Eliminate the hot and sticky feeling for good using a ductless air conditioner. The best ductless air conditioner will help you beat the heat in the summertime and the cold during winter without going through the expensive ductwork retrofit.
In its most basic form, a ductless AC unit includes a condenser that sits outside the building and an indoor air handler that is often wall mounted. The best ductless air conditioner pumps out up to 34,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs), which is enough to cool more than 14,000 square feet of space. Some units also provide heating options, which makes them super useful during winter.
Below are some of the best ductless air conditioners based on their power, noise levels, energy efficiency, and features, among other functions.
Best Ductless Air Conditioner
Cooper & Hunter 36,000 BTU Ductless Air Conditioner
Top Pick: The Cooper & Hunter ductless air conditioner comes in several sizes, ranging from 9,000 BTUs all the way to 36,000 BTUs. This unit can be used for both cooling and heating, thanks to its ambient temperatures that range between 5 and 122 degrees Fahrenheit. This AC uses the Whisper technology for a quiet operation which makes it a perfect addition to commercial spaces, bedrooms, and living rooms. Also included is an installation kit that contains a pre-flared and insulated copper line set, drainage extension, communication wires, and small accessories.
MAXWELL DAIKIN 12,000 BTU Wall Mounted Ductless
Runner Up: The Daikin ductless AC unit is designed to blend in discreetly with any home or office design. Besides its discreetness, this unit is highly energy efficient with 17 SEER and features Turbo mode that cools or warms up the room super-fast. The 12,000 BTU is adequate for rooms measuring 550 square feet. You can however get the unit in a variety of sizes ranging from 9,000 BTUs to 24,000 BTUs.
DELLA 12,000 BTU Ductless Air Conditioner
Best Value: Efficiently cool or heat up your space using the DELLA mini split air conditioner. Using the DELLA+ app, you can control this smart AC from anywhere. The unit also automatically cleans its interior, reducing the maintenance needs while maintaining air purity. The built-in IFeel sensor in the remote will automatically adjust the temperature based on where you take the remote. The package includes all of the necessities for an easy installation experience.
Pioneer Diamante Series Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner
Experience total comfort and energy-efficient performance using the Pioneer Diamante ductless split air conditioner. This versatile mini split system offers superior single zone comfort with four operating modes: dehumidification, ventilation, cooling, and heating. With noise measurements as low as 32 decibels, this AC is a perfect addition to many spaces including offices, bedrooms, and living rooms. Additional in-built modes include turbo, freeze protection, eco, timer, follow-me, and sleep.
hOmeLabs 24,000 Ductless Air Conditioner
This hOmelabs ductless AC has a modern look that easily matches a variety of interiors and won’t clash with your decor and furniture. It also comes with multiple modes, so you can choose between auto, cool, dry, heat, and fan modes for maximum comfort. Additional special functions include a freezing protection feature and low noise operation level, which goes as low as 33.5 decibels. This ductless AC unit comes with a washable and easy-to-clean air filter.
Senville LETO Series 18,000 BTU Mini Split Air Conditioner
The Senville AC unit allows you to start saving with smart heating and cooling. Control the air conditioner from anywhere using Alexa or the app. The AC also allows you to automate routines for energy savings. The Senville Intelligent Eye is also designed to monitor movement for better efficiency. This unit comes with 5 years warranty on parts and compressor.
COSTWAY 18,000 BTU Mini Split Air Conditioner
Enjoy efficient cooling and heating using this mini split AC that comes with 18,000 BTU and five working modes to choose from, including cool, auto, dry, fan, and heat modes. This unit also boasts a relatively quiet operation, about 42 decibels. It also comes with a washable filter and a self-cleaning function. The outdoor unit features an auto-defrost function that protects the unit from damage while improving energy efficiency.
How Do Ductless Air Conditioners Work?
Most ductless AC units are heat pumps that can heat and cool a room. Like the larger traditional AC units, a ductless air conditioner comes with two main parts – an indoor air-handling unit and an outdoor compressor or condenser. The suction tube, refrigerant tubing, power cable, and condensation drain are all housed in a conduit that snakes through a hole in the wall linking the indoor and outdoor units.
What to Look for When Buying a Ductless Air Conditioner
A ductless air conditioner can be a quick and easy way to heat or cool a room. These conditioners are also known as mini-splits because they are significantly smaller than the central AC conditioning system, which is also referred to as the split system. These mounted units do not require a large footprint on the window or floors like the window or portable units. However, to find the best ductless air conditioner you need to consider a few factors, including:
- BTU: This simply stands for British Thermal Unit, which is the amount of power you need to heat your space. Here is a quick cheat sheet to use when searching for the right capacity.
- 9,000 BTU for spaces smaller spaces – up to 450 square feet
- 12,000 BTU for spaces between 400 and 650 square feet
- 18,000 BTU for spaces between 600 and 1,000 square feet
- 24,000 BTU for spaces between 800 and 1,300 square feet
- 30,000 BTU for larger spaces between 1,500 and 2,000 square feet
- 36,000 BTU for spaces larger than 2,000 square feet
- Space Size and Zones: Ductless AC units are available in both single-zone and multi-zone units. As the name implies, the multi-zones are able to cool or heat multiple rooms at the same time. Like the single-zine units, they come with an outside compressor and up to four indoor air handles that can be placed in different rooms at the same time. One of the biggest advantages of the multi-zone units is the ability to climate control the spaces as you need. If you need warmer air in the living room and cooler air in the bedroom you can simply adjust the climates as needed.
- Noise Level: Like central ACs, the ductless air conditioners use a condenser that is fairly loud, but that’s usually not an issue since they sit on the outside. Most ductless AC units use a smaller fan which allows them to operate at quiet noise levels, sometimes as low as 35 decibels.
- Energy-Efficiency: The two main energy efficiency metrics that you need to know are the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) and the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The U.S. Department of Energy requires a SEER of 15 or more. Energy Star certified systems will have a SEER of between 20 and 25. HSPF of 8 to 10 is also ideal.
- Additional Features: Most ductless air conditioners have a 24-hour timer that you can use to turn the unit on or off or set the temperatures according to your routine. Turbo mode comes in handy when seeking to heat or cool a space rapidly while sleep mode slowly increases the temperature through the night for optimal comfort. The “follow me” mode also allows the AC to detect the room temperature based on where the remote control is placed. Most of these smart features will make your life easier.
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