When you are looking for a new home air conditioner, you may consider a ductless mini split system. You aren’t without options here. There are dozens of brands making hundreds of different mini split ACs. How can you choose?
This article will look at the Daikin mini split systems, review and compare them for you. We will offer you a buyer’s guide, so you know what to look for when shopping and even offer common troubleshooting tips. Read on to find out if a Daikin mini split AC is right for you.
Why Choose Daikin?
Daikin is one of the oldest and original pioneers for residential and commercial refrigeration and equipment. Based in Japan, the company now owns a significant stake of the US market after they bought and merged with Goodman.
Dakin revolutionized the home climate control industry by introducing the multi-split system that we know today as the mini split. With almost a century of experience, durability, reliability, and one of the best warranties on the market, choosing a Daikin is almost a choice made for you.
Quick Guide – Daikin AC Unit
5 Considerations for Buying a Daikin Mini Split System
When you head out to buy your next mini split AC, or click the buy now button as is the case, there are things you need to know. Below is a brief buyer’s guide for Daikin mini split systems and things to consider when choosing the perfect model to meet your needs.
Daikin ACs are as reliable as any on the market, and more so than most. Not only are the components manufactured and produced by a single company, but they are warrantied (more below) and backed by the same company.
Each Daikin mini split system will last at least 10 full years, provided you perform routine maintenance and observe proper use and care instructions. Regular cleanings and repairs are essential, as with any other air conditioner.
Heating and Cooling Capabilities
Daikin uses inverter compressors in all of their mini split systems. The process means that the system doesn’t need to shut off completely, so startups take less energy, and the entire system is more efficient at maintaining temperatures.
Cooling a room will be efficient and economical to outdoor temperatures exceeding 100 degrees (F). In the winter months, the Daikin mini split heat pumps will also be efficient at keeping your home toasty warm when the outdoor temp drops to 13 degrees.
You also want to figure out how much a unit will cost you to run. This is measured by the energy efficiency, wattage, and current draw, as well as how often you run the system and, finally, how much you pay per kilowatt-hour.
The national average is 12 cents per kWh, and the Daikin systems range an average SEER rating between 17 and 19. This means that on average, running your Daikin mini split heat pump and AC will cost you about 96 cents per day.
You can compare that to the average residential central AC that runs at 14 SEER with a 2-ton compressor at an average of over $3 per day. The savings add up and show quickly on your monthly energy bill.
Repair Parts, Costs & Warranty
The initial cost for a Daikin mini split system is above average for the industry. However, they also offer the best industry warranty on all of their models. While you will pay more for the systems and installation, you will enjoy energy bill savings for well over a decade.
If you can justify the initial cost, you will be rewarded in the long run with more savings and long-term money in your pocket. Should anything go wrong with your Daikin system, you will have a warranty to protect you.
With an industry-leading 10 to 12 year full warranty, even parts are covered. The warranty term will depend on the model and type of installation you complete. You will also need to register your Daikin mini split on the website and provide the installation date, details, and receipts.
Value for Money
A lot of consumers quickly tune out the more expensive models because they fear they can get a better deal with ones that don’t have such a high price tag. However, before you succumb to the hysteria, keep in mind that the value for the money is more important.
As long as your budget allows the higher cost Daikin models, they will provide a return on investment that not many other brands can offer. With potential energy rebates, savings on your monthly bills, and peace of mind with outstanding warranties, paying more upfront is actually spending less over time.
Best Daikin Mini Split Air Conditioner Reviewed
Now that you know what to look for let’s get into the best Daikin mini split. Here I will review the top pick and compare it on several features to other popular models. We will even throw in some multi-zone models so you can compare all the features.
By far, the most reviewed, compared and purchased model is the Daikin Daikin 24000 BTU mini split.
Daikin 24000 BTU Mini Split
The 24000 BTU model is a single zone beast that comes with a substantial 10-year warranty. With this model, there aren’t any restrictions for where you install it. The same 10 years will cover the machine even if you install it in a commercial setting, in a rental home, or your own home.
This monster will cover up to 1500 total square feet, too. This means that your open-space living room, garage, or most of your home (depending on walls and layout, of course) can be cooled and heated by this one unit. While it is cooling, it will also dehumidify, which will help your room feel more comforting and inviting.
With a 17 SEER rating, it will still cost you less than a dollar per day to operate in the summer. When the heater is going, it will cost a little more, naturally. Your winter energy bills will increase, but compared to a central heat and air system, the rise in cost won’t be as drastic.
There are several models in this line-up, all boasting various BTUs for different applications. Let’s see how they stand up to the most popular model.
Energy Efficiency/SEER Rating
The RXB models all have the same 17 SEER rating. For single zone mini splits, this is about the industry average. While some cheaper models may only reach 16 SEER, there are others out there that can approach 19 or 20 SEER.
The trade-off here, though, is that for higher efficiency, you have less coverage for heating and cooling. So while you may save several cents per day in operation with a higher SEER model, it won’t have as much coverage in your home.
Another thing they all have in common is the compressor. Daikin uses inverter technology like most of the industry. This means that the compressor never really shuts off. Instead, once you set the temperature, the compressor will increase speed to bring the room to that temperature.
Once the temperature is reached, the system will slow the compressor until it is needed again. The always-on feature means you don’t have the high current draw when the compressor kicks on. It may sound counter-intuitive, but being on with variable speeds costs less energy than shutting off and back on when needed.
The biggest difference in the systems will be the BTU capacities, which affect how much square footage they can effectively cool or heat. The top pick uses 24,000 BTUs for an incredible coverage area of 1500 square feet.
The next popular model, the RXB12AXVJU, has 12,000 BTUs to spare and has a cooling coverage area of 750 square feet. This is ideal for larger rooms such as dens or living rooms. If you want smaller rooms like bedrooms or guest rooms to have a unit, the 9000 BTU model, RXB09AXVJU, will efficiently and effectively cool up to 450 square feet.
Finally, for those that have open living areas or larger spaces to cool, the RXB18AXVJU has 18,000 BTUs that can keep up to 1000 square feet cool during even the hottest summers.
You will also find slight differences in the noise levels of the systems. The larger the system, the louder it is, which is natural and expected. None of the units are so loud you need to alter your living conditions. None of them will require that you yell or turn the volume up on the TV to crazy levels.
The 9000 and 12000 BTU systems will average about 54 dBA. It gets louder from there, but not much. The 18000 and 24000 top out at about 56dBa. To put this in perspective, a normal conversation in a quiet room is about 50-52dBA., You’ll know these systems are in the room, but they won’t be a bother.
Price & Warranty
Obviously, the costs will be different based on the model you choose. The smaller the system, the less there is to pay for. All of the models, though, are in league with the other high-end brands for their size. Comparable to Mitsubishi and Pioneer, the Daikin mini split systems will cost you the same.
The warranty for all of these models is 10 years. It is required that you have the system professionally installed for the warranty to take effect, though. You can choose your own HVAC technician to perform the installation, but Daikin authorized dealers are available, too.
No matter which way you go, once the installation has begun, you need to register your machine. The warranty begins on the install date instead of the purchase date. You can register right on the Daikin website, too, which makes things easy.
If you are interested in controlling the temperature in multiple rooms, you want a multi-zone system. Daikin calls them multi-split, but the essence is the same. Instead of a single heat pump and air handler, one heat pump has a much larger capacity and controls the heating and cooling for multiple air handlers.
The Daikin 2MXS18NMVJU, for example, has three air handlers. The outdoor unit can maintain up to 21,000 BTUs. With this kit, you get two 9000 BTU air handlers, each capable of cooling up to 450 square feet.
If you want more options, the Daikin 4MXS36RMVJU is a triple-zone system. The LV series compressor can withstand up to 36,000 BTUs for up to three units. With this kit, you get three air handlers, rated at 9000, 15000 and 18000 BTUs. This is ideal for a two-bedroom home with a large living area.
No matter which model or options you go for, the multi-zone systems have a 12-year warranty to ease your mind and your energy bill.
How Does a Daikin Mini Split Work?
Daikin mini split systems come in two main forms, split and multi-split.
A split system uses a single heat pump and compressor (the outdoor unit) and a single air handler and evaporator (the indoor unit). A multi-split system, also known as a multi-zone system, uses a single heat pump and condenser that connects two or more air handlers. They work the same way, though.
The outdoor unit runs in two directions (into the home or out of the home).
When you are running the air conditioner, the unit will pull colder air from outside, chill it and push it through the air handler.
The heat pump runs to pull the heat out of the refrigerant lines and out into the ambient air.
When in heating mode, the heat pump changes direction, pulling the cold air from the home and replacing it with warmer air outside.
Mini split systems don’t need ducting to work, and the air is always the right temperature the moment you turn the system on.
Daikin ACs vs. Other Brands
Compared to most other big-name brands, Daikin isn’t going to be the first choice. However, it is a smart choice. Not only is Daikin the oldest and most reliable mini split manufacturer, but they also offer the best warranty period. Gree mini split ACs offer similar warranties, though they have more hoops to jump through to get the full 10-year warranty.
When looking at brands like MRCOOL and Senville, you will find that the warranties are much shorter, though the initial prices are much lower. Senville, the newest company in the industry to make waves, offers similar (and sometimes better) SEER ratings over Daikin, though they have a smaller production.
When it comes to price, Daikin is equivalent to Pioneer mini splits, and Mitsubishi mini split heat pump ACs. Pioneer has similar customer service, which is great, but the durability and efficiency go to Daikin.
Daikin Vs Mitsubishi
Arguably, Mitsubishi is Daikin’s biggest competitor. They have the line-up, SEER ratings, efficiency, and price to compete with the best in the business. Daikin has the better warranty here, but Mitsubishi is reliable enough to withstand a smaller warranty period.
Daikin also requires specific installation requirements that Mitsubishi doesn’t. While neither warranty a DIY install, both have the option to do so. Daikin costs more across the board than Mitsubishi, which is a concern, especially since Mitsubishi has better SEER ratings.
Ducted Vs Ductless
You have a choice when you are choosing a mini split system. You can opt for the standard ductless system.
These have an air handler or cassette installed on the wall or in the ceiling. The heat pump is outside, and the two are directly connected through wiring and refrigerant lines.
There is no ductwork involved, and are ideal for new installs or those moving from window ACs and portable AC setups. Ducted mini split systems use your existing ductwork (or new ductwork if you don’t have any) and are a hybrid between a ductless mini split and a conventional central AC system.
Ducted systems aren’t as efficient as ductless mini splits, but they offer more installation options and are ideal for those converting from a central AC system, saving money with installation.
Helpful Tips for Daikin Mini Split Installation
Daikin mini split heat pumps and AC systems aren’t designed for DIY installation. However, that doesn’t mean it cannot be done. You will need a working knowledge of electricity and refrigerant. It is also important to note that you will need proper HVAC technician tools to read levels and diagnose issues easily.
If you extend the refrigerant piping for an install deeper into the room than the outer wall, you will also need to add refrigerant to the system. This will require an EPA license, or you will need to hire a professional.
In the Daikin mini split manual, you will find installation instructions. They aren’t as clear as other models since Daikin wants you to hire a professional (and take advantage of the 10 or 12-year warranty). The install isn’t challenging, though.
You will need to use the mounting bracket as a template for the indoor unit. Drill your drain and wiring holes for the refrigerant pipes, thermostat wires, and drain hose. These need to go from the inside through the outside wall and at a slight downward angle.
Once the inside unit is mounted, you are ready to mount the outside unit. It needs to be level and have enough space on all sides for proper airflow. Connecting the power supply needs to be done with caution. Then you connect the refrigerant lines, thermostat wires, and route the drain pipe.
When everything is set, you need only open the refrigerant line valves and power on the unit for leak testing.
Troubleshooting Guide: Understanding Daikin AC Error Codes
Troubleshooting your Daikin mini split is a more complicated process than with other models. Instead of showing an error code on the display or the remote, you have to go looking for them. How you go about this will depend on the type of system you have, which remote you are using, and if the code is reported or not.
Since the entirety of searching for the error code is beyond the scope of this article, you can download the Daikin mini split remote control instructions PDF from Daikin’s website to learn how to find the error codes on your particular setup.
One of the most common error codes is the A3 code. The drain system on the Daikin mini splits is quite sensitive, and if you don’t have the proper downward slope in the drain line, or it gets clogged, the A3 error will present.
The easy fix is to shut the system off, remove the drain line, and unclog it. If there isn’t a clog, ensure the drain line has a down-slope without bends or kinks.
You may also encounter the U0 code, especially after installation. This is a code referencing the refrigerant level. If the level is too low, you need to make sure all refrigerant valves are fully open. If so, you will need to add refrigerant to the system.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Can I access my Daikin AC manual online?
You can find your model’s owner’s manual, spec sheets, and more by typing your model number in the search box on the Daikin User Manuals page of their website. The PDFs are free to download any time.
What are the steps on how to clean a Daikin mini split?
Aside from the regular wiping down with a wet cloth to keep the dust and grime from building up, you will also need to clean the filter. It is recommended to clean the filter every two weeks. The filters are washable, so you only need to remove them and run them under warm water to clear out the debris. Some models have an auto-clean feature, which should be used as well.
Do mini splits have thermostats?
Not in the traditional sense, no. Instead, mini splits have programming and temperature controls built-in. You will use the remote control or mobile apps to set the desired temperatures and program the system settings that you would typically do with a thermostat.
What is the Daikin mini split warranty policy?
Depending on the model, the warranty is either full coverage for 10 years or 12 years. You will need to have the unit installed by a licensed professional for the warranty to take effect. In some cases, you will also need to be the homeowner and live in the home (no rental properties, for example), or the warranty period may be shortened.
How much will it cost to have an HVAC contractor install Daikin mini split ductless air conditioners and heat pumps?
If you are paying for everything at once, the system, installation, labor, etc. Home Advisor claims the average cost is about $3450. However, this can reach as high as $8000 depending on the type of system, the number of zones, and the labor charges in your area. For the installation only, the average cost is $500.
Where do I find the best HVAC contractor in my area?
One of the best resources for finding the best HVAC contractor in your area is to use a service like Angie’s List. Here you will get to view local HVAC contractors, see bids, reviews, and know that all the approved techs have been appropriately vetted.
Where can I buy these Daikin mini splits as well as Daikin mini split parts?
You can purchase certain Daikin mini split models though various retailers around the country. Lowes and Home Depot carry the brand and offer installation at a higher price. However, if you want the best Daikin mini split prices, bigger model selection, and savings on year-old, new models, Amazon is the place to shop.
When it comes to shopping for the best mini split heat pump and AC, you are not without choices. Daikin has been producing AC parts and equipment for over 90 years and knows what it takes to offer reliable and durable mini split systems.
Even narrowing your selection to the Daikin brand, you have a lot to choose from. Our top pick is the 17 SEER, wall mounted Daikin 24000 BTU mini split. It has an excellent warranty, easy installation and is extremely efficient, saving you money in the long run. You won’t be disappointed.
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