Are you considering a ductless mini split air conditioner to heat and cool your home?
Well, mini split systems are a popular choice for many homeowners. They are energy efficient and offer more temperature control than other HVAC systems.
When choosing a heating and cooling unit, you have to consider the size of your room and how many BTUs will be enough to keep it comfortable.
The 18,000 BTU mini-split systems we have reviewed below are suitable for rooms between 700 to 1,000 square feet.
6 Best 18000 BTU Mini Split Air Conditioners
1. Mitsubishi Ductless MZ-GL18NA Air Conditioner Mini Split
The Mitsubishi Ductless MZ-GL18NA Air Conditioner Mini Split is one of the popular and high-rated heating and cooling systems in the market today. It is ideal for spaces up to 700 square feet and is packed with user-friendly features to make your indoor air comfortable and safe.
The MZ-GL18NA is one of only a few air conditioners with washable air filters that last more than a few years. The air filters are reusable for at least ten years, significantly reducing the cost of running the air conditioner.
The advanced multi-stage filtration on the MZ-GL18NA means that you can quickly and effectively capture and remove contaminants that trigger allergy and asthma symptoms, spread illnesses, and compromise air quality.
Additionally, this unit allows for easy zone control. Each zone in your home can be controlled independently, and you can even turn off zones that aren’t in use. This is different from traditional air conditioning where the whole unit is either ON or OFF.
- Quiet operation
- 10-year warranty
- Auto restart following a power outage
- Wireless remote controller included
- Multiple fan speeds (Quiet, Low, Medium, High, Super High)
- Requires professional installation
2. PIONEER Air Conditioner WYS018GMFI17RL Minisplit Heatpump
Built with the latest technologies for superior efficiency, optimal comfort, and unmatched performance, the Pioneer WYS018GMFI17RL is the perfect single-zone mini split air conditioner for residential and light commercial applications.
The unit comprises a ductless indoor unit, outdoor unit, standard installation accessories, and remote control. The included remote control allows you to select between four operating modes; cooling, heating, dehumidification, and ventilation.
A wireless internet module that provides for universal remote access and programming is available separately. Also, an automatic switchover mode exists for totally automated operations, complete with a timer to turn the unit ON or OFF as desired.
The Night Mode and auto-restart functions are also worth a mention. While the night mode automatically adopts the temperature settings to the naturally changing body temperatures throughout the night, the Auto-restart, on the other hand, memorizes all settings in case of a temporary power failure.
There are other heating and cooling capacities available, from 9,000, 12,000, 24,000 to 30,000 and 36,000 BTUs. All the models feature inverter type compressors with high-efficiency levels.
- Permanent, washable air filters
- Use for both cooling and heating.
- Ultra-silent operation
- Free tech support
- 5-year warranty
- High maintenance
3. Senville SENL-18CD Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump
Affordable, efficient, and powerful, the SENL-18CD Mini Split is a great way to cool or even heat your home all year round. Designed with inverter technology, Senville SENL-18CD provides you with an efficient way to improve comfort in rooms as large as 1000 square feet. The package comes with an installation kit that includes a 16 Ft. line set and wiring harness at no extra cost.
Standout qualities of the SENL-18CD include Whisper Technology for silent operation. This makes the unit excellent for bedrooms, living rooms, and even commercial applications.
At just 7.6 pounds and measuring 29.9 x 11.2 x 23.3 inches, it’s also a light and small enough unit to handle. Above all, the SENL-18CD air conditioner is very easy to set up. Unlike most ductless mini splits, anyone with basic DIY skills can install the SENL-18CD by just following the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
The one big downside of the unit, however, is packaging. The SENL-18CD mini split often arrives in more than one box. This can be confusing.
- Fantastic in larger areas (over 1,000 sq. ft)
- An ultra-quiet indoor air handler
- Multi-directional air vents
- With remote control
- Low-cost option
- Packaging can be confusing
- Does not come pre-charged with refrigerant.
4. DuctlessAire Energy Star Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump
The DuctlessAire mini split air conditioner and heat pump is Energy Star certified, which means it will cool and heat your home without increasing your energy bills. Also, it has a 21 SEER rating, the highest you’ll find in mini-split systems. This explains why it has an excellent capacity to save energy.
This unit uses a variable speed inverter compressor that allows the refrigeration cycle to operate at different speeds depending on the cooling load. The AC comes with a full installation kit that includes a 25-foot line set.
Some of its top features include HEPA filters that are not only easy to access but also washable and reusable for years. The mini split also boasts three fan speed modes, including a Turbo Mode for quick warming up or cooling down of the room. Unlike other products on this list, the DuctlessAire 18000 BTU mini split also features leak detection.
The unit operates quietly and can be controlled either manually or remotely using a wireless/remote controller. The manufacturer provides a 12-month parts warranty and a 60-month compressor warranty.
- ETL certified
- Comes pre-charged with R410A refrigerant
- Comes with heat pump (can be used for heating)
- Employs inverter compressor for efficient performance
- Follow-me remote control technology
- Self-diagnosis and auto—protection function
- It is one of the more expensive units
5. Senville SENA-18MO-209 18000 BTU Dual Zone Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump
Another Senville on the list, the SENA-18MO-209 is a small, dual zone mini split, meaning that it can heat or cool two rooms with just one outdoor unit, saving you the cost and space of having multiple units.
This heating and cooling system is not only designed to keep your home comfortable but also improve its appeal. It’s dependable, quiet, and ideal for bedrooms, additions, living rooms, and commercial applications.
The unit features an inverter technology that provides super efficiency in terms of energy usage and performance. It uses 208-230V, ETL Intertek Approved, Energy Star Certified, AHRI Certified. All these features will ensure your stay comfortable all year through without worrying about your heating and cooling costs.
The SENA-18MO-209 is easy to install and even comes with an installation kit for DIY enthusiasts. The unit boasts a SEER rating of 22.5, the highest among products on this list.
- Energy Star Certified
- Inverter technology
- Built-in de-humidification function
- Self-cleaning mode
- Dual indoor units
- Follow me function (remote with built-in thermostat)
- Refrigerant leak detection
- Whisper Technology for quiet performance
- Rather expensive
6. Senville 18000 BTU SENA-18HF/Z Energy Star Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump
This is another high-end and advanced mini-split system by Senville. If you order the unit through Amazon, it may be shipped in more than one box and may arrive separately. However, once all the packages arrive, you’ll have a powerful and dependent home cooling and heating unit.
When it comes to performance and efficiency, this unit doesn’t disappoint. First, it uses inverter technology that allows the unit to heat and cool your room with up to 75% efficiency. It’s also fully certified by Energy Star for the highest levels of energy efficiency, which means you can save up to 40% on your energy costs annually.
Apart from the main components, Senville SENA-18HF/Z comes with a variety of features, including remote control, self-cleaning, leak detection, and diagnostic display. All these are included to help you run the unit with ease as well as last a lifetime
The company offers 3-year parts warranty and a 7-year compressor warranty. The indoor unit measures 38.98 x 8.58 x 12.4 inches while the outdoor unit measures 33.27 x 14.29 x 27.64 inches. The 18000BTU model has a SEER rating of 20 and is ideal for rooms measuring between 750 and 1250 square feet.
- Energy star certified
- High efficiency
- High performance
- Impressively silent
- Comes with DIY installation kit
- Delivery may arrive in parts
- The parts are often delivered on different days
Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioners Buying Guide
If you’re convinced that a ductless mini split AC would solve your air conditioning needs, this guide should help you find the right AC.
What is a Ductless Mini Split AC?
A ductless mini split AC is a heating and cooling unit that comprises two main parts – an outdoor compressor and an indoor air evaporator.
The compressor pumps pressurized air refrigerant while the evaporator circulates the refrigerant, extracting heat from indoor air to provide cooling. Some units also include a heat pump, thus can be used for heating. In these units, heat is extracted from the outside air to warm inside air.
Mini-split air conditioners can have up to eight indoor units to cool/heat multiple areas at a time. They rely on small tubes known as refrigerant lines that run between outdoor and indoor units, unlike central air conditioners that depend on ductwork to circulate cool air within your home.
Advantages of Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioners
First off, unlike most window AC units, ductless air conditioners can be used for both heating and cooling. This quality makes them a versatile option for room-by-room cooling and heating and an energy-efficient alternative to traditional heating systems. Aside from that, ductless mini-split ACs are;
The most significant advantage of ductless mini split heaters is that they don’t require ductwork. Ductwork leakage often accounts for up to 30% energy loss in the home. Ductless air conditioners remove this inefficiency.
Additionally, these appliances employ innovative, responsive technology that allows the compressor to adjust its motor speed based on higher or lower energy demands, further reducing energy wastage. Finally, when in heating mode, a mini-split AC is merely using electricity to move rather than create heat, thus less energy consumption.
Room-By-Room Temperature Control
Another critical advantage of mini-split ACs is that you can control every connected unit with a separate thermostat for optimal comfort. If you don’t need air conditioning in a particular room, you can turn off the indoor unit in that room to save on your energy bills.
This is unlike central air conditioning systems. Central air conditioners are controlled by one central thermostat such that when the unit is switched ON, all rooms are air-conditioned whether or not you need conditioned air in those rooms.
Improved Indoor Air
All ductless mini-split ACs use air filters. As air flows through the indoor units, any dirt, debris, allergens, mold, or bacteria is trapped by the filter. What’s better, the filters are washable and easy to maintain.
Mini split systems are also very quiet. Indeed, these units are the industry’s benchmark for silent operation. They are designed using noise-reduction technologies, and some even operate below 19 decibels.
Flexible Installation Options
By now, you know that mini-split units don’t require ductwork, which significantly simplifies the installation process. Moreover, unlike air conditioners that require a window for venting and installation, you don’t need a window to install mini-split models.
Mini-split air conditioners come in a variety of shapes and sizes to complement your space. From concealed duct units to streamlined wall-mounted options and barely-there ceiling cassette units, the options are endless.
Factors to Consider when Buying a Mini Split Air Conditioner
Since mini split air conditioners are a long term investment, it’s vital that you take your time and choose a unit that best-suited for your home as well as get value for your money.
So, what factors should you consider before purchasing a mini split system?
Cost (Upfront + Operation)
The upfront cost is the biggest challenge with ductless mini splits. The best 1800 BTU mini-splits cost at least $5,000, with averagely-priced models still likely to set you back as much as $1,000.
Also, you have to factor in installation and running costs. You can install the unit yourself if you have some basic DIY skills. Just make sure you have a helping hand and follow the installation instructions. If not, you can hire a professional HVAC technician to install it for you, which would cost you at least $500.
Running (operational) costs, thankfully, aren’t so high. Compared to other air conditioners, mini-splits are much cheaper to run.
Number of Zones
There are two broad categories of mini split air conditioners; single-zone models designed to cool just one zone and multi-zone models designed to cool two or more zones.
As you’d expect, the cost goes up for every additional zone. But, if you live in a house with multiple rooms, there couldn’t be a better way to keep each room comfortable as you wish than with a multi-zone AC. That’s because you can control the temperature in each zone independently.
AC power is measured in BTU. The higher the BTU rating, the larger space the AC can cool effectively. For instance, a 5,000 BTU mini split is perfect for a 150 sq. Ft. room while a 6,000 BTU unit is designed for 250 sq. ft.
The BTU guidelines mentioned above are recommended when every other factor is constant. However, you need to consider some factors depending on your home.
- Add 1,000 BTU for every 50 square feet, up to 900 square feet.
- If the total space you intend to cool is larger than 1,000 square feet, go for an 18,000 BTU mini split.
- Add 20% BTUs for ceilings higher than 8 ft. and poorly insulated area, and 30% BTUs for climates with seasonal temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rotary vs. Inverter Compressors
When buying a multi-split, you also need to pick between rotary and inverter compressors. Rotary compressors self regulate by turning on and off while working to maintain your set temperature. Inverter compressors, meanwhile, draw enough power to reach the desired setting, then idle at that setting until more is needed.
Most homeowners prefer inverter models because they save energy by not constantly turning on and off. It’s also worth mentioning that most ductless mini splits use inverter compressors.
Features that Make a Great Mini Split Air Conditioner
Although mini-split systems share most characteristics, the best 1800 BTU mini splits provide you with a variety of features so you can get the best out of them. These include;
- Programmable timer: The programmable timer allows you to set the mini-split for an entire 24 hour period. For example, you can program the unit to turn ON right before you get home from work or turn OFF a few hours after you go to sleep.
- Adjustable airflow: Some mini splits also provide for remote airflow control. With these units, you can adjust airflow right from the comfort of the sofa. This is different from other ACs that require manual control.
- Washable air filters: Air conditioner air filters get dirty pretty fast. This often means replacing the filter every two weeks or less. You can say bye to this inconvenience by investing in mini-split ACs that come with washable and reusable filters.
- Automatic restart: As with all electronics, in the event of a power failure, a mini-split AC will go off. Automatic restart means that the unit will resume operation automatically when power returns; the best part is that it resumes to its previous settings!
- Multiple modes: It’s a good idea to invest in mini-split models that feature various operating modes for year-round comfort. Some of the modes to look out for include; Heat (turns the AC into a heater), Dehumidify (turns the unit into a dehumidifier), Fan-Only (distributes air in your room without cooling it), Automatic (requires no additional input from you), and Sleep mode (maintains a pleasant room temperature with quiet operation).
Ductless mini split air conditioners excellent, especially for zone heating thanks to the multiple thermostats that give you greater room-by-room control.
They are also energy efficient, impressively quiet, and can double up as supplemental heat sources or dehumidifiers. Although a tad expensive, they make an excellent long-term investment.
It’s important to consider all the features you may want in your 18000 BTU mini split, so you get the best air conditioning and heating unit for your home.