Mini-split heat pumps are a superb way to heat and cool your home. They are highly efficient, easy to install, and convenient.
They are increasing in popularity and are available from a growing number of manufacturers at various price points.
The choice can be overwhelming if you’re in the market for a mini-split. It is challenging to know which brand to choose, what size and type of unit to go for, and who you should get to install the system for you.
Some brands even make specific systems designed to be installed by the homeowner. DIY systems don’t require any specialist tools to install, but if you don’t know one end of a screwdriver from the other, you’re best hiring a professional to do the job for you.
Mini-split heat pumps are available from manufacturers from all over the world, including in the US. The “big three” brands are Daikin, Mitsubishi, and Fujitsu, which all have excellent reputations. In addition, newer brands, such as Mr. Cool, have started to produce units aimed at the DIY market.
The choices available to anyone considering a mini-split in their home is substantial. Some brands offer excellent reliability, some offer fantastic after-sales care, and others provide unique features or incredible performance. But, of course, some offer all these things.
This article looks at the top mini-split brands available today, identifies the key differences between them, and will help you choose which brand you should buy.
This article contains some affiliate links that help support our blog. Funds received from online resellers and affiliate partners are used to create more content with our writers and editors.
Top Mini-Split Brands and Manufacturers
We will be looking at the following makes to help you narrow your search for the right brand for your home, including:
You are bound to have heard of some of these brands, which are household names in HVAC technology and other sectors—for example, Mitsubishi makes everything from mini-splits to motor vehicles to petrochemicals.
Other brands are less well-known but still options worth considering.
If you want to find out more about the brands available on the mini-split market, read on. Some of the details might surprise you.
You might also be interested in our article about whether mini-splits are expensive, which discusses typical installation and running costs.
Before we get into the individual brands, let’s refresh our memories about what mini-splits are and how they can benefit your home.
What Is a Mini-Split?
A mini-split is a piece of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) equipment that is permanently installed in your home and provides heating and cooling throughout the year. It uses electricity to move heat from one place to another.
In cooling mode, it moves heat inside your home and releases it to the outside atmosphere. In heating mode, the process is reversed, so heat is absorbed from the outside air and brought inside, where it provides warmth to living areas.
There are two main parts to a mini-split system,”split” across an outdoor unit and one or more indoor units. The outdoor unit contains a compressor, which pumps refrigerant around the system, and the indoor units blow conditioned air into the house’s rooms.
The system uses refrigeration cycle principles to move heat rather than generate it directly as an electrical resistance heater does.
Moving heat in this way is far more efficient than generating it directly and uses much less energy to provide the same heating or cooling effect.
We are often asked whether you need a permit to install a mini-split. We’ve written an article to provide the answer and included requirements for five key states.
Without further ado, here’s a rundown of the best and most popular brands available today, starting with the “big three.”
Mitsubishi is a massive company with a long history, established in 1870 in Japan as a shipping firm. The company diversified into other sectors, with coal mining in its portfolio by the 1880s and aircraft manufacturing by 1921.
Mitsubishi Electric was founded in 1921 and makes a wide range of electrical equipment, including heat pumps. The company is known for its quiet units, some of which operate at noise levels as low as 19 decibels, equivalent to someone whispering.
Mitsubishi continues to innovate and has introduced the dual barrier coating in its mini-split units to minimize the buildup of dust, oil, and other airborne particles that would otherwise reduce their efficiency over time.
Another innovation from Mitsubishi is the 3D i-See Sensor, which uses infrared sensors, that can tell where any hot or cold areas are in the room and direct air towards them accordingly. It can even tell if nobody is in the room and shut off the unit to save energy. Now, that’s clever.
One of the criticisms of Mitsubishi, which you can read about on sites like Trustpilot, is the quality of aftersales care, which seems to have some issues. There are reports of difficulties getting replacement parts and premature breakdowns, and the cost of servicing seems steep.
Some of the issues being reported could be due to improper installation, and people do like to complain online, but it’s worth being aware of these potential issues.
Mitsubishi offers a five-year parts warranty and a seven-year compressor warranty, the minimum you should expect from one of the big three brands. This increases to ten years with product registration and 12 years if a Diamond Contractor installs the system.
In our opinion, one of the best places to check out product options, spec sheets, and online prices is HVAC Direct. You can check out their Mitsubishi mini-split lineup by clicking here (it might take a second to load).
Daikin is also a Japanese company with an extensive range of air conditioning and mini-split heat products. The company was established in 1963 but didn’t enter the North American AC market until 2004.
Nevertheless, it is now one of the biggest global HVAC manufacturers, giving Carrier a run for its money in terms of volume of units produced, turnover, and global market coverage.
Daikin has a solid reputation for its technology, having developed its own inverter-driven compressors in the early 2000s.
Inverter-driven compressors are much more efficient because they can operate at variable speeds instead of simply switching on and off to control the rate at which refrigerant is pumped around the mini-split system.
Daikin prides itself on the high quality of its products and the strict quality controls in its manufacturing process.
This is reflected in the warranties it offers on its units. They are some of the most extended warranty periods in the business, with up to 12 years on many components, and even lifetime warranties on certain parts, like heat exchangers.
Daikin gets some good reviews online and evidently monitors Trustpilot because it has responded to reviews left by customers (both good and bad). So if there is an issue, it seems to follow up promptly and resolve it.
John Peters’ experience seems to be representative of the service provided.
John says, “My Altherma Hybrid Heat Pump control interface failed and the installer who put it in 5 years ago was not able to assist. So, I called Daikin. Even though it is out of warranty they sent an engineer just a day later.
He fixed the issue and provided helpful advice and information. He also corrected some of the settings to make it run better. I will defiantly be having Daikin service it each year now. Of course, there was a callout charge, but it was well worth it. I could not be happier.”
If outstanding aftersales care is important to you, Daikin is worth a closer look.
HVAC Direct also carries Daikin mini splits, which you can check out by clicking here if you like.
The last of the “big three” on our list, Fujitsu, was founded in Japan in 1935 and has interests in computers, flash memory, and other electronics.
Its ductless mini-split range builds on 40 years of experience in the HVAC space, and the company prides itself on the reliability of its systems, boasting a 99.99% product performance rate.
The Fujitsu website is one of the best of all mini-split brands, reflected in its attention to detail in everything it does. For example, it has information on available rebates, an efficiency calculator, case studies, videos, and a simple way to find a local Fujitsu general contractor.
The company offers a full range of air handler options, including wall-mounted, ceiling cassettes, and floor units. There is also a choice of controllers for each air handler, from wireless remotes to wired options.
Surprisingly, Fujitsu only offers a six-year compressor warranty and two-year parts warranty on some of its current Fujitsu General Halcyon systems.
However, for systems installed after June 2015, a ten-year parts and compressor warranty is available with product registration, which is extended to 12 years if an Elite Contractor does the installation.
We searched the internet far and wide, but HVAC Direct once again has the best selection and easiest navigation to purchase Fujitsu mini splits online, if you want to buy the material directly or attempt a DIY. Click here to check out these mini splits.
Gree is a Chinese manufacturer and a relative newcomer to the HVAC market compared to the big three brands mentioned above.
The company was established in 1989 but has quickly grown to become one of the largest manufacturers of air conditioners in the world, with its mini-split range growing in popularity every year.
Some people have voiced concerns about going with a Chinese manufacturer because they have heard that units from China are not as reliable as those bought elsewhere. While this can be a concern for unbranded or unheard-of brands, this is definitely not the case with Gree.
Gree is the most reviewed mini-split manufacturer on the Home Depot website and scores on average just over 3 out of 5 stars in those reviews, placing it solidly in the middle of the field regarding customer satisfaction.
Gree is not to be outdone in terms of efficiency or performance either, offering units with SEER ratings of 38 and HSPF of 15, capable of providing reliable heat down to external temperatures of -22°F. That puts them in the same league as any of the top manufacturers.
Gree mini-splits are backed by a standard five-year parts warranty and seven years for the compressor. If you use a select dealer, this rises to 10 years. Not bad at all.
The best place online that we could find where Gree is sold is Home Depot. You can click here to browse their current Gree lineup and pricing if you like.
LG is well-positioned as a solid mid-range brand in the mini-split market.
The Korean firm was founded in 1947 under the name Lak Hui Chemical Industrial Corp. The electronics arm (which does mini-split) began trading as Goldstar in 1958, later changing its name to LG Electronics Inc.
LG has made some exciting innovations. For example, in India, it started selling units that repelled mosquitos using ultrasonic waves that humans can’t hear, but mosquitos cannot stand.
LG’s inverter technology provides an efficient way to apply consistent zoned heating and cooling in your home. It offers peace and quiet, too, with the inverter quietly ramping up or down as required without the compressor’s sudden interruption.
Pairing your system with the LG ThinQ app couldn’t be simpler and allows you to control your LG mini-split easily from anywhere via your smartphone.
The warranties available on LG units are good, too. It’s possible to get up to a 12-year warranty if your system is from an LG Pro Dealer.
eComfort.com (not an affiliate link) has an easy-to-use and fast website to browse LG mini splits. They are one of my own go-tos for product research on mini splits in terms of how they break up product info and lay out the different options, like zones and sizing.
Carrier is the first brand on our list to be made in the US, so if that’s important to you, it’s a name that should stick in your mind.
The Carrier Global Corporation was established in 1915 in Syracuse, New York. Today it is based in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and has grown to a company that employs 53,000 people in 160 countries.
Carrier offers mini-splits in three categories—standard, enhanced, and premium.
The premium units are called “Infinity” and are highly efficient, providing cooling at up to 42 SEER and heating with an HSPF rating up to 15. You won’t find much better than that anywhere, never mind right here in the US.
All units operate at a relatively-quiet 27 decibels, and the “Infinity” and mid-range “Performance” series both offer a “Follow Me” feature that senses the temperature at the remote control.
Carrier’s warranty period is seven years on all parts and is not transferrable to subsequent owners. You’ll get a ten-year warranty if you are the original owner and register your product within 90 days.
Carrier really doesn’t sell online much (they prefer local dealers and HVAC companies), but their sister brand AirQuest (made by Carrier) is pretty much the same thing at a lower price. HVACDirect.com sells the AirQuest brand and you can check out their full lineup here.
The German company Robert Bosch GmbH is more commonly known by the shortened moniker “Bosch” and is a well-known company worldwide.
It was founded in 1886; first manufacturing spark plugs for automobiles. Then, in the 1920s and 30s, it began making windshield wipers and diesel injection pumps. Now, of course, it makes all manner of consumer goods, including mini-splits.
German engineering is world-renowned for its quality, precision, and reliability. Bosch benefits from an excellent reputation as a brand, and its mini-split are among the most expensive on the market.
As my grandfather always used to say, “You get what you pay for.” In Bosch’s case, this is undoubtedly true. Although it is on the more expensive end of the mini-split market, it gets some of the best reviews from customers online.
Its Ultra-Quiet 12K BTU system gets 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and Bosch has the third-highest review rating on Home Depot’s site across all its units.
Bosch provides a seven-year warranty on its compressors and five-year warranties on all other parts. That’s good but not amazing, especially compared to Daikin and Fujitsu, who both offer up to 12 years.
Shout out to Lowes for this one, as they are one of the most reliable and best-known distributors online for Bosch Mini Splits. You can check out all the latest versions that they carry by clicking here.
Pioneer is based in Florida and was founded in 1995. It is one of the US’s largest suppliers of ductless mini-splits and multi-split systems and ships systems to countries worldwide.
It operates a direct-to-consumer model, selling units made in its factory via its website. As a result, it offers good value on its models, which are at the cheaper end of the price spectrum.
Many of these units come with Energy Star ratings, indicating good efficiency, but you won’t find exceptionally high SEER or HSPF models in its range.
One drawback of many of these heat pump models is that their heating performance falls off at lower temperatures. If you live in the frozen north, you might want to think twice before using a Pioneer.
The biggest downside of Pioneer mini-splits is, however, the warranty. These units only come with a basic one-year warranty, the shortest warranty period we’ve come across. If properly registered, the warranty period increases to five years, but even that is far from impressive.
Many places sell the Pioneer brand of mini splits, but Amazon actually has a great selection with tons of reviews on it, and we all know the other benefits that come with ordering from them. To see these reviews and latest prices, you can click here to visit Amazon.
You’d be forgiven for assuming Mr. Cool only makes air conditioning units. After all, if it did mini-splits, surely, the company would be called Mr. Hot & Cool, right?
Pedantic quibbles aside, Mr. Cool is worthy of note because it is the only brand on this list that manufactures a DIY-friendly mini-split. And apparently, it works on Mars!
The Mr. Cool website is very informative, and the YouTube channel is quite entertaining, but how do its mini-splits perform?
According to the user reviews on Home Depot’s website, they perform well. Mr. Cool has a user review rating of over 3 out of 5 stars, which is good.
The Mr. Cool warranty is for five years on all parts and seven years on the compressor, with just one year for the remote-control unit. The parts warranty is to the original registered owner only and cannot be transferred to subsequent owners.
The DIY mini-split has complete instructions and does not require special tools to perform the installation.
The 4th Generation E Star DIY model includes all the features you might expect. It has an Energy Star rating for certified efficiency, a “follow-me” function that measures the temperature at the remote, and louver position memory.
All in all, Mr. Cool is a good choice, and almost your only DIY option (with Klimaire being the only other brand offering a DIY-friendly unit).
Mr. Cool fully embraces the eCommerce model, with many great online retailers selling their line of mini splits. You can click the links below to visit each one to compare prices:
Final Thoughts on Mini-Split Brands
Most mini-split brands have a long history of manufacturing in the HVAC sector, although some newer players have entered the marketplace more recently.
The most well-known brands are the “big three,” namely Mitsubishi, Daikin, and Fujitsu, which are all Japanese.
Although it was only founded in 1989, the Chinese company Gree has quickly grown into a vast multinational that now rivals the big three. It even boasts the slogan, “One in three is made by Gree.”
The warranties available for mini-splits are at least five years for parts and typically seven years for the compressor, which can increase with the online product registration and rise again for some brands if you have them installed by one of their approved installers.
Pioneer has the shortest warranty period at just one year, rising to five years with registration.
If you need a high-performing unit, you’re more likely to find your needs met by one of the more established brands, but it’s worth shopping around because Gree has shown that a relatively young company can still produce quality units.
Finally, don’t be tempted to install a mini-split yourself unless you buy a DIY-specific model, such as the Mr. Cool. DIY units are designed to be installed without special tools, and don’t assume technical knowledge in their installation instructions.
Whichever brand you decide upon, make sure you get good advice on sizing your system to ensure it delivers the heating and cooling your home needs.