEER AC rating is a sky-high 38 SEER. It shares features and technology with the Gree Crown+ in the Best Single Zone models list above.
#2 – Fujitsu General Halcyon XLTH:
This is the top multi-zone mini split heat pump in this category. It is effective to -15F and includes a base pan heater to prevent freeze-ups in extreme cold. The features of the Halcyon Series are included in the above list of Best Single Zone models, though this unit is capable of heating and air conditioning in 2-5 zones.
#3 – Mitsubishi Electric MXZ H2I:
This advanced mini split heat pump maintains 100% heating effectiveness to 23F, a point where most conventional heat pumps deliver about 60% of heating capacity. The effectiveness of the MXZ H21 is 76% at -13F (-25C). This system offers efficiency as high as 19.1 SEER and 11.3 HSPF. It’s designed for 2-8 zones with capacity from 12,600 to 48,000 BTU (1-4 tons). Factory-installed base heater prevents freeze up.
The Importance of Installation Expertise
The efficiency and performance of a quality mini split heat pump can be diminished by improper installation. While these systems are growing rapidly in popularity, the number of qualified installers isn’t keeping pace with demand. We can help you find an HVAC company in your area with good experience installing mini-split systems. Use our Free Local Quotes and you’ll receive written estimates from several of the top-rated installers in your area. They are prescreened to make sure they are licensed, insured and experienced. It’s a quick and convenient way to ensure you find an installer that knows what they’re doing. There is no cost or obligation for using the service.
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