When shopping for a ductless mini split air conditioner, getting the right size should be on top of your checklist. Size in this respect refers to the heating and cooling capacity or BTU rating.
The correctness of the size of the unit you choose will determine not only the level of comfort you get but also your heating and cooling costs in the long term. Moreover, the right mini split system can be the difference between those who succeed and those who fail in their cooling and heating projects.
We want to help you make a smart buying decision, so we have reviewed some of the best 12000 BTU mini split air conditioners. Keep in mind that these units will work efficiently is spaces between 450 to 550 square feet.
Best 12000 BTU Mini Split Reviews
1. Pioneer 12,000 BTU Mini Split Heat Pump
The first thing you should know about the Pioneer WYS012-17 12000 btu ductless air conditioner is that it is beautifully built and operates quietly. Like other ductless mini split systems, this unit will provide comfort all year round. So, whether you’re trying to stay warm through the winter or beat the heat during the summer, the unit will serve you just well.
The other standout quality about the WYS012-17 is convenience. The unit is packed with useful features that contribute to comfort and convenience, making it easy to manage your indoor temperature.
The multi-function wireless infrared remote control has LCD backlit display that enables you to quickly switch between the different modes, including heat and cool mode, fan mode, and energy saving mode. The remote control also allows for advanced control of functions such as multi-speed fan settings, dimmable LED display, and automated swing air discharge louvers.
Weighing 19 pounds and with a 17 SEER rating and 9 HSPF ratings, the WYS012-17 employs Whisper technology for silent operation. For even greater comfort, you can activate energy saving features such as sleep mode, temperature control, or set the timer to heat or cool at your preferred hours.
The good thing is, there are various sizes and heating and cooling capacities, including a18,000 BTU mini split that we recommend for rooms up to 1000 square feet.
- 17 SEER and 9 HSPF efficiency
- Elegant, sleek design
- Easy to install
- ETL and AHRI certfied
- Ultra silent operation thanks to Whisper technology
- Free tech support and a 5 year coverage on the compressor
- Not pre-charged
2. Senville SENL-12CD Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump
With a SEER rating of 19, the Senville SENL-12CD surpasses many of the top name brands when it comes to efficiency. It allows you to enjoy the benefit of a climate controlled environment with a powerful air conditioner and heater. It can also dehumidify and blow cold air in your room using the fan mode.
This unit is one of the quietest mini-split systems on the market, with minimal audible noise, ensuring an unforgettable experience. It is backed by a 5-year warranty on the compressor and a 2-year warranty on other parts, all designed to protect your purchase.
The Senville SENL-12CD, like many other Senville appliances, implements inverter compressor technology for greater efficiency and unmatched reliability. Inverter technology ensures that you are minimizing your energy costs, resulting in incredible efficiency.
When it comes to installation, you don’t have to struggle. The 12,000 BTU SENL 12CD package includes a complementary installation kit designed to make installation easy and less expensive. These units come pre-charged with R410A refrigerant and include the necessary piping for hook up and installation.
- Rated 19 SEER
- Inverter technology
- With heating and cooling up to -15/5F
- Ultra quiet indoor handler
- Fantastic customer support
- Must have HVAC skills to install it perfectly
3. DuctlessAire Energy Star Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump
Enjoy a comfortable indoor environment during winter and summer with this simple and easy to install ductless air conditioner by DuctlessAire.
Providing 12,000 BTU of power, the DuctlessAire Energy Star Ductless Mini Split is powerful enough to cool or heat a very large room even with higher-than-normal ceilings. Also, thanks to its Variable Speed Inverter Compressor and 21.5 SEER, the unit will provide cooling and heating all year through without you experiencing an increase in your energy bills.
Some of the features that set this unit apart from many of its competitors include whisper quiet operation, refrigerant leak detection, LCD display, and electroplated coil. There is also a HEPA Filter to help reduce pollutants and bacteria in the air, providing your home with clean and refreshing air quality.
This powerful unit comes with a complimentary installation kit, designed to ease installation as well as minimize installation costs. You’ll also love the self-diagnosis and auto-protection functions that make the unit user-friendly and help minimize your energy costs.
- Energy efficient with 21.5 SEER
- Comes pre-charged with R410A refrigerant.
- Whisper-quiet operation
- Hepa filter to purify the air
- Self-diagnosis and auto-protection function
- The control is very basic
4. Senville SENA-12HF/Z Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump
The Senville SENA-12HF/Z is one of the most technologically advanced ductless mini splits on the market.
First, let’s talk about efficiency. This unit has a 23 SEER rating, which surpasses many of the top name brands. It’s also ETL Intertek Approved, Energy Star Certified, AHRI Certified and uses 208-230V. This is an advantage because energy efficient units can help you save up to 40% on your energy costs annually.
Like most mini-split systems, the Senville SENA-12HF/Z is designed with an inverter heating and cooling technology. The innovative technology allows the mini-split to provide heating and cooling at up to -22F, with 75% or higher efficiency. This means, even if the temperatures go lower than usual, you will not experience an increase in your monthly energy bills.
Some of the additional features you’ll like about this unit include self-cleaning, leak detection, and diagnostic display, all designed to improve user experience and proper running of the unit.
Since this is an expensive system, you’ll always want a warranty from the manufacturer. Well, the company has offered a 3-year warranty on parts and a 7-year compressor warranty so you can have peace of mind.
- 23 SEER Rating (CEE Tier 3)
- With heat pump (up to -30/-22F)
- Energy Star Certified
- Follow-me remote control
- Self-cleaning capability
- Self-diagnosis system
- Not as easy to install as Senville claims
5. Classic America Ductless Wall Mount Mini Split
Classic America is known as the #1 manufacturer of ductless mini splits, and they sure did an excellent job on this wall-mount unit. The unit has a 16 SEER rating, ETL approved, and comes with a Toshiba/GMCC compressor, fully charged with R410A refrigerant.
The sleek design instantly separates it from the rest, and it’s easy to install thanks to the DIY installation kit included in the package. The kit consists of; a 16-foot insulated copper-aluminum refrigeration tubing, wall sleeve pipe, wiring cables, and cable tie pipe wrap. Another item in the package is the wireless remote controller that allows you to select from five operating modes; Auto, Cool, Heat, Dry, and fan.
The Automatic Switchover Mode triggers automated operation while a timer is available to power the unit ON or OFF after a chosen period of time. The unit comes with washable, reusable filters, an anti-freeze pipe sensor, and three fan speeds.
- Comes with a complete installation kit
- Comes fully charged with R410A refrigerant
- Modern, sleek appearance
- Five modes: Auto, Cool, Heat, Dry, and fan
- Parts can ship separately
- Color codes for wiring can be confusing
6. Daikin 12,000 BTU Mini Split
Daikin is one of the market leaders when it comes to manufacturing quality indoor appliances. Their systems have been installed by millions of customers all over the world.
The Daikin Wall-Mounted Ductless Mini-Split Inverter Air Conditioner Heat Pump is a unit that is intended to solve your air conditioning needs. It will provide year-round comfort by mechanically cooling or heating the air from inside your home while transferring the heat absorbed or lost to the outside via a sealed refrigerant circuit.
While this unit is ideal for rooms up to 550 square feet, it is also integrated with an inverter variable speed compressor that ensures it delivers the capacity required to maintain desired room temperature. This technology also makes the unit energy efficient as it reduces energy consumption by 30% or more.
Also known as the 17 Series, the unit includes valuable convenience features to ensure comfortable experiences at every moment. From the wide-angle louver design to the auto-swing mode controller settings, you’re guaranteed to achieve control, energy efficiency and long-term peace of mind.
Noise is at a minimum when using the 17 Series, with indoor units mostly operating under 37-decibel mark while the outdoor unit remains at less than 51 decibels. For even quieter operation, activate the indoor unit’s quiet mode to reduce the noise by 2-3 decibels. Additional features include; advanced filtration, 15 ft. installation kit, and a wall bracket.
- 10-year warranty
- 15 Ft. installation kit
- Energy efficient (17 SEER, 9 HSPF)
- Remote control
- You can only use remote as a timer function, but you cannot program days of the week
12,000 BTU Mini Splits Buying Guide
If you have decided to invest in a 12,00 btu mini split system, and you have the right measurements for your room, there are very critical factors you have to keep in mind during your search to help you find the perfect unit for your home.
But first, how do ductless mini split air conditioners work?
How do Ductless 12,000 BTU Mini-Split Air Conditioners Work?
Ductless mini split air conditioning units have two main parts – an outdoor and indoor unit. Air conditioning or heating starts on the inside, with the indoor unit designed to blow warm air from your home over cold evaporator coils. The refrigerant running through these coils absorbs the heat from the air and transfers it into the outdoor unit, which then dumps it to the outdoors.
The difference between mini split air conditioners and central units is that the latter has the indoor unit located in the attic or closets. Air pulled from your home is carried to this central location for cooling after which it is sent back your home through another duct.
This process is different in mini-split air conditioners because the indoor unit is usually placed in the room that you want to cool. This is a great advantage because you don’t need air ducts. The unit simply receives all the heat from the rooms, dumps it outdoor and blows cold air from the outdoors into the room.
There are different types of mini-splits, with the most common types being wall-mounted, horizontal ducted, floor-mounted, and ceiling-mounted models.
Benefits of Mini Split Systems
Ductless mini splits offer homeowners many benefits. If you haven’t installed these units, here are some benefits you may be missing out.
- Flexible control: Ductless mini split air conditioners are invaluably flexible. Their unique design and small size make them ideal for zoning or heating and cooling individual rooms. If you have five rooms that you’d like to control separately, for example, all you have to do is find a mini split with five air handlers. This way, you’d be able to turn ON or OFF air conditioner or heat or adjust the temperature in each room independently. This is impossible with central air conditioners.
- Easy to install: Ductless air conditioners easy to install. For starters, you only need a small hole (around 8 cm) through the wall to connect the indoor air handler to the outdoor unit. The units, however, come with long connecting conduits, allowing you to position the indoor unit as far as 50 feet (around 15 meters) from the outdoor unit.
- Reduced energy losses: Since ductless mini splits don’t require ductwork, energy loss is also minimized. Poorly insulated ductwork contributes to approximately 30% of energy loss in central air conditioners. Leaking ductwork could lead to even higher energy losses. Ductless air conditioning systems eliminate this problem.
- Flexible installation: These units also offer the kind of installation flexibility not available with other air conditioning systems. For example, the indoor unit can be suspended from the ceiling, hung on a wall, or flush mounted onto a drop ceiling. Then, there are also floor-standing models. Plus, since you only need a small hole through the wall to connect the indoor unit to the outdoor components, mini splits leave your home safer. Window-mounted air conditioners, in comparison, for example, can provide an easy entry for intruders.
What Size Ductless Mini Split AC Do I Need?
12000 btu mini-splits are designed for spaces ranging from 400 to 600 square feet. But, are you making the right choice? Is a 12,000 BTU unit what you need, or do you need a smaller or maybe even larger unit?
This is the million dollar question when shopping for a ductless mini split system. Keep in mind that if you choose a small, undersized unit, it may not adequately cool the space. On the other hand, if it’s too large, it would cool the area quickly, leaving behind a damp and clammy feeling. Also, it would cause temperature fluctuations as well as failing due to short cycling.
The best way out of this problem is to ask your HVAC technician to perform a Manual-J Load Calculation test to properly size your ductless system for the space you want to cool or heat.
Additionally, it’s important to apply some common sense. For example, two similarly-sized spaces in different climates have different cooling requirements. The room in a cool climate requires less cooling capacity than the one in a warmer climate. The reverse is true for heating – the room in the warmer climate would need a smaller heat pump. Insulation is another factor. Better insulated spaces don’t need as much cooling or heating as poorly insulated rooms.
How Much Does It Cost To Install a Ductless Air Conditioning System?
Several factors affect the cost of ductless units, among them; quality, performance, efficiency, and single vs. multi-zone configuration. Let’s look at each of these factors more closely;
Ductless air conditioners are available in a range of quality ratings. The following are the common quality categories;
- Standard brands: Standard brands are priced moderately and have life spans ranging from 15 to 18 years. Brands that fall in this category include; Haier, Pioneer, GrKingsfin, Classic America, MrCool, Blueridge, and Kilmaire.
- Premium brands: These are higher priced air conditioners with life spans ranging from 17 to 21 years. Brands in this category include; American Standard, Lennox, Trane, Toshiba Carrier, Friedrich, Fujitsu, LG, Panasonic, and Mitsubishi.
There are two primary issues to break down here; functions and comfort. With regards to functionality, AC-only units cost less than mini splits that double up as heat pumps. Some mini splits even work as dehumidifiers. These models cost more. When it comes to comfort, some premium mini splits have inverter compressors that are not only more efficient but also quieter and perform more consistently. These units cost more.
The SEER rating determines the efficiency of ductless heating and cooling units. This rating ranges from 15 to 38. SEER simple means Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating and describes how much cooling can be achieved per unit of energy consumed. As such, higher ratings indicate that the unit is highly efficient. Another efficiency rating that you may come across is the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). HSPF ratings typically range from 9.0 to 15.0. Again, higher values here mean that the unit has high efficiency. More efficient units cost more.
Single vs. Multi-Zone Units
Generally, multi-zone mini splits cost more than single-zone models. On the same note, multi-zone systems can have up to five air handlers, which means they can control the temperature in up to five separate rooms simultaneously. In most cases, the higher the number of zones a mini split can handle, the higher the cost.
Ductless air conditioners differ from ordinary air conditioning systems. They are energy efficient and doesn’t require ductwork. They also allow you to customize the temperature of different rooms, especially if you choose multi-splits systems. The initial purchase and maintenance cost of these units is also little bit high compared to other air conditioning and heating units. However, they last a little longer and saves a lot of energy in the long run. With all these benefits, we hope you find the perfect 12000 btu mini split for your home.
Ronald Watford, the owner of Quality Home Air Care, is a qualified HVACR technician and manages the team of expert writers on this site. He believes that educating homeowners about HVAC systems is one of the most impactful aspects of his job.