Smallest Mini Split AC & Heat Pump (6 Single + 2 Dual Zone)

If you need air conditioning or heat in an extra room, workshop or garage that is between 300 to 500 square feet in size, a small ductless mini split system is the perfect way to accomplish that.

In this article you will find an overview of some of the best small mini splits available today. You’ll see how they compare with each other, then a review of each by brand.

Finally, we’ll provide a link to a calculator to help you get the right size system for your needs, and then some FAQs.

Smallest Mini Split Reviews

Here are more complete reviews of the best small mini split AC and heat pump models – ranging from 9,000 but to 12,000 for single zone systems and 18,000 BTU for dual zone. Keep in mind that some of these models give you sizing options once you click to check the current price.

Best Small Single Zone Mini Split System Reviews

Dual zone mini split reviews follow.

Daikin Branded Systems

Daikin is a world leader in HVAC systems, both ducted and ductless. Their 12-year manufacturer warranty on all parts is the best in the mini split industry.

Daikin systems most often operate at low speeds with indoor sound levels as low as 19 decibels – think, “library quiet”. Outdoor sound levels are so low your neighbors won’t know when it’s running.

DAIKIN 9,000 BTU 19 SEER Wall-Mounted Ductless Mini-Split A/C Heat Pump System Maxwell 15-ft Installation Kit

Highest Rated 9K

Features:

  • Backlit Wireless Remote Controller
  • Self-Diagnostics with Digital Display
  • Automatic Defrosting
  • Auto-Restart after Power Failure
  • Auto-Fan Speed Control

Pros:

  • High customer ratings
  • One of HVAC contractors’ favorites to install

Cons:

  • Not the highest SEER, but still very good

Why We Like It:

This small mini split heat pump has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings with the manufacturer with over 2,000 giving it 5 stars. Lots of features in a small package make it a great choice. The 9K size is the smallest btu model that is typically available

DAIKIN 12,000 BTU 19 SEER Wall-Mounted Ductless Mini-Split A/C Heat Pump System with Maxwell 15-ft Installation Kit

Best Features

Features:

  • Econo mode uses less energy, though it doesn’t provide as much Ac or heat in this mode
  • Powerful Operation Mode – does just the opposite of economy mode when you want fast cooling or heating
  • Low ambient Cooling as low as 5° F with quick warming function
  • Washable Air Filter

Pros:

  • User-friendly operation
  • 12-Year Manufacturer Warranty

Cons:

  • SEER 19 is above average in the industry, but lags behind some other brands
  • Occasionally a unit will arrive with one or more missing parts – and that is true for all brands – so check to be sure everything is there before beginning installation.

Why We Like It:

One of the largest of the “small” single zone split systems in this review, the Daikin 12K fits the bill for providing conditioned air for your home or business. Pushing the POWERFUL button on the wireless remote control gives you a boost in cooling or heating power for a 20-minute period, even if the unit is already operating at high capacity.

MRCOOL Branded Systems

MRCOOL has been gaining in popularity in the HVAC world, offering standard, split and mini split, geothermal and package central systems of many sizes and configurations. Their DIY mini splits in 9K to 36K BTU for 1 to 4 zones have been allowing ordinary handy owners to save hundreds of dollars on installation.

MRCOOL DIY 12k BTU 22 SEER Ductless Heat Pump Split System 3rd Generation – Energy Star 120V with Line Set Cover & IR Wi-Fi Thermostat

Highest Rated 12K

Features:

  • Remote, IR Wi-Fi Thermostat, and Wi-Fi Smart Kit Included
  • Sleep Mode
  • Auto Restart after power interruption
  • Pre-charged Line set, Outdoor and Indoor Unit
  • Pros:
  • Easy DIY Installation – no special tools, training or equipment required!
  • Great customer service

Cons:

  • Cons are difficult to find for this model, though some think that MrCool heat pumps are a little overpriced because they are DIY and very few other brands are. In our opinion, MrCool, aka Mr Cool, makes the best DIY options.

Why We Like It:

This is the best rated small mini split heat pump in this review with 4.8 out of 5 stars. It’s another 110 volt model, and it’s the only true DIY model in this review. Too many features to list, and everything for installation – even the outdoor line set covers come with this package.

Senville Branded Systems

Senville has been a leading retailer of mini split air conditioners and other heating and cooling products since 2005. They have worked closely with housing initiatives like Habitat for Humanity to help provide affordable cooling and heating solutions for low-income housing projects, which is a great way to serve a community.

Senville SENL-09CD Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump, 9000 BTU 19 SEER 110/120V

Best Value – Low Cost

Features:

  • Fan only Mode
  • Dehumidifier Mode
  • Adjustable oscillating louvers
  • Programmable Timer

Pros:

  • Refrigerant line set and control cables included
  • Super quiet, efficient and attractive

Cons:

  • Modes on the remote are really small and hard to see
  • The remote doesn’t have an ECO button

Why We Like It:

This model has been available for almost 6 years and is still a bestseller. It is also a 110V model, so its power needs are less than most mini splits. With 87% of customers rating this unit 4 stars or better, you can know that you will probably like it, too.

Mitsubishi Branded Systems

As a leading provider of ductless systems in the United States and Latin America, Mitsubishi ranks high in energy efficiency, performance and user-friendly control. All of their compressors speed up or down based on the needs of each room to maintain comfort and conserve energy. Many are Energy Star qualified.

Mitsubishi MY-GL12NA – 12,000 BTU 23.1 SEER Wall Mount Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner 208-230V

Best Overall

Features:

  • 4 operating modes
  • 5 Speed fan
  • Remote control included
  • Programmable Timer
  • Swing Louvers for even air distribution

Pros:

  • High Energy Efficiency with a SEER of 23.1
  • Automatic Operation (I Feel) is a real plus

Cons:

  • Refrigerant Line Set is not included
  • Not Wi-Fi Capable

Why We Like It:

Among the many fine features of this 220 volt model, the I Feel mode is notable. When engaged, the unit will automatically adjust between cool and dry mode based on your space’s current temperature. The high efficiency rating puts this unit among the best of all 12K ductless mini splits today.

Pioneer Branded Systems

The Pioneer mini split brand is one of the many HVAC names that is owned by Parker Davis HVAC Systems, Inc. They manufacture and supply a wide variety of air conditioners, heat pumps, inverters and many other types of environmental control apparatus. Since 1995, Pioneer mini splits have been becoming one of the most popular of the lower price point systems in the industry.

Pioneer Air Conditioner WYS009A-19 Wall Mount Ductless Inverter+ Mini Split Heat Pump, 9000 BTU-110/120V

Best for RV – Can Be Installed Anywhere

Features:

  • Best for RV, but it can be installed anywhere
  • Auto cool, Defrost, Fan only Modes
  • Anti-Cold Air function
  • Large LCD backlit display, multi-function wireless infrared remote controller
  • LED dimmable display on indoor head

Pros:

  • Great for a single room or small spaces
  • Very quiet while running

Cons:

  • Some feel Pioneer customer service isn’t what it should be

Why We Like It:

This unit has a lot to like: better than average efficiency, good price point and over 2,700 very satisfied purchasers on Amazon alone. Many DIY installers report that it went in with no difficulty. If you want an affordable ac unit that will also heat a single zone, check this one out.

Best Small Dual Zone Mini Split Systems

 These top small mini split systems serve two zones.

Gree Branded Systems

Gree Electric Appliances has its headquarters in Zhuhai, China, and is the largest residential air-conditioner manufacturer in the world. They also produce commercial air conditioners and have been involved in many international projects such as Olympic Games, World Cups, etc.

GREE MULTI18CVIR200-18,000 BTU Multi21+ Dual-Zone Wall Mount Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump 208-230V

Most Efficient Dual Zone

Features:

  • Vertical Swing Louver
  • Turbo Mode
  • Power Failure Recovery
  • XFAN Mode Protection
  • IR Remote Controller

Pros:

  •  Variable speed heat pump provides heat at up to 1/3 the cost of electric heat
  •  Energy Star Certified

Cons:

  • Must be installed by a state licensed HVAC contractor
  • Line sets (refrigerant lines) are not included

Why We Like It:

The high efficiency rating of the outdoor unit as well as each 9K wall mount unit make this small, dual zone model a wise choice. Many features make it easy to adjust for comfort, and the Energy Star rating makes it qualified for some state and local tax credits.

Cooper & Hunter Branded Systems

Cooper and Hunter has more than 20 years of experience in air conditioning and ventilation manufacturing. C&H produces reliable, superior-quality products that are certified by most major international testing standards in the USA, Canada, and the European Union. They are dedicated to technological innovation and consumer-driven product development.

Cooper & Hunter Dual 2 Zone 9,000 + 9,000 BTU Ductless Mini Split AC/Heating System, Pre-Charged, Heat Pump

Best Dual Zone Features

Features:

  • Follow Me temperature sensor in the Remote Controller
  • 8 Modes – Cool, Heat, Dry, Fan, Auto, Turbo, Eco, Sleep
  • Fully Modulating Fan Speeds
  • Louver Control
  • Carbon Filter

Pros:

  • Very quiet
  • For both hot and cold weather

Cons:

  • Installation by a Licensed HVAC Installer for the warranty to be valid
  • One purchaser reported that the unit seems to shut off too soon in heat mode.

Why We Like It:

Finding dual zone mini split heat pumps under 24K BTU isn’t an easy thing to do. This 9+9 is just the right size for small room heating and cooling. Mostly great customer reviews tell us this one is a good choice.

Small Mini Split BTU Sizing Guide

One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a ductless AC/Heat Pump is the size unit that is correct for your needs. Many of us tend to look for the least expensive product that is available, and – sure enough – within each brand the smallest model usually will cost the least. But the smallest model may not be sufficient to properly cool and heat the room or spaces in need.

On the other hand, we might think that if we get a really big model, it will work best because it won’t have to work as hard, and we can always turn it down. But an a/c unit that is too large for a room will often cool it too quickly – before it can remove the humidity – and humidity reduction is a very important part of conditioning the air.

Below is a link to a mini split BTU calculator. Measure your room or rooms that you want to cool, then put that number in the box that says, “Home Size”. Enter the appropriate information in the other boxes and click, “Calculate”. Use the number that is shown when purchasing a ductless mini split for a single room.

If you are looking for a multi zone system to cool and heat more than one room, use the size of each room to determine the BTU’s you will need for each. Many multizone heat pumps can be found with two or three different size indoor units for different size rooms.

Mini Split Btu Calculator – What Size Ductless AC/Heat Pump Do I Need?

FAQs

What is the smallest mini split available? Do they make a 5000 BTU mini split?

Most manufacturers have 9,000 BTU models as their smallest size. Mitsubishi offers a 6,000 BTU ductless mini split with a SEER of 33 that is not included in this review. It is in their “Hyper Heat H2i” line.

How much space does a mini split condenser need?

The condenser, of course, is the outside unit. The size varies from brand to brand, and larger BTU models are usually larger than smaller ones. But on average, the condenser will measure about 30 to 40 inches wide, 12 to 18 inches deep, and 22 to 34 inches high. The larger units (36K and up) will be larger in all dimensions, and some of the larger models actually have two units stacked, so they are at least twice as high. Be sure to research the size of the model you are considering before purchasing.

How big are the inside units?

The indoor unit, the air handler, varies in size. Here are sizes for the Gree indoor wall-mounted units, and they are typical sizes.

  • 9K & 12K BTU: 33 x 11 x 8 inches
  • 18K BTU: 38 x 11 x 8 inches
  • 24K BTU: 42 x 12 x 9 inches

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree from Lone Star College and EPA & R-410A Certifications.
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