Buyers Guide & Information

Best Mini Split Heat Pump for Cold Weather

We have reviewed the best mini-split heat pumps for cold weather. Compare the top brands in home heating for colder climates.

Best Ceiling Cassette

Pioneer Ceiling Cassette Split CYB012GMFILCAD
Pioneer CYB012GMFILCAD

Our Top Choice

Pioneer WYS012-19
Pioneer WYS012-19
 

Best Floor-Mounted

Senville SENA-18HF
Senville SENA-18HF
 

If you’re looking for a cost-effective and efficient heating system, you must go for mini-split heat pumps. These units provide several advantages over their counterparts, such as less heating costs, adjustable temperatures, and simple installation.

However, there’re various options available in the market that can get you overwhelmed.  Read on our comprehensive guide to the best mini-split heat pump for cold weather to help you pick the right one.

Is A Mini Split Heat Pump Sufficient In Winter?

A mini-split heat pump offers an exceptional heating capacity to warm large bedrooms, offices, or even a small house.

What’s more – they allow you to create different temperature zones across the house so you can regulate your home temperature according to your needs. Their compact size makes them space-friendly, and their heating efficiency ensures high comfort levels.

However, their performance may suffer when the temperature drops very low.

Choosing Quality Mini Split Heat Pumps For Cold Weather

Heat Pump Type

There are three main types of heat pumps. These include geothermal, air-to-air, and water source heat pumps.

As the name indicates, they gather heat from ground, air, or water outside your house and transfer it to your indoors. The most widely used heat pump type is air-to-air that transfers heat from the outdoor to the indoor and vice versa.

Heating Capacity and Area

The bigger the room size, the higher the BTU heating capacity your mini-split heat pump will require.

Generally, a mini-split heat pump with a 9000BTU heating capacity, which is also the most widely used indoor mini-split heat pump ‘BTU class’ – can heat or cool a room of about 450 sq. ft. Similarly, an 18000 BTU class heat pump can heat and cool a 1200 sq. ft. room.

However, a mini-split heat pump’s actual heating and cooling capacity may differ from the mentioned BTU class, as each unit is different.

Energy Efficiency Rating (EER)

Another element that needs consideration is the EER or Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is the standardized measurement of a unit’s overall energy efficiency level. In simple terms, the high the Energy Efficiency Ratio, the better the unit is at saving energy and performance.

Normally, mini-split heat pumps with 12 EER, 13-21 SEER (seasonal EER), and 8-10 HSPF ratings are regarded as the best energy-efficient heat pump.

Noise Levels (dBA)

Always consider the noise level of a unit before you purchase since it dramatically influences your user experience when working the machine.

These mini-split heat pumps are among the quietest AC units you’ll find due to their smaller size. Normally, super-quiet heat pumps range from 40 to 50 decibels, which is less than the noise of light rainfall or a working dishwasher.

Installation Requirements

There are several things involved in the installation requirements of a heat pump that you need to take care of. For instance, an indoor AC unit’s location, since some indoor units are wall-mounted using brackets, while the rest are ceiling-mounted. You’ve to make sure that the refrigerant lines reach the indoor units before installation begins.

Another thing you should take into account for your mini-split heat pump is its voltage. Generally, the smaller-powered heat pumps use a 110-120v plug, which is compatible with most homes. However, the larger heat pumps use a higher voltage, such as 220 and 240v plug.

Overall, some heat pumps offer an easy DIY installation. Still, you need an HVAC expert to do the installation for you since it involves technical expertise that can affect the unit’s efficiency if done improperly.

Convenience Features
  • Washable air filter & filter alert: they are designed to catch unwanted dust and allergens and are reusable. Plus, they alert you when the filter requires replacing.
  • Programmable timer & thermostat: You can set your heat pump to turn off or on 24 hours in advance. And with a thermostat, you can change the temperature according to your needs.
  • Electronic touchpad: it allows you to see various settings of the heat pump
  • Air direction control: it allows you to control the airflow of the unit through the remote control
  • Remote controller: it allows you to control your AC unit remotely anywhere from the house.
  • Wi-Fi compatibility: it allows you to control the ACs operation through the smartphone with an internet connection.
  • Warranty: all the mini-split heat pumps in this review come with a warranty period of 3 to 7 years.
Price

The market is full of heat pumps that can provide the desired heating or cooling your house or room requires. However, it would help if you kept in mind that these units’ prices vary according to sizes, features, and cooling/heating power. In short, the higher the power, the more costly it will be.

Despite that, you can still find the best mini-split for heating in cold climates for your room or house easily between the $1300 to $8000 range.

6 Best Mini Split Heat Pumps For Cold Weather Reviewed

1. Pioneer WYS012-19

Our Top Pick for Cold Weather
BTU (heat/cool)11800/12000
SEER (heat/cool)9.0/17.5
Room Size (Heating Area)500 sq. ft.
Room Size (Cooling Area)500 sq. ft.
Voltage208/230v
Ambient Heat Range5 – 86 F.

Are you searching for an effective air conditioner that can heat your home during winters? Look no further than the Pioneer WYS012-19.

The Pioneer WYS012-19 tops our best mini-split heat pump for cold weather review rankings due to its high-quality features. The unit comes with the 17.5 SEER rating, which means it’s highly energy-efficient and can save you a great deal of money –  throughout the year.

You can use this mini-split as your ideal air conditioner for heating in winters, cooling in summers, and as a dehumidifier for maintaining optimal humidity levels.

On top of that, what we particularly like about Pioneer WYS012-19 mini-split heat pump is that despite having numerous impressive features and power efficiency, it operates super quietly. This makes it an excellent fit for anyone who has trouble sleeping with irritating background noise.

What’s more – although the unit is extremely energy efficient, it still provides your home with a strong 12000BTU cooling power and 11800BTU heating power to cool or heat a 500 sq. ft. medium-to-large-sized room.

Moreover, this Pioneer mini-split offers several convenient features to suit your specific needs and reduce installation costs. For instance, it comes with an easy to use remote controller and washable air filters. And you’ve got a 3-year compressor warranty to make sure your purchase is without the risk. This is the main reason why we have labeled this mini split the best wall-mounted mini-split heat pump system in our reviews.

Pros

  • 3-in-1 including heating, cooling, and dehumidifying
  • 3-year compressor warranty
  • Easy to use and operate
  • Highly energy efficient
  • Durable

Cons

  • Requires Professional installation

2. Pioneer CYB012GMFILCAD

 Best Ceiling Cassette Heat Pump for Cold Weather
BTU (heat/cool)18000/18000
SEER (heat/cool)10.3/20
Room Size (Heating Area)350-450 sq. ft.
Room Size (Cooling Area)350-450 sq. ft.
Voltage208/230v
Ambient Heat Range-13 F. & above

If you’re looking for a space-saving air conditioner that makes no compromise on heating and cooling efficiency, look no further than Pioneer CYB012GMFILCAD.

The unit can be easily installed into your house ceiling, saving the wall spaces, and comes complete with all essential installation parts so that you won’t have to buy any additional equipment.

It is sufficient to heat a 350-450 sq. ft. of space easily. This is why we have termed this ductless mini-split as the best ceiling cassette mini-split heat pump for cold weather.

With a highly impressive 10.3 and 20 SEER rating for heating and cooling, this product not only offers incredible comfort but is extremely energy efficient as well, saving you money on the utility bills.

Moreover, you can set your desired heating or cooling temperature in the room using its wireless remote system. Its 18000BTU heating efficiency can be very handy in winters to keep the indoor atmosphere warm.

It is laden with impressive features such as a fan-only operation, auto-swing louvers, auto-restart, extremely low noise level, and a programmable timer.

Pros

  • All-in-one including heating, cooling, ventilation, dehumidifying
  • Extremely energy efficient
  • Impressive ceiling design
  • Auto-restart
  • Remote control system

Cons

  • Difficult to install

3. Senville SENA-18HF /IF Floor Mounted

 Best Floor-Mounted Mini-Split for Cold Weather
BTU (heat/cool)18000/18000
SEER (heat/cool)18/20
Room Size (Heating Area)750 – 1000 sq. ft.
Room Size (Cooling Area)750 – 1000 sq. ft.
Voltage208/230v
Ambient Heat Range-22 F. & above

The Senville SENA-18HF AC is the best floor mounted mini-split heat pump for cold weather because of its enhanced 18000 BTU heating and cooling power and impressive features that improve user experience.

The unit comes with a remarkable 20 SEER rating, which is far greater than what other mini-split systems in the market have to offer. Due to its high energy-efficiency, you can enjoy a cool atmosphere in summers and a warm atmosphere during winters.

Moreover, the unit is extremely quiet during operation. This means you can enjoy the comfort of your life with controlled room temperature and minimal noise.

We particularly liked this Senville mini-split model because its Energy Star certified AC unit could save up to 40% of the total energy costs per year.

Additionally, it comes with embedded leak detection, self-cleaning, and diagnostic system that ensures your unit runs smoothly and properly without any problem.

However, if a problem occurs within your floor-mounted mini split, it is programmed to inform you in advance – saving you from any costly repairs.

Lastly, its ultra-inverter technology makes it an ideal floor-mounted AC unit that offers proper heating and cooling up to -22F with almost 75% efficiency; so you can enjoy your desired room temperatures without paying any extra money.

Pros

  • 3-in-one including heating, cooling, and dehumidifying
  • Energy Star approved
  • Super quiet
  • Ultra-inverter technology
  • Self-cleaning mode

Cons

  • A bit expensive compared to other models with similar features

4. Daikin

 Popular Model
BTU (heat/cool)24000/24000
SEER (heat/cool)9/17
Room Size (Heating Area)1500 sq. ft.
Room Size (Cooling Area)1500 sq. ft.
Voltage230v
Ambient Heat Range5 – 65°F.

If you’re seeking a mini-split heat pump that provides constant indoor comfort in both winters and summers, pick Daikin wall-mounted mini-split.

This 24000BTU mini-split is one of Daikin’s most popular models among homeowners due to its increased energy efficiency, control, extended peacefulness, and wide coverage area.

It comes with a unique inverter technology that helps you achieve your preferred room temperature – whether warm or hot – effortlessly and minimizes temperature changes.

What we found impressive about this Daikin mini-split heat pump model is that it provides an impressively warm indoor environment even in harsh cold weathers – thanks to its 24000BTU heating power.

It backs that up with an energy-efficient design, which allows it to minimize cost even when operating at full capacity.

Moreover, it’s highly quiet while operating. Thanks to state-of-the-art inverter tech, it can operate at 37 dB, which means you can have a calm and poised indoor environment with negligible sound.

This Daikin mini-split unit includes many other features such as wide-angle louvers, auto-swing, easy-to-operate remote controller, and others that help you set up your desired cooling and heating across the room.

Lastly, it has an embedded blue fin condenser that ensures the unit’s condensate water travels easily into the pan, thus improving its cooling coil’s lifespan and cleanliness. Read more about the full Daikin mini split AC range here.

Pros

  • Turbo mode
  • Energy efficient
  • Remote control system
  • Ultra-inverter technology
  • 10-years warranty

Cons

  • High installation cost

5. MRCOOL

 Best Smart Mini-Split Heat Pump for Cold Climates
BTU (heat/cool)12000/12000
SEER (heat/cool)12/22
Room Size (Heating Area)500 sq. ft.
Room Size (Cooling Area)500 sq. ft.
Voltage115v
Ambient Heat Range5°F & above

If you’re looking for a highly efficient and powerful heating unit that can be installed easily without professional technicians, you should choose MRCOOL DIY ductless heat pump system.

The unit comes with a highly convenient DIY installation. It has a pre-charged R410A connecting line that doesn’t need other special equipment, tools, or even training.

In addition to that, MRCOOL DIY offers about 12000 BTUs of heating and cooling power and is specifically designed to cater to 500 sq ft rooms. It is also available in larger BTU sizes such as the 24k model here.

What we loved about this ductless mini-split is that it comes with a built-in SmartHVAC Wi-Fi app, which is compatible with Google Home and Alexa. This means you can easily control your unit from anywhere through your smartphone and a viable internet connection.

This is why this mini-split has ranked as the best smart mini-split heat pump for cold climates in our top 6 heat pump reviews for cold weather.

Moreover, it has a variable frequency drive inverter compressor that proves handy when you have to slash the unit’s operating costs.

It also comes with a built-in leakage protection mechanism, which instantly alerts you when the unit has low-refrigerant. This allows for a seamless heating operation without damaging the compressor.

Pros

  • Provides leakage protection
  • Energy Star approved
  • Simple DIY installation
  • SmartHVAC Wi-Fi app
  • Inverter Compressor technology

Cons

  • Quick disconnect fittings aren’t tight on the outdoor unit
  • A bit expensive

6. DuctlessAire

 Energy-Efficient Model
BTU (heat/cool)12000/12000
SEER (heat/cool)10/22
Room Size (Heating Area)500 sq. ft.
Room Size (Cooling Area)500 sq. ft.
Voltage220v
Ambient Heat RangeUp to 86°F

Do you want an energy-efficient model for your home with an enhanced heating system? The DuctlessAire mini-split heat pump is the perfect fit to satisfy all your needs.

With an incredible 21.5 SEER rating, this high energy-efficient model provides you with the desired room condition with extremely low energy consumption. Since the unit slashes your high utility bills significantly and puts less strain on the environment, it makes for an ideal eco-friendly and economical purchase.

Additionally, the unit comes with a powerful 12000 BTU cooling and heating power with coverage of about 500 sq ft. It can easily heat and cool medium-to-large-sized bedrooms, central office, and others.

Moreover, thanks to DuctlessAire’s whisper-quiet feature, you won’t hear much noise and can work and sleep peacefully.

It also has an embedded air-purifying capacity. Even though the unit doesn’t work as a true whole-house air purifier, it can effortlessly remove harmful air particles from the indoor air thanks to its HEPA filters.

Besides that, this energy-efficient mini-split air conditioner offers several other useful features such as a leak detection system, self-diagnosis, auto-protection, washable air filters, auto-cleaning, etc. that makes the unit easy-to-manage and enhances its total lifespan.

Pros

  • Energy Star certified
  • Super quiet during operation
  • Leak detection
  • Auto-Restart
  • Comes with HEPA filter

Cons

  • Inaccurate thermostat

The Basics Of Heat Pump Operation

The heat pump systems involve two core parts, i.e., an outdoor compressor and an air handler. Normally, indoor units are wall-mounted and provide conditioned air to the room. They’re connected directly with an outdoor condenser via the refrigerant line.

Additionally, the unit’s duct opening includes power, communication, and copper tubing cables coupled with the condensate line. Outdoor compressors of these heat pumps take the air in from outside, and after getting it through many comprehensive procedures, it lets the warm or cool air out via the air handler.

Types Of Mini Split Heat Pumps

Here are a few kinds of mini-split heat pumps for cold climates:

Wall Vs. Floor Vs. Ceiling Mounted

Wall-mounted AC units can either be installed high or low on the wall. They’re easier to install and provide effective heating. The floor-mounted AC units can be placed anywhere on the ground, and you can feel the heating instantly – unlike wall-mounted units.

Besides that, ceiling-mounted AC units are less noticeable, unlike wall-mounted or floor mounted units. Ceiling-mounted units are also among the most effective heat pump units for cold weather because they provide increased heating with minimal power consumption.

Ducted Vs. Ductless

Ducted ACs offer effective cooling or heating through the ducts systems, spread all around the house or office. If your home or office have duct openings installed, you should go for ducted AC units as they can be easily installed. However,  if you don’t have the duct network in place, going for ducted units can cost you a fair share.

On the other hand, ductless AC units are standalone systems that provide conditioned air through the air handler installed inside the room. The initial installation cost for ductless units is much higher than ducted units, but they’re more powerful AC units with high energy efficiency.

Sizing Your Mini Split Heat Pump Unit

The size of your mini-split heat pump unit matters significantly as it can affect your utility bills, among other things. Getting the wrong size heat pump can do more damage than good.

If you opt for a mini-split heat pump that is extremely large for your space or structure, it will cost you more and have a shorter lifespan due to its on/off repeat the cycle.

On the other hand, if you go for a smaller unit, it will offer inadequate heating, and you will feel cold.

To help you choose the right fit, consider this:

  • Always calculate the room size where you intend to install it. For this, calculate the room’s square footage; you can do it by multiplying the room’s length and width
  • After that, multiply the square footage by 25, and you’ll have your required BTUs you need for the room.

However, there’re other factors as well that affect what heat pump you should purchase. Here are a few of them:

  • Wall thickness
  • Insulation type
  • Windows breadth and length
  • Airflow
  • Structures’ foundation

Installing Mini Split Heat Pumps

Here’s your step-by-step guide to install a mini-split heat pump.

  1. Grab all the essential tools and equipment you’ll need to install the unit properly
  2. Assemble the wall-mounting bracket for the air handler. For this, drill some holes on the wall you intend to wall-mount it as per the manual.
  3. Drill a new three-inch hole and install a round clear plastic sleeve into it so that the refrigerant line can be easily passed and connected with the heat pumps outdoor compressor.
  4. Once you’re done with the indoor unit, you can mount its outdoor unit using a wall-bracket or pad.
  5. Connect the electrical lines and refrigerant lines

Although some mini-split heat pumps come with DIY installation, most mini-split ductless Ac units require an HVAC professional for installation. Particularly for the bit where the electrical lines and refrigerant lines connect is concerned. It needs to be done correctly if you want your heat pump to work effectively and without any problem.

But you can do the last bit all by yourself by following the instruction manual of the unit.

ductless mini split air condioning layout

Tips To Maximize Heat Pump Performance

Though your mini-split heat pump can provide you with efficient heating during winter, however, if you want to maximize its performance, ensure the following heat-pump tips:

  • Lower the load first.
  • While adjusting your thermostat, avoid big downward or upward jumps in the room temperature’s settings.
  • Don’t turn down the temperature at night before sleeping, as when you turn it up in the morning, chances are it could start a resistance heater that’ll take out all the energy savings you attempted to achieve at night by turning the temperature down.
  • Ensure the thermostat is correctly connected with the heat pump

People Also Ask (FAQ)

Can A Mini Split Heat A Whole House?

With the proper size mini-split heat pump system in the house or room, it can heat your whole home from attic to basement effortlessly.

How Much Is The Running Cost Of Using Heat Pumps Especially During Winter?

The running cost of using a heat pump, especially during winter, is considerably low compared to other heating systems. Normally, these units can cost you anywhere from $600 to $1000 per year.

What Temperature Is Too Cold For A Heat Pump?

As soon the temperature hits 40°F, the mini-split heat pump starts losing its heating efficiency and lost almost all heating efficiency when the temperature drops to 25-30°F.

Do Mini-Splits Have Thermostats?

Yes, they do have thermostats, which can be used to acquire desired heating.

Where Is The Best Place To Buy Mini Split Heat Pumps That Are Great For Cold Weather?

If you want some of the best deals for mini-split heat pumps, you should look online. Amazon provides epic deals on several heat pumps that you can go through and choose from. However, if you don’t find your right fit, take a look at Sylvane and Home Depot as well.

What Are Some Common Problems That May Arise With Mini Split Heat Pumps?

Some of the common problems that may arise with your mini-split heat pump include condensate leaks, drain clogs, refrigerant leaks, etc.

How Can I Make Mini Split Heat Pumps More Efficient Especially During Winter?

You can enhance your heat pump’s efficiency by lowering the load on the unit, avoiding sudden temperature fluctuation, making sure the thermostat is attached to the heat pump properly, etc.

How Long Can I Expect A Mini Split Heat Pump Unit To Last?

If the mini-split heat pump is maintained properly, it can last for over 20 years, which is way above than many conventional air conditioning systems.

Conclusion

All in all, getting a mini-split heat pump is a must for improved heating during winter. Though all products we reviewed are best at providing efficient heating, our top choice is Pioneer WYS012-19 mini-split heat pump.

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