High efficiency ductless air conditioners, or mini-split air conditioners, are an ideal replacement for your old and inefficient cooling system. Perfect to cool small spaces like attics, basements, or garages, as well as condos, these air conditioners have a smaller footprint and boast superior energy efficiency to help you save on your utility bills. Ductless air conditioners are also available in a multi-zone system, where a single powerful outdoor unit can cool two to six rooms with individual climate control.

Continue reading this guide to explore the benefits of high-efficiency mini-split air conditioners and costs, learn about the efficiency parameters you need to consider, and the top brands offering high efficiency ductless units.

How is ductless air conditioner efficiency measured?

Before you plan to invest in a high efficiency ductless air conditioner, it is important to know about the important metrics that define the performance and efficiency of the unit. EER and SEER numbers are most commonly used to measure an air conditioner’s efficiency. You’ll often find these numbers on the unit, printed on a yellow federal Energy Guide label. Find out what these numbers mean.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

EER was the first standard metric established by the Energy Department to measure the efficiency of an air conditioner. It measures how efficiently the unit cools the indoor space when the outdoor air temperature is at 95 degrees F. In technical terms, EER is the ratio of total heat removed (in British Thermal Units or BTUs) to the total electricity input (in watts). Note that this metric measures the air conditioner efficiency at a constant outdoor temperature, which means it considers the unit operating at full load.

An air conditioner with higher EER will provide better efficiency. For regions with a moderate climate, it is better to choose an air conditioner with an EER of at least 9.0. For hotter climates, the unit with EER above 10.0 will offer better energy efficiency and comfort.

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)

SEER is an improved version of EER. It is the ratio of total cooling output (in BTUs) during a typical cooling season to the total energy input (in watt-hours). Instead of measuring the cooling efficiency of an air conditioner at steady-state outside air temperatures, SEER considers varying outdoor temperatures ranging from 65 degrees F to 104 degrees F.

As it is evident from the definition, SEER takes into account the fluctuations in the cooling pattern, measuring the unit’s efficiency more accurately. High efficiency ductless air conditioners boast SEER ratings of up to 38.0, ensuring exceptional savings on your monthly utility bills.

High efficiency ductless air conditioner brands

Here’s a list of some of the top brands that offer high efficiency mini-split air conditioners.

Daikin

19 Series Wall Mount

  • SEER up to 19.0
  • ENERGY STAR certified
  • Swing compressor with inverter technology for better efficiency and optimum comfort
  • Comes with economy mode to help you save more energy

NV Series Wall Mount

  • SEER up to 17.5
  • Variable speed compressor provides precise temperature control and saves energy
  • Energy-saving features such as economy mode, low ambient cooling and night set mode

Fujitsu

Halcyon RLS3Y

  • SEER up to 33.0 | HSPF up to 14.2
  • ENERGY STAR qualified
  • Heat pump advantage
  • Inverter-driven rotary compressor provides better comfort and consumes less energy

Halcyon RLF/RLX Series

  • SEER up to 23.0 | HSPF up to 11.7
  • ENERGY STAR qualified
  • Rotary compressor with inverter technology helps save energy and deliver optimum temperature control

Gree

Sapphire

  • SEER up to 38.0 | HSPF up to 15.0
  • ENERGY STAR certified
  • Heat pump advantage
  • Variable-speed two-stage compressor provides optimum comfort while saving energy

VIREO+

  • SEER up to 23.0 | HSPF up to 10.5
  • ENERGY STAR certified
  • Inverter-driven rotary compressor for efficient performance and energy savings
  • Additional energy-saving features such as Sleep mode and I Feel mode

Haier

Advanced Plus Series

  • SEER up to 23.5 | HSPF up to 11.0
  • Heat pump advantage
  • Inverter-driven rotary compressor saves energy and provides optimum climate control

Arctic Series

  • SEER up to 28.0 | HSPF up to 13.0
  • Heat pump advantage
  • Inverter-driven rotary compressor offers precise comfort and saves energy
  • Sleep mode feature to save energy during the night while keeping the climate comfortable

MRCOOL

Olympus E Star

  • SEER up to 23.0 | HSPF up to 10.5
  • ENERGY STAR certified
  • Heat pump advantage
  • Uses variable-speed inverter compressor technology that saves energy and offers precise comfort

Olympus Hyper Heat

  • SEER up to 25.0 | HSPF up to 11.2
  • ENERGY STAR certified
  • Heat pump advantage
  • Variable-speed compressor with inverter technology to deliver optimum temperature and humidity control and save more energy

Benefits of a high efficiency ductless air conditioner

Find out why investing in a high efficiency ductless air conditioner is a good idea compared to ducted or central air conditioning systems.

  • A high efficiency mini-split system will help you save more on your energy bills compared to your old, outdated HVAC system.
  • Unlike ducted systems that require a larger installation space, ductless systems have a smaller footprint and require limited installation effort.
  • Ductless air conditioners are also quiet since the compressor remains a part of the outdoor unit, providing you a comfortable and peaceful environment indoors.
  • With a multi-zone system, you can even manage the temperature of each room individually so that everyone can enjoy a climate that suits their preferences.
  • Most ductless air conditioners also work as heat pumps, which means you can use the unit to heat your home during winter.

High efficiency ductless air conditioner costs

The cost of a high efficiency ductless air conditioner will vary according to the outdoor unit size and the indoor model you choose. In addition, you should also factor in the cost of installation. Below is a breakdown of all the costs associated with a ductless cooling system.

If you consider the average of the above figures, a high efficiency ductless air conditioner will pay for itself within 3-5 years of installation.

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