The primary advantage of ductless mini-split systems is that you don’t need the ductwork required when installing central air conditioners. Apart from that, these innovative heating and cooling units are highly efficient. They deliver a consistent and quiet flow of both cool and warm air to keep your home comfortable all year round.
However, you still need to choose a ductless air conditioner based on the size of the room you want it to cool. If your room is approximately 1,200 to 2,000 square feet, you need to choose a 36000 BTU mini-split system.
Keep in mind, cooling capacity isn’t the only factor to consider when shopping for mini-split ACs. We have discussed other factors in the buyer’s guide section.
Best 36000 BTU Mini Split Reviews
1. Pioneer 36000 BTU Mini Split
An ultra-high efficiency air conditioner with a 16 SEER rating and 10 HSPF ratings, Pioneer WYS Series is one of the high-rated mini split air conditioners o the market.
The product’s package contains; an indoor unit, an outdoor unit, wireless remote control, variable installation kit options, flare connection leak guard sealer, an installation manual, a user’s manual, and the manufacturer warranty. A 5-year warranty protects the compressor while other parts enjoy a 2-year warranty.
Some of the standout features of the air conditioner include the Sleep Mode and temperature compensation function. Sleep Mode is a unique setting that allows the air conditioner to automatically increase cooling or decrease heating until the unit automatically shuts off when you go to sleep. Temperature compensation, meanwhile, eliminates temperature differences between the floor and ceiling by mixing the different layers of air.
Other key features of the unit include; refrigerant leak detection, anti-cold function, emergency alert, low ambient cooling intelligent ON-OFF technology, 2-way draining, follow-me remote thermostat, high-density filters, and wireless control.
Another advantage is that this unit comes in all sizes. If you need a smaller unit, you can choose the 18,000 BTU mini-split system, 9000 BTU mini split, 12000 btu or the 24000 btu.
- Ultra silent
- Use for both cooling and heating.
- Box includes a DIY installation kit.
- Free tech support
- Expensive (often costs over $3,000)
2. Senville 36000 BTU Quad Zone Mini Split
Best known as the Quad Zone Aura, the Senville SENA-36HF/Q is considered one of the most advanced and high-end mini split air conditioners in the market.
Providing you with a variety of features, include; SEER 22.5 (very high for an air conditioner), air conditioner, heat pump, an ionizing filter, and timer function, the air conditioner stands tall among the rest.
The inverter technology (designed by Toshiba) helps the Quad Zone Aura draw less electricity, produce less noise, and give you better room temperature control.
Silver ion technology, on the other hand, provides seven stages of air filtration to kill airborne bacteria, deactivate dangerous chemical gases, eliminate odors, and eliminate up to 95% of dust, smoke, and pollen. The Quad Zone Aura can also heat your home with minimum operating temperatures as low as -22F/-30F.
Other noteworthy features of the Ac include leak detection, self-cleaning capability, follow-me remote control technology, and low-noise airflow. The unit is ideal for spaces measuring around 1,600 square feet and comes pre-charged with R410A refrigerant.
There other options for this unit when it comes to size. If you want a smaller unit, we’d suggest you check our 12,000 BTU mini split review.
- 22.5 SEER rating
- Turbo Mode
- 4 x 9,000 indoor units and four remote controls
- Includes basic installation kit with a 16-foot line set
- 7-year warranty on compressor, two years on other parts
- Requires professional installation
- High price (costs more than $3,000)
3. Senville 36000 BTU Tri Zone Mini Split
Another great multi-zone ductless air conditioner from Senville, the SENA-36HF/T is a 23 SEER unit with a heat pump, Turbo Mode ionizing air filter, a timer function, and follow-me remote controller.
Unlike the Quad Zone model, it has three indoor units, each rated at 12,000 BTU. The package comes with three 15-foot cords for each of the indoor units. Each indoor unit doubles up as a 9,000 BTU heat pump.
The Tri-Zone SENA 36HF/T is Energy Star certified and comes equipped with inverter technology for improved performance and efficiency. The inverter technology alone reduces energy consumption by 30% and helps extend heat capacity to -22F/-30F.
All units come with an industry-leading, 7-year warranty for the compressor and a 2-year warranty on other parts. This alone shows the level of confidence the manufacturer has in the product. Senville, as always, also offer round the clock customer support for buyers of the Tri-Zone model. The package comes complete with a DIY installation kit and other accessories.
If this is too expensive and you want to cool a single room, you can use a smaller unit. You can check our 9000 BTU mini split review for great models.
- 23 SEER rating
- 3 x 12,000 BTU indoor units
- 3 x remote controls
- Comes with basic installation kit
- 7-year warranty on compressor
- Requires professional installation
4. Senville SENA-36MO-218 36000 BTU Dual Zone Mini Split
Another Senville product with a high SEER rating of 23, the Dual Zone 36MO-218 is a great mini split with incredible features. The digitally frequency controlled variable capacity mini split that doubles up as a heat pump and can even work as a dehumidifier.
Cooling, heating, dehumidification, and ventilation requests are conveyed via remote control and the space kept at the ultimate comfort levels through automated air sweeping louvers and automatically varying capacity adjustments and varied airflow.
Other features of the Senville Dual Zone 36MO-218 include diagnostic and leak detection and ultra-inverter heating and cooling. Diagnostic and leak detection capabilities include things like self-cleaning and diagnostic display to ensure that the system is running correctly for the rest of its lifetime. Ultra-inverter heating and cooling, meanwhile, allows the mini-split to provide heating and cooling up to -22F with 75% efficiency.
The Dual Zone mini-split employs Whisper quiet technology silent operation and Silver Ion filters to remove the tiniest of microorganisms. The unit is simple to install (though professional installation is still recommended) and comes with a 7-year compressor warranty and a 2-year warranty for all other parts.
- DC inverter technology for ultra-high performance and efficiency
- High-quality design for an attractive appearance
- ETL Intertek Approved and AHRI & Energy Star Certified
- Includes two indoor units, each rated at 18,000 BTU
- Pre-charged with R410A refrigerant
- Requires professional installation
5. Mitsubishi 36000 BTU Mini Split
Arguably the most expensive item on this list, the Mitsubishi 36,000 BTU Dual-zone air conditioner is state of the art unit that doubles up as a heat pump, providing both heating and cooling for your home. It is rated 19 SEER and comes with an inverter-driven compressor for efficiency and to keep operating costs down.
The wall-mountable AC has multiple operating modes, variable fan speeds, and offers numerous airflow directions. It’s also worth noting that it combines a hybrid catechin deodorizing filter with an enzyme-based filter technology to manage allergens. The resulting anti-allergy filter captures the tiniest particles as well as breaks down the particles to ensure healthy indoor air.
When running in Dry Mode, the unit’s temperature stays just below the dew point of the return air, thus removing unwanted moisture. This significantly improves indoor air quality while minimizing the risk of mold growth. Auto Mode, meanwhile, selects the best vane position based on the Mode currently in use.
- Dual-zone air conditioning and heating
- Efficient performance thanks to a ductless configuration
- Multiple modes to guarantee round the clock comfort
- Automatic, follow-me remote control
- Anti-allergy air filters for healthy indoor air
- Most expensive of the products on this list
- For DIY, you need additional HVAC tools
36,000 BTU Mini Split AC Buying Guide
The following guide is designed to help you choose the right 36,000 BTU ductless mini-split air conditioner for your home.
What is a Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner?
Ductless mini-split systems are defined by the three words in that name, i.e., ductless, mini, and split. In air conditioning, each of these terms describes a unique characteristic;
A ductless air conditioner is one that that doesn’t require ducts to move air into, out of, or around the house.
In regular AC units, the refrigerant carries heat from the evaporator unit to the condenser unit when cooling. However, in AC units that double up as heat pumps, the refrigerant also transfers heat from the condenser to the evaporator during the heating cycle, via separate lines.
An electrical line runs between the evaporator and the condenser. A drain line from the evaporator runs to the outside to drain condensation when you’re using the unit to cool or dehumidify the space.
The term “mini,” when used in reference to air conditioners, means that the unit inside of the house, also known as the condensing unit or the condenser, is smaller than the standard outside unit (condenser).
Mini air conditioners have a lower than average cooling/heating capacity. Since these units are smaller in size and compact in construction, they can be easily installed on the ground, on the outside wall, or even on the roof.
Finally, the term “split,” in air conditioners, means that the AC has an outdoor unit, known as the condenser, and an indoor unit, known as the evaporator or air handler.
This is different from air conditioners where the condenser and evaporating unit exist in one large cabinet. Each condenser can work with up to eight indoor air handlers. In most cases, each air handler is located in a different room or space. The indoor units can be installed in the ceiling, wall, or floor, depending on its design.
What are Single Zones and Multiple Zones?
Since a good number of 36,000 BTU mini-splits are multi-zone systems, it’s also essential to understand the difference between single and multi-zone units. What is a zone in any case?
In-home Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, the goal is to provide and maintain a supply of quality air throughout the home.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Often, you’ll find several spots within the home with continuous thermal variation, i.e., some areas will be hot while others are cold.
It is imperative that these thermal variations are addressed and the cold/hot spots removed for ideal comfort as well as save on energy bills.
The spaces within the home with fluctuating thermal loads are what are known as zones.
So, when cooling a room, a zone can be a space within that room (such as the area under a window) that continuously experiences changes in temperature due to the sun’s heat. Or, it could be an adjacent room or underground store that isn’t receiving sufficient cool or warm air.
From this definition, you can see that every home has multiple (often more than a dozen) zones, especially if the house has several, large rooms. A single-zone mini-split air conditioner only cools one zone at a time whereas a multi-zone mini-split can sufficiently cool two or more zones simultaneously.
If you can’t decide whether a single or multi zone mini split is the best for you, then here are some things you need to consider.
How do I Choose a 36,000 BTU Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner?
Like with all ductless mini splits, the most important thing when choosing a 36,000 BTU unit for your home is the size of the space you intend to cool. Are you sure that 36,000 BTU is enough for the room? Are you sure that you don’t need a smaller or larger air conditioner?
Remember, if you purchase a mini split that’s too small for the room, it won’t bring down the temperatures to the desired levels. Also, the cool air generated from the unit might not reach every corner of the room.
On the other hand, an air conditioner that’s too big for your room/space would leave the area ‘sweating’ from too much humidity. As a result, you won’t only be wasting energy but also risk mold infestation. Overly large air conditioners are also bound to start and stop multiple times during the day as they self-regulate; a continuous ON-OFF operation that can lead to frequent breakdowns.
Like we’ve stated earlier, a 36,000 BTU mini-split will work well in a space measuring at least 1,200 square feet and no larger than 2,000 square feet.
Aside from size, consider the following factors;
- Single vs. multi-zone cooling: We’ve already discussed the difference between single and multi-zone mini-splits. If you have multiple spaces to cool, a multi-zone AC would be the perfect unit for your home.
- Multi-function: You may also want to consider what the mini-split can do for you aside from air conditioning. Most 36,000 BTU models tend to be multi-functional, with most of them also functioning as dehumidifiers, and even heat pumps when needed. Multi-functional mini-splits offer greater value for money.
- Cost: Although all 36,000 BTU ductless mini splits are priced on the higher end, you can still shop around and compare prices to find value.
- Warranty: Finally, don’t forget to consider the warranty. First off, any mini split you buy must have a warranty. If the unit you’re considering doesn’t have a warranty, look elsewhere. Secondly, check the length and coverage of the warranty. The best manufacturers offer at least five years warranty on the compressor and one year warranty on other parts.
- Don’t forget about the brand. Products from the top brands tend to cost more, but you get a quality product that will serve you for years as well as invaluable customer service if and when you need it.
What are the Pros and Cons of Ductless Mini Split Systems?
Ductless mini-split air conditioners come with several advantages as well as a few downsides, as follows;
- Reduced energy loss: Since ductless mini-split systems don’t have ducts, energy loss from poorly insulated or leaking ducts is eliminated.
- Flexible installation options: Ductless mini splits are also more flexible in interior design options. Some can be installed on the ceiling, others hung on the wall, and there are even floor-standing models.
- Multi-zone cooling: A multi-zone mini split air conditioner can be used to cool multiple rooms in the home simultaneously. That’s because, in these systems, each unit has its unique programmable thermostat for independent control.
- Whisper quiet: Ductless mini-split air conditioners are some of the quietest home appliances you can find. There’s no operational noise from the indoor unit, and the outdoor unit (which sits outside the house) is also very quiet.
- Expensive: One of the most significant downsides of the ductless mini-split, however, is the cost. A window AC costs way less than a similarly-sized ductless mini-split.
- Professional installation is critical: Unlike other room air conditioners, which only require basic DIY skills to set up, correctly installing a ductless mini split takes technical knowledge and skills and is, therefore, best handled by an HVAC expert.
In a nutshell, 36,000 BTU ductless mini-split air conditioners make a great investment for homeowners with larger homes. Multi-zone models are even better, especially when looking to regulate the temperature in multiple rooms simultaneously. Since each indoor air handler comes with its thermostat, you can control cooling or heating in each room independently.
It’s also essential to consider extra (convenience) features and functions. Some 36,000 BTU multi-splits, for example, have multi-zones while others can be used as heaters or even dehumidifiers. These extra features significantly simplify handling while boosting indoor comfort.
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.