The Best Ductless Air Conditioner and Heater Picks of 2023

The Best Ductless Air Conditioner and Heater Picks of 2023

Top Rated and Expert Recommended Mini Splits

Ken, the eComfort Product Expert
By 
Product Expert

Ductless air conditioners, also known as mini splits, have risen in popularity thanks to their efficiency, perfect temperature control, and space-saving qualities. You may have heard of ductless mini splits but aren't sure what to look for when choosing one for your home. Well, you've come to the right place.

I've personally installed many ductless systems in my day and am happy to share my picks for the best mini-splits of 2023. Please spend some time reading through each of our categories, selections, and criteria for picking the best ductless air conditioners. Don't forget to click on each mini split pick to view the product page filled with more features, specs, reviews, and other great resources.

The Best Mini Splits

Best Single-Zone Mini Split Best Multi-Zone Mini Split Best Mini Split for Garage Best Mini Split for Cold Climates Best Mini Split for Small Spaces Best Mini Split for Bedrooms Best Mini Split for Whole House Retrofit

LG Art Cool Premier Mini Split

LG Art Cool Premier

Sirius Heat™ wall-mounted mini split

Durastar Sirius Heat™

LG LS363HLV3 Mini Split

LG LS363HLV3

LG Art Cool Premier Mini Split

LG Art Cool Premier

Durastar DR1H09O06 Mini Split

Durastar DR1H09O06

Mitsubishi H2i Plus Mini Split

Mitsubishi H2i Plus

LG LV480HHV Ducted Air Handler Mini Split

LG LV480HHV


How We Picked the Best Mini Splits

When recommending mini splits, we take six features into account.

Efficiency

Ductless mini splits are more efficient than regular air conditioners and heaters because of their advanced controls and inverter-driven compressors. SEER2 and EER2 ratings measure how well a mini split cools your space for the energy it uses. On the other side, the HSPF rating measures how efficiently a mini split provides heat. We study these ratings carefully and only recommend the most efficient units for your money.

Features

The best ductless air conditioners and heaters come with a vast array of features that simplify useability, durability, and convenience. From enhanced temperature controls that allow rapid heating and cooling, to airflow adjustments, to self-cleaning capabilities and mounting options, mini split manufacturers are constantly competing to add better functionality to their products. We comb through these features to determine what's useful and what's mere marketing before making our recommendations.

WiFi Capability

Internet connectivity is fast becoming a deciding factor when it comes to choosing mini splits. Despite it being 2023, not every manufacturer has gotten on board the WiFi train. Those that have are quickly realizing that most people love the convenience and remote capabilities offered by WiFi.

For example, you can adjust your home's temperature from across the globe to save energy. When coming back from work, you can use your smartphone to start heating up your home so it's warm and comfortable upon arrival. If you are on the fence between two mini split systems, knowing that one has WiFi could make your choice easier.

Heating Capability

The best mini splits provide both heating and cooling. When a mini split is in heating mode, it's referred to as a heat pump.

Traditionally, ductless mini splits weren't able to provide heat if the outdoor temperature fell below a certain point. In recent years, that point has gotten lower and lower.

Today, some mini split heat pumps will effectively heat even if the outdoor temperature drops to -22 degrees Fahrenheit. This efficient operation at low temperatures is known as low ambient heating, and we take it into account when choosing the best ductless heaters.

Warranty

Although worth it for the unmatched comfort they provide, ductless air conditioners and heaters are significant financial investments. After making such a purchase, you want to ensure that you have protection in case something goes wrong. That's why I strongly consider the warranty when evaluating mini splits. If two mini splits seem identical, that extra year of coverage could make all the difference.

Overall Value

Overall, ductless mini splits will cost you more than most other types of heaters and air conditioners. Simply put, their efficiency and high-tech operation makes them more expensive to make.

Still, there can be wide price differences even among mini splits, and we take that into account when making our recommendations. If a mini split is expensive but backs up the price with superior performance and features, we would say it's worth it.

On the flip side, you might save money on a poorly-built mini split, but that won't help you if you have to replace it in a few years anyway. Instead of price, value is what we're after.


Best Single Zone Mini Split:LG Art Cool Premier

LG Art Cool Premier Mini Split

LG makes more than just electronics and appliances. They are also a leading producer of ductless air conditioners and heaters. The Art Cool Premier wall-mounted unit outmatches all others in single-room applications. Built-in WiFi lets you adjust your home's temperature from wherever, and it is rated to heat all the way down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit with an HSPF2 rating of 10.8.

The best part about the Art Cool Premier is that it goes above and beyond to keep you comfortable with creative features. Jet temperature control quickly heats or cools your space with the push of a button before dialing back to save energy. Another feature, called "Sleep Mode," will incrementally lower the temperature at night before deactivating the mini split while you're in dreamland. You also get full vane control and can set airflow to alternate speed and direction, mimicking the natural breeze.

It's not just bells and whistles, though. The Art Cool is built to last.

Its base pan heater prevents ice buildup when operating in very low temperatures. A self-cleaning heat exchanger coil automatically removes dirt and moisture, while a Gold Fin coating prevents corrosion. Finally, a 5-year parts warranty and 7-year compressor warranty ensure you can count on years of reliable operation if professionally installed.

Spec Details Rating
Efficiency

24 SEER2;14.4 EER2;10.8 HSPF2

5 Stars
Features Self-cleaning coil removes dirt & moisture; Jet Temperature Control rapidly cools/heats; Sleep Mode saves energy at night; Advanced airflow direction & speed controls; Built-in base pan heater 5 Stars
WiFi WiFi Module Included 5 Stars
Heating 100% Output to 0°F; Rated down to -13°F for heating 4 Stars
Warranty 10 years with licensed installer and registration 5 Stars
Overall Value Good, realiable system with awesome features and capabilities. 5 Stars

Who It's For:

  • Those who want to condition a single room or space
  • Those needing extra heat or air conditioning in a distant room

Who It's Not For:

  • Those who want to condition multiple rooms
  • Those with whole-house heating or cooling needs

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Best Multi-Zone Mini Split: Durastar Sirius Heat™Sirius Heat™ wall-mounted mini split

For multi-zone applications where you want to heat or cool different parts of your home separately, I recommend the Sirius Heat™ wall-mounted mini split from Durastar. It incorporates "follow me" technology, which uses the temperature at the remote's location, instead of the indoor unit's location, to optimize the temperature around you.

The Durastar has a 20.0 SEER2 and 9.5 HSPF2 rating, so you can count on efficient performance. It's great for colder climates with the ability to provide heat down to -22 degrees Fahrenheit. A built-in base pan heater keeps ice from forming inside the outdoor unit after a defrost cycle for added protection.

When in cooling mode, its "Eco/Gear Mode" can reduce energy consumption in three tiers ranging from 10-50 percent. If you want to heat up or cool down quickly, "Turbo Mode" will get the job done automatically, while "Sleep Mode" can help you save energy at night.

If you have a power outage, your system will automatically restart once power is restored and preserve all settings. A coveted 10-year limited warranty protects your investment. You'll pay more, but the great features, abilities, and protection make it worth it for a multi-zone application.

Specs Details Rating
Efficiency 20 SEER2; 10.5 EER2; 9.5 HSPF2 4 Stars
Features "Follow Me" technology; Auto restart after power failure; Eco/Gear reduces energy consumption; Turbo Mode rapidly cools/heats; Sleep Mode saves energy at night; Includes base pan heater 5 Stars
WiFi WiFi Available with standard WiFi thermostat adapter (not included) 3 Stars
Heating 100% Output to 0°F; Rated down to -22°F for heating 5 Stars
Warranty 10-year limited warranty 5 Stars
Overall Value High price point but absolutely packed with useful features and capabilities to make it worthwhile for multizone applications. 4 Stars

Who It's For:

  • Those who want to condition multiple rooms
  • Those with whole-house heating or cooling needs

Who It's Not For:

  • Those who only need to condition a single room or space
  • Budget buyers

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Best Mini Split for Garage: LG LS363HLV3LG LS363HLV3 Mini Split

For many people, including myself, the garage has turned into a year-round space for hobbies and entertainment. The LG LS363HLV3 wall-mounted mini split will keep that special space comfortable for you and your guests. With an energy range of 3K-36K BTUs, this versatile ductless air conditioner and heater will effectively condition garages both large and small.

Since garage air isn't always the cleanest, a great feature the LG LS363HLV3 offers is its dual filtration system. A washable anti-fungal filter cleans out dust and bacteria, while a 3M Micro Protection Filter captures microscopic irritants for pristine air quality. For excess humidity, the unit's internal sensors monitor temperature and modify the set point and fan speed to remove moisture from the air.

I particularly love the Jet Temperature Control because it quickly heats up or cools down my garage right when I need it, so I don't have to shiver or roast for very long. Different airflow options, such as "Chaos Wind" provide the feeling of a natural breeze even though the garage door is shut.

Finally, the built-in WiFi module allows for remote control via the SmartThinQ® app on your smart device. If you use your garage often throughout the year, this unit is well worth it.

Specs Details Rating
Efficiency 19 SEER2; 10 EER2; 7.9 HSPF2 4 Stars
Features Dual filtration system; Jet Temperature Control rapidly cools/heats; Sleep Mode saves energy at night; Advanced airflow direction & speed controls 5 Stars
WiFi WiFi Module Included 5 Stars
Heating 100% Output to 0°F; Rated down to -4°F for heating 4 Stars
Warranty 10 years with licensed installer and registration 5 Stars
Overall Value Worth it if you spend significant time in the garage for hobbies & recreation. 5 Stars

Who It's For:

  • Garage hobbyists looking for extra heating and cooling
  • Cabin owners looking to heat or cool their remote space

Who It's Not For:

  • Those who want to condition multiple rooms
  • Larger garages/pole barns

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Best Mini Split for Cold Climates:LG Art Cool Premier

LG Art Cool Premier Mini Split

In the early days, mini splits wouldn't work well in cold climates since they operate by extracting heat from outside air. This has changed in recent years, and the LG Art Cool Premier is a prime example. It can efficiently heat all the way down to -13 degrees Fahrenheit with an HSPF2 rating of 10.8. What's more, unlike other mini splits that will turn off if the temperature dips below the minimum, the LG will continue providing heat, albeit less efficiently.


Besides awesome cold weather performance, you get creative features to keep you perfectly comfortable. Using Jet Temperature Control, the mini split will work extra hard to climatize your room and then dial back to save energy. Another feature, called "Sleep Mode," will incrementally lower the temperature at night before deactivating the mini split while you're sleeping. You can also adjust airflow to alternate speed and direction, even making it feel like you have a natural breeze in your house!


The icing on the cake is this unit's durability. Its base pan heater prevents ice buildup when operating in very low temperatures. A self-cleaning heat exchanger coil automatically removes dirt and moisture, while a Gold Fin coating prevents corrosion. Finally, a 5-year parts warranty and 7-year compressor warranty ensure you can count on years of reliable operation if professionally installed.

Specs Details Rating
Efficiency

24 SEER2; 14.4 EER2; 10.8 HSPF2

5 Stars
Features Self-cleaning coil removes dirt & moisture; Jet Temperature Control rapidly cools/heats; Sleep Mode saves energy at night; Advanced airflow direction & speed controls; Built-in base pan heater 5 Stars
WiFi WiFi Module Included 5 Stars
Heating 100% Output to 0°F ; Rated down to -13°F for heating 4 Stars
Warranty 10 years with licensed installer and registration 5 Stars
Overall Value Good, realiable system with awesome features and capabilities. 5 Stars

Who It's For:

  • Those looking for ductless heat in colder climates
  • Those who want to condition a single room or space
  • Those needing extra heat or air conditioning in a distant room

Who It's Not For:

  • Those who want to condition multiple rooms
  • Those living in climates where winter temperatures regularly dip below -13°F

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Best Mini Split for Small Spaces: Durastar DR1H09O06Durastar DR1H09O06 Mini Split

If you're tight on space or don't want an eyesore in your room, I highly recommend the Durastar one-way ceiling cassette mini split. Instead of mounting on the wall, this unit embeds into your ceiling between standard 16" joists. Not only does this give you a clean, flush look, but it also eliminates the additional installation cost of cutting joists.

The "follow me" feature uses the temperature where the remote is, not the indoor unit, to adjust the temperature around you. For cooling mode, Durastar's "Eco/Gear Mode" can reduce energy consumption in three tiers ranging from 10-50 percent.

If you want to heat up or cool down quickly, "Turbo Mode" will get the job done automatically. "Sleep Mode" saves energy at night, while auto changeover switches between heating and cooling to maintain your temperature. Overall, this ceiling cassette unit has a 22.0 SEER2 and 10.8 HSPF2 rating, so you can count on efficient performance.

A 10-year warranty will give you peace of mind and protect your investment. Unlike many ceiling cassette units, this one is designed for smaller, single zones, making it the perfect "out-of-sight" heating and cooling solution.

Specs Details Rating
Efficiency 24 SEER2; 14.7 EER2; 12.7 HSPF2 5 Stars
Features Slim design; "Follow Me" technology; Auto restart after power failure; Automatically switches between heating & cooling; Eco/Gear reduces energy consumption; Turbo Mode rapidly cools/heats; Sleep Mode saves energy at night;Includes base pan heater 5 Stars
WiFi WiFi Available with standard WiFi thermostat adapter (not included) 3 Stars
Heating 100% Output to 0°F; Rated down to -13°F for heating 4 Stars
Warranty 10-year limited warranty 5 Stars
Overall Value Afforable ductless unit that saves space while providing great comfort & features from behind the scenes. 4 Stars

Who It's For:

  • Those looking to heat or cool small rooms or spaces in their home
  • Those who want ductless heating/cooling with a low profile

Who It's Not For:

  • Those who want to condition multiple rooms
  • Rooms with ceiling fans or other hung structures that would obstruct the unit

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Best Mini Split for Bedrooms: Mitsubishi H2i PlusMitsubishi H2i Plus Mini Split

For enhanced temperature control and comfort in a drafty bedroom, the Mitsubishi H2i Plus wall-mounted mini split is your best bet. This system provides double vane control, which can generate a more comfortable, natural airflow pattern while you sleep.

There are multiple fan speed options, ranging from quiet to super-high, so whether you're cleaning your room during the heat of the day or sleeping at night, you'll find the optimum speed. At a 33.1 SEER3 rating and 12.5 HSPF2 rating, the H21 Plus is also among the most efficient units out there.

I'm especially impressed with the unit's 3D i-see sensor. It will monitor your bedroom for fluctuations in temperature and, if it detects an underserved area, will temporarily direct airflow there. Plus, thanks to heat-sensing technology, the unit will know if no one is in the room and go into energy-saving mode.

Most of us spend one-third of our time in bed, so we want to make sure we have clean air in our bedrooms. The H2i has you covered with triple-action filtration that includes nano platinum, deodorizing, and electrostatic anti-allergy enzyme filters.
As far as protection goes, the unit has anti-corrosion properties and a protective coating to extend its lifetime. It comes with a 5-year parts warranty and a 7-year compressor warranty. Overall, you won't beat the value the H2i mini split provides for bedrooms.

Specs Details Rating
Efficiency 33.1 SEER2; 10.9 HSPF2 5 Stars
Features Advanced filtration; 3D 1-see heat sensor; Multiple fan speeds; Double vane control; Base pan heater included; Anti-corrosion properties 4 Stars
WiFi WiFi Available with Kumo Cloud Adapter (not included) 4 Stars
Heating 100% Output to -5°F; Rated down to -13°F for heating 5 Stars
Warranty 10 years with licensed installer and registration 5 Stars
Overall Value Affordable system for a single bedroom with a wealth of high-tech features like heat sensing. 5 Stars

Who It's For:

  • Those who like/dislike air blowing at them
  • Those with drafty or distant bedrooms that are difficult to heat or cool

Who It's Not For:

  • Those who want to condition multiple rooms
  • People with limited wall space
  • Those with whole-house heating or cooling needs

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Best Mini Split for Whole House Retrofit:LG LV480HHVLG LV480HHV Ducted Air Handler Mini Split

Many traditionally-built homes have a ducted central air conditioning and heating system. Fortunately, the LV480HHV ducted air handler mini split offers a way to utilize this existing setup without sacrificing the efficiency and performance of ductless.


The LV480HHV replaces up to a 4-ton central forced air system and can be installed in either a vertical or horizontal position. Since you'll be using your existing ducts and grilles, there won't be a need to install any indoor mini split units in each zone, saving you space and preserving a clean aesthetic.


Of course, you'll still enjoy the benefits of a mini split system. The LV480HHV has a cooling efficiency of 17.75 SEER2 and a heating efficiency of 9.4 HSPF2. It also features LGRED° Heat technology, which enables the system to provide heat in ambient temperatures as low as -13 degrees Fahrenheit. An anti-corrosion coating on the heat exchanger improves durability. Built-in WiFi allows you to control your system remotely, just as you would many of the other systems on our list.
So, if you're straddling the line between central forced air and mini splits, this is your perfect compromise, all in one package.

Specs Details Rating
Efficiency

17.75 SEER2; 11.95 EER2; 9.4 HSPF2

4 Stars
Features Can replace up to a 4-ton central air system; Works with existing duct system; Can be installed in horizontal or vertical orientation; Gold fin coating prevents corrosion 5 Stars
WiFi WiFi Included (may require adapter on older models) 5 Stars
Heating 100% Output to 0°F; Rated down to -13°F for heating 4 Stars
Warranty 10 years on labor; 5 years on parts 5 Stars
Overall Value For those tied to existing ductwork, this is your best solution in terms of cost, efficiency, and comfort. 5 Stars

Who It's For:

  • Those with existing ductwork who want ductless-level efficiency.
  • Those replacing a central air system

Who It's Not For:

  • Those who don't want ductwork
  • Those with no existing ductwork

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Mini Split FAQs

What is a Mini Split?

A mini split, formally known as a ductless air conditioner, is a system designed to cool your home without using ductwork. Instead, it consists of an indoor air handler that connects to an outdoor compressor with a refrigerant line set. To cool your space, the air handler removes heat from inside and pumps it outside.

Unlike a forced air system, the above process works on a room-by-room basis. However, It's possible to install multiple mini splits throughout a building in "zones." These multi-zone setups enable you to adjust the temperature in each zone separately. Overall, ductless mini splits are more efficient, quiet, and high-tech than forced air systems. there are even ducted models available that directly replace a forced air system. Learn more in our mini split buyer's guide.

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Is a Mini Split a Heat Pump?

In addition to cooling, many ductless mini splits also provide heat by reversing the direction of refrigerant flow. The mini split acts like a heat pump, collecting heat from the outside air and transferring it inside your home. Modern mini splits are becoming more efficient and capable of pulling heat from extremely cold outdoor temperatures, even down to -22°F, making them great for chillier climates. Learn more about the difference between mini split heat pumps and air conditioners.

What Size Mini Split Do I Need?

What size mini split you need will depend on several factors, including your desired temperature, square footage, insulation, and building age. A professional should do the sizing for you, but you can get a general idea by using our free mini split sizing calculator.

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Are Mini Splits Loud?

Unless you are inches away, ductless mini splits are extremely quiet, especially on a low fan speed. Typically, they run at less than 32 decibels. For comparison, a typical forced air system runs at around 60 decibels.

Do Mini Splits Run All the Time?

Although you can shut a mini split off, it doesn't make sense from an efficiency standpoint. Mini splits use inverter technology that constantly adjusts output to maintain a consistent temperature and keeps your space perfectly comfortable. As a result, they should be on all the time. Turning the unit off and turning it back on later will only waste energy and raise your energy costs.

What Does SEER Mean on a Mini Split?

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) was updated in 2023 to SEER2 and rates the efficiency of ductless mini split air conditioners. It's a ratio of the total cooling output from a piece of equipment in BTU divided by the energy it consumes in watt-hours. The higher this ratio, the better.Learn more about SEER2 and other efficiency ratios and requirements.

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Do Mini Splits Dehumidify?

Many mini splits have a setting called "dehumidifying" or "dry" mode, which lowers the fan speed to more effectively remove moisture from the air. Keep in mind that this will only reduce humidity by around 30 percent and is not designed to replace a dehumidifier.Learn more about using a mini split to remove humidity.

Do Mini Splits Have Filters?

Like central heating and air conditioning systems, mini splits have filters that trap dust and dirt. These filters are typically located on the indoor unit's front panel and need to be washed or replaced monthly.

About Ken

Ken DeJong has been a versatile handyman for decades, able to adapt to every home improvement challenge thrown his way. From working on cars in his youth, to installing carpet, and even doing decorative painting, Ken is a determined jack-of-all-trades. He served as a manager at Lowes before joining the Power Equipment Direct team.

Ken has amassed a wealth of product knowledge across various categories, especially when it comes to heating and cooling equipment. He's particularly fascinated by ductless mini splits and the inverter technology that makes them exceptionally quiet and efficient.


When he's not helping customers choose the right evaporator coil or tankless water heater, Ken puts his creativity to use designing t-shirts and writing royalty-free instrumental music. To sum up, Ken is a professional who is obsessed with acquiring new skills and sharing his knowledge to help others optimize their home living.

Ken, the eComfort Product Expert
By 
Product Expert
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