We compare the top ductless mini-split heating & air conditioning systems, including the best heat pump brands, average prices including installation, coolest features, quietest ductless systems, best warranty coverage and more!
Table of contents
- How We Evaluate the Best Ductless Mini-Splits
- Important Considerations with Any Ductless Mini-Split
- Comparing Ductless Systems by Price
- Ductless Mini-Splits with the Best Warranty Coverage
- Ductless Brands with Basic Warranties
- Ductless Brands with Good Warranties
- Ductless Brands with the Best Warranties
- Best Features Available with Ductless Mini-splits
- Most Efficient Ductless Systems
- Quietest Ductless Mini-Splits on the Market
- Best Ductless Brands Overall
Have you ever used an internet search to figure out what make and model of a product to buy only to be disappointed that everyone’s just trying to sell you something? Here at Furnace Prices, we understand that pain.
Luckily, if you’re looking for a new ductless mini-split, then you’ve come to the right place. It’s our job to provide you with reliable and objective information so that you can make the right HVAC decisions for your home.
Ductless mini-splits are systems that can provide cooling, and often heating as well, for a space that doesn’t have ductwork.
They’re popular in apartments, condos, older homes, cottages, offices, and other spaces that don’t have ducts to accommodate central air conditioning and heating. They’re also cost-effective, especially if you can use a single unit for heating and cooling, and they have versatile installation options.
This guide will help you compare some of Canada’s most popular ductless brands and models.
No matter what you’re looking for in a system—such as cool features, low cost, warranty, quiet operation and more—this guide will give you all the information you need about the systems on the market so that you can get the right system for your needs.
How We Evaluate the Best Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pumps
The average person tends to look at only a few factors when comparing HVAC equipment, and those are usually brand and price. However, there are lots of other things you should consider when investing in a new ductless system.
For example, while you may be on a budget for the purchase, you could end up saving yourself more money in the long run by getting a slightly more expensive but more efficient system.
Here are some of the things we consider when evaluating the best ductless systems in Canada:
- Energy efficiency rating: the higher the SEER, the more you’ll save on energy bills, including ENERGY STAR® certification
- Warranty coverage: a good warranty could save you plenty on repairs
- Single- versus multi-zone: does a specific brand/model allow you to set different temperature zones throughout the house?
- Value versus budget: just because a mini-split is expensive doesn’t mean it’s worth the price
- Features and technologies: does the brand/model have things like Wi-Fi control, apps to monitor the system, and more?
- Material quality: quality materials generally mean better performance and longevity
- Construction quality: high-quality construction can mean better efficiency, performance, reliability, and durability
- Air handler mounting options: there are many ways you might want to mount an air handler, including on the wall, on the floor, or hidden in the ceiling
- Single-stage, two-stage, or variable-speed compressor: this factor can make a huge difference in terms of performance, efficiency, and quiet operation
Important Considerations with Any Ductless Mini-Split
No matter what make, model, and brand you end up with for your mini-split, there are some things you should know. For starters, professional installation is crucial, no matter if you get the top-of-the-line model from the most expensive brand or the value model from a standard manufacturer.
Buying the best ductless system is only part of the equation, a good installation matters for your unit’s performance and longevity.
Proper installation can mean the difference between having a reliable and efficient system and having a system that doesn’t perform well and always needs repairs. A trained HVAC technician will also be able to ascertain whether you have the right size unit for your home, and that can increase longevity, improve your comfort, and reduce energy bills.
Similarly, regular maintenance from a trained and certified HVAC professional is also vital if you want to keep your ductless system working optimally and efficiently for as long as possible.
Even the most expensive mini-split will suffer if you don’t have it inspected and tuned-up annually, especially if you don’t address repairs as soon as problems crop up.
Not sure how to find a trustworthy and certified local contractor? Use our locator to find a certified partner in your area.
Comparing Ductless Systems by Price
Budget is usually the most important factor that Canadian homeowners need to consider when investing in new HVAC equipment, so it’s important to get the most bang for your buck.
Ductless mini-splits that provide cooling only will cost you at least $2,500, and some can cost upwards of $5,000 or more. However, if you need a system that can also heat your home in the winter, expect to pay anywhere from $3,500 to $7,500 for a unit.
The final cost will depend on where you live, the brand/make/model, the output, installation location, efficiency, and more.
Just remember when you’re comparing ductless mini-splits by cost, you should also keep the other categories in mind, like efficiency, features, cooling/heating capacity, warranty, how many air handling units you need, and whether you need heating and cooling. The following price range estimates include installation costs.
|Budget||Brand||Price Range||Affordable Model/Series|
|Economy||Samsung||$3,000 to $5,700||Max|
|Economy||York||$3,000 to $6,000||Z Series|
|Economy||Napoleon||$3,500 to $5,500||Napoleon NC19|
|Medium||Daikin||$3,500 to $6,500||19 Series|
|Medium||Fujitsu||$4,000 to $7,500||RLS3Y Series|
|Medium||Trane||$4,000 to $8,000||Trane 4TYK6|
|High||Mitsubishi||$4,000 to $8,500||MUY-GL09NA|
|High||Carrier||$4,000 to $8,500||Comfort series 38MHRBC|
|High||Lennox||$4,000 to $8,000||Lennox MCA|
Ductless Mini-Splits with the Best Warranty Coverage
Ductless systems are large investments, just like with other HVAC equipment. Because of the money you’re going to put down and how long you want the unit to last, it’s important to look at the warranty coverage that comes with different makes and models.
Warranties range anywhere from standard to great, and the great ones could save you hundreds of dollars (and maybe more) in repair costs over the life of the unit.
Don’t forget to register the warranty on any newly installed ductless system, otherwise you won’t be eligible for the best warranty terms. Here’s a comparison of the different warranties for ductless systems in Canada:
Ductless Brands with Basic Warranties
- All Trane mini-split models come with a five-year warranty for the compressors and functional parts.
- All York mini-split models are covered by a five-year limited parts warranty and a seven-year compressor limited warranty.
Ductless Brands with Good Warranties
- All LG mini-splits come with a seven-year warranty for the compressor and a five-year parts warranty, with the exception of their premium systems with the DUAL Inverter Compressor, as those units have 10-year compressor warranties.
- Most Napoleon ductless systems have a six-year parts warranty and a six-year compressor warranty.
Ductless Brands with the Best Warranties
- Toshiba’s ductless warranties include 10-year parts and 10-year compressor warranties.
- Every KeepRite series mini-split is covered by a 10-year parts warranty.
Best Features Available with Ductless Mini-splits
As HVAC technology has improved over the years, so too have the features that are available with some ductless mini-splits.
Some of the more basic systems don’t come with a lot of bells and whistles, but there are plenty on the market that have features like humidity control, remote and Wi-Fi operating capabilities, hot/cold spot elimination technology, and advanced compressors.
Here’s a break-down of some of the best features on the market right now for mini-splits:
Features for Efficient Energy Use
- Daikin FTNK Series ductless systems are equipped with Daikin Intelligent Eye, a sensor that puts the unit into an energy-saving mode after a room has been empty for 20 minutes.
- Mitsubishi mini-splits equipped with Econo Cool have precisely adjusted airflow for increased efficiency.
- Some Trane mini-splits have an energy-saving sleep mode that kicks in after bedtime to lower nighttime energy use.
Features for Control and Convenience
- Fujitsu designed their FGLair app to allow homeowners to control their heating/cooling system easily from anywhere in the world using a smartphone or tablet.
- Samsung’s SmartThings app also lets you control your heating and cooling settings from anywhere using a mobile device.
- LG’s SmartThinQ not only lets you control your system with an app, but it also remembers settings to anticipate your needs.
Features for Healthy Air
- Trane units that have the Auto Clean dry mode work to reduce moisture, and this controls mold and bacteria growth in the house.
- Mitsubishi has a nano-platinum filter that kills bacteria and deodorizes the air in some units, as well as an anti-allergy enzyme filter that breaks down the proteins that cause allergies.
- Fujitsu makes a special apple-catechin filter that uses static to absorb mold, dust, and other pollutants.
- Carrier units that come with the relative humidity sensor enable you to customize humidity levels inside to reduce moisture and lower cooling costs.
Features for Durability
- Samsung’s Smart Check is a self-diagnostic system that finds and diagnoses errors while also giving you troubleshooting advice so that problems are solved quickly.
- Napoleon has a special refrigerant leak detection that can prevent damage, as well as an auto-defrost that prevents damage to the evaporator coil.
- LG’s Gold Fin is a special corrosion-resistant feature that ensures long-term reliability.
Features for Improved Comfort
- Mitsubishi’s 3D i-See Sensor is designed to determine if a room is occupied, and then to detect and eliminate hot and cold spots.
- Lennox’s inverter technology makes incremental adjustments to the motor speed to guarantee the ideal temperature, reduce temperature fluctuations, increase efficiency, and ensure quiet operation.
- KeepRite’s Follow Me technology uses a remote to monitor the temperature in the room you’re in to make sure the temperature is always perfect where you are.
Most Efficient Ductless Systems
When comparing the energy efficiency of ductless systems, one of the most important numbers is the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER). This rating tells you the cooling output of a model versus its energy use, so the higher the SEER rating, the better the efficiency, and the more money you’ll save.
Another thing you might want to look for with a new ductless system is ENERGY STAR® certification, which guarantees that a particular model outperforms others in its class for performance and energy efficiency. Here are some of the most energy-efficient mini-splits available in Canada right now:
|Brand/Model||SEER||Zones||Indoor/Outdoor||Heating/Cooling||Output (Btus)||Special Efficiency Features|
|York Z Series||30||Single||Both||Both||9,000 to 18,000||Inverter technology|
|Trane 4TXK38||38||Single||Outdoor||Both||9,000 to 24,000||Auto defrost and anti-corrosion|
|Mitsubishi FH06NA||33.1||Single||Both||Both||6,000 to 8,700||Variable-stage compressor|
|KeepRite ProComfort Deluxe DLCPRA||40||Single and multi||Outdoor||Both||9,000 to 24,000||Inverter compressor|
|Carrier Infinity 38MPRA||42||Single||Outdoor||Both||9,000 to 24,000||Inverter compressor|
Quietest Ductless Mini-Splits on the Market
When most people think about ductless mini-splits and comfort, they tend to only focus on how well the unit can heat or cool a space. But something else that’s also important for home comfort is quiet.
Air conditioners and furnaces can be noisy, and for some people, finding a mini-split that promises quiet operation is more important than anything else.
The indoor and outdoor units will have separate decibel ratings, with the noisiest part of the system being the outdoor component.
That being said, with ductless heat pumps, the indoor part of the unit (or “cassette” as it’s sometimes called) is mounted directly in the living space that you want to cool, so it may also be slightly more audible. Though modern ones tend to be fairly quiet.
This is compared to a central unit where the blower that circulates the air is part of the furnace and so it’s usually located in the basement of the home.
If you are concerned about noise, make sure to look at both decibel ratings, because the sound of the outdoor unit will matter if you spend a lot of time outside in the backyard in the summer.
For indoor air handlers, here’s a look at some of the quietest mini-splits:
- Daikin’s 9RLFW1 heat pump has a decibel rating as low as 19
- Samsung’s Smart Whisper Max Heat has a decibel rating as low as 20
- Trane’s 38 Series models have a decibel rating as low as 22
- Lennox’s MPB has a decibel rating as low as 24
- KeepRite’s DLFEHAH Performance high wall indoor unit has a decibel rating as low as 25
- Carrier’s Comfort high wall 40MHHC has a decibel rating as low as 27
Best Ductless Brands Overall
We mentioned earlier that brand isn’t everything when you’re buying a new ductless mini-split. Still, when you look at unbiased customer and industry reviews, there are some brands that stand out from the crowd because they have some of the best overall products on the market.
These brands deliver on multiple fronts, including warranties, features, cost, selection, convenience, efficiency, quiet, and comfort. Let’s look at those standout brands now.
Mitsubishi mini-splits might be some of the more expensive ones on the market, but you’re paying for quality, durability, efficiency, and convenience. They have several styles of indoor and outdoor units, including single- and multi-zone, plus ones that offer heating and cooling or just cooling.
Mitsubishi’s ductless systems are equipped with technologies to increase efficiency, eliminate hot and cold spots, provide your home with cleaner air, and allow you to control the system remotely.
If you were to ask any HVAC expert which brand has the best ductless mini-splits on the market, Mitsubishi would be at the top of most lists.
LG is trusted around the world as a leading electronics manufacturer, and their ductless systems are made to the same quality as their other products.
There are lots of great things about LG systems that make them such a great option overall for mini-splits, including the sleek design, high SEER ratings (though not as high as some of the competitors), quiet operation, corrosion-resistant treatment for longevity, and effective and efficient cooling capacity.
Their units are more affordable than some of the others on the market, and they have great features that make for easy operation of the system, including the SmartThinQ app.
Fujitsu has been heating and cooling homes for over 40 years, and they’re constantly adapting and adding new features and technologies to make their mini-splits more efficient and more convenient.
They have several single- and multi-zone indoor unit styles to accommodate any space, plenty of the units are ENERGY STAR certified, and the units promise quiet operation. You can get a Fujitsu mini-split on a mid-range budget, and the units are backed by a great warranty.
The units also have a special filter to eliminate pollutants from the air, and you can control the unit from anywhere in the world using the company’s proprietary FGLair app on your mobile device.
Getting the Most from Your Ductless Mini-split
As you can see, there are lots of categories you can use to compare ductless mini-splits. When choosing a system, start by determining your budget, the required output, how many indoor and outdoor units you need, and whether you need heating and cooling.
Once you have those basics figured out, then you can decide what’s important to you in terms of efficiency, features, warranty, and the other factors discussed today.
Just remember to have your unit installed and maintained by a licensed and trained HVAC professional to get the best performance, highest efficiency, and longest life from your ductless mini-split.