If you are in the market for a mini split system, you have choices. There are a lot of different brands, models, sizes, and features to choose from. It isn’t an easy choice. We are here to change that.
This article will take a close look at the MRCOOL mini split systems, tell you what to look for before making a purchase, and give you the best MRCOOL mini split system reviews and comparisons. Everything you need to know is right here.
Why Choose MRCOOL?
Innovation, technology, and true DIY systems. If any of these interest you, MRCOOL is the place to look. The company prides itself on being the smaller guy in the industry of big names and low tech. While the other brands are trying to sell you their name, MRCOOL sells you their vision for the future.
MRCOOL was the first, and currently only, manufacturer of true DIY installation for home climate control systems. Their mini splits are available for a new install or for replacing your current central AC all without needing to hire a professional. Its small differences like these that make MRCOOL stand out.
Considerations When Buying a MRCOOL Mini Split System
While you can spend hours going back and forth over materials and research, you don’t have too. Sure individual features are important. However, before you head out to buy a MRCOOL mini split system, there are only five things you need to consider.
MRCOOL systems are reliable. Even with simple DIY installation, these systems can withstand the elements, above-average use and still be efficient, reliable, and durable. In most cases, the systems are running strong after 10 years of continuous annual usage.
If you can keep up on cleaning and maintenance of the system, it will provide you with years of cold air in the summer and hot air in the winter. Whenever you need it, a MRCOOL system will be there and ready.
Heating and Cooling Capabilities
Your room size will be a large factor in what type and size mini slit system you need. Taking the square footage of the room (length in feet multiplied by width in feet) is only the beginning. The square feet will give you a base area to start in, but you also have other factors to consider.
Rooms with large windows, high ceilings, or a lot of furniture need more power for their systems to work correctly. If your room is measured between two sizes, for example, a 12,000 BTU and 18,000 BTU system, you will need to factor in these other options to choose the right size.
Running a MRCOOL mini split air conditioner is going to be more efficient than a central AC or window unit. The DIY line averages about 16 SEER across the board. While they are the most efficient machines available, they are among the most reliable.
Even choosing the lowest SEER rating, compared to your 11 or 12 SEER central AC unit (2-ton capacity), you will pay up to 500% less per month. While the central AC costs you about $4 per day to operate, the MRCOOL systems average just under $1. As you can see, over the course of a year, you can save hundreds or even thousands on your energy bill.
As an example, the MRCOOL DIY series 12,000 BTU unit will cost you about $86 for cooling and $275 for heating for an entire year.
Repair Parts, Costs & Warranty
All MRCOOL systems come with a warranty. The 5-7-1 warranty covers the parts and labor for 5 years, the compressor for 7 years, and the remote control system for 1 year. This is one of the longest-lasting warranties in the industry.
You should know that unless you purchase the DIY series, you must have the unit professionally installed by a licensed HVAC technician for the warranty to take effect. However, under warranty, the cost of repairs and parts is on MRCOOL.
Out of warranty, you can find replacement parts through your HVAC dealer, or online through sites like Amazon.
Value for Money
The cost per unit is on par with the rest of the industry, with smaller units costing less and more efficient, and larger units costing more. The entire MRCOOL line is about average compared to the competition.
While you may be able to save a bit of money on the mini split systems here or there, the significant savings come in the DIY installation series. If you install the unit yourself, you can save an average of $500 in upfront costs.
MRCOOL Mini Split Air Conditioner Reviews
The Advantage Series
The Advantage Series is one of the first lines to be EnergyStar certified and certified by AHRI. This alone isn’t enough to sway a purchase decision; however, it is a lot more than some other manufacturers can state, so it holds some relevance.
Energy Efficiency/SEER Rating
The Advantage Series is one of the most energy-efficient lines offered by the MRCOOL company. The top-rated model in this series is the 18000 BTU model. It is among the most sold and reviewed of all MRCOOL models, and for good reason. With a SEER rating of 19, you can effectively run this unit all day for just about 97 cents.
The saving aside, your home will stay at the ideal temperature thanks to the DC-Inverter that blows hot or cold instantly. This translates to even more savings in the long run, which makes this model even more attractive.
The compressor is a 220v, single-phase DC-Inverter model. In fact, all of MRCOOL units use the newer DC-Inverter technology. The only difference will be the voltage connection. The Advantage series requires a 220v dedicated circuit, much like your home’s central air unit.
Condenser Fan Options
The condenser fans are optimized for all climates, including high humidity and high-saline atmospheres found near the beach. With a Gold-Fin condenser fan, corrosion is history, and you can rely on the protection for years.
The MRCOOL 18k BTU heat pump is HSPF rated at 10, which is higher than the industry average. However, unlike some higher-end models, you will need a heating supplement when the ambient temperature drops below 13 degrees (F), even though the system is rated to 5 degrees.
When you are comparison shopping, you will find that the cost of the Advantage series is in line with the rest of the industry through the other systems of comparable size. However, most other options don’t include wireless control or leak detection. This can make the MRCOOL system more valuable.
Price & Warranty
Overall, MRCOOL systems are quiet when running, even on high. The indoor unit produces a maximum of 45dBA, which is quieter than your TV at 10 feet away. You can have the systems running while in the same room holding a conversation without having to yell. On low, the decibels drop to the high 30s, depending on the model, which means that overnight in the bedroom, you won’t have your sleep disturbed.
The DIY Smart Series
The most interesting system made is the MRCOOL Comfort series. This smart series is a DIY installer’s dream. Everything you need to do the install yourself is included with purchase, and you won’t forego a warranty by installing the system yourself.
Further, you can convert an existing central AC to a mini split system, do a fresh install with no prior system or convert other ACs into a MRCOOL mini split set up without the need for an HVAC technician.
Energy Efficiency/SEER Rating
The DIY series isn’t the most energy-efficient around. With the four different models, the average is 16 SEER (only the 9000 BTU model is rated higher at 17.5 SEER). However, running full time, year-round, you will average $300 to $800 on your energy bill. Obviously, the larger the unit, the more it will cost to run.
There are many options to choose from here. All of the models have the DC-Inverter compressor with leak detection. The most reviewed and purchased model is the 12000 BTU model. However, for smaller spaces, you can opt for the 9000 BTU version.
There are models for all home sizes, though, including the 24000 and 36000 BTU models. These will cost you more to purchase and take longer to install. If you have multiple zones, you will need the bigger sizes, but the end result is worth it.
Condenser Fan Options
All of the DIY series models come with Gold Fin condenser fans to fight corrosion and wear. They are designed to last for at least 10 years, though most will last much longer with proper care and maintenance.
The DIY Smart series has an average HSPF rating of 9.0, which is about the industry standard. Unlike the Advantage series, these aren’t rated for 5-degree temperatures and will need heating supplement help to heat your home when the outdoor temperature drops below about 20 degrees.
The DIY series is surprisingly quiet and averages less than 40dBA on high mode. The interior unit is quiet enough to leave on overnight on high without interrupting your sleep. If you prefer a low hum of white noise to sleep to, low mode won’t give you much, though. It is just too quiet.
Price & Warranty
The MRCOOL mini split 12000 BTU model is right at the industry average when it comes to price. Comparing on price alone will show you results that are all about the same in size and abilities, and the MRCOOL model will be right there in the middle.
The warranty, though, is one of the more impressive on the market. Even with a DIY install, you get a 5-year warranty on parts along with a 7-year warranty on the compressor. Plus, there is a 1-year warranty on the wireless remote module. The entire system is covered for 5 years, which is about 3 or 4 years longer than almost every other mini split you will find worth buying.
How Does a MRCOOL Mini Split System Work?
The MRCOOL mini splits use an interior air handler and a heat pump to circulate air and cool or heat it as needed. The exterior unit is a heat pump.
Heat pumps work by taking colder air from one side and pushing it to the other.
In the summer, they pull the cold air in from the outside and push it through the air handler on the inside where it is cooled by refrigerants.
In the winter, the colder air in your home is removed when the heat pump runs backward, pushing the colder air outside and making your home warmer.
The interior unit is an air handler that uses ductless refrigerant lines to cool the air pulled in before using high-speed fans to push the air into your home.
Since there isn’t any ducting, mini splits are more efficient and cleaner than a central AC system.
They can run for shorter times while maintaining the same temperature control, saving you money and frustration.
MR COOL vs. Other AC Brands
How does MRCOOL stand up against the bigger names in the industry? Truth be told, they fair well against most. There are differences, of course, and MRCOOL will win some of the faceoffs and lose others.
When it comes to brand recognition and loyalty, MRCOOL is going to lose to the names that have been around for decades. Mitsubishi and Pioneer hold a more substantial portion of the market because they build systems that simply work. They have been doing it forever, and people trust them.
If you are looking at abilities, though, MRCOOL takes the top spot in most categories. Compared to Daikin and newcomer Senville, for example, MRCOOL finds the most competition. However, Senville is still small enough (only 60 employees) that their reach isn’t as great, yet.
MRCOOL Vs. Gree
The biggest competition is going to come from Gree. Gree is innovative, too, and their mini split systems are on par with MRCOOL’s on almost every level. The difference here is that while Gree may have better efficiency, MRCOOL has more options, a better line up, and a more durable product line up.
The fact that MRCOOL caters to the DIYer is going to turn a lot of maybe’s into sales. Offering three different installation variations to convert, install, or replace, MRCOOL found a niche spot in the competitive field, and they excel at it.
Helpful Tips for MRCOOL DIY Installation
Of all the various series and models MRCOOL offers, if you plan to perform a DIY installation, you need to only choose models from their DIY line up. Other models will not have warranty coverage if you install them yourself.
Everything you need for installation is included in the box with the unit, including the instructions and mounting plates. The system is designed to mount directly to a wall that is on the outer edge of the home. Interior walls that don’t share a side with the outside need special piping and wiring, and it isn’t recommended for installation.
The exterior MRCOOL mini split heat pump is flush-mounted on the ground. It is thinner than a condenser unit and will take up less space. However, you need to make sure that your MRCOOL mini split floor mount is level and properly spaced from the building and other obstructions.
You will need to drill a hole for the wiring and refrigerant (3.5-inch hole drill) with a slight downward angle for proper drainage. You can run the piping to the right or left of the unit, but you need to decide before you drill the hole. Proper MRCOOL mini split sizing is crucial.
The MRCOOL DIY mini split installation manual follows step by step procedures for each stage of the installation. The best advice to offer is to adhere to the manual exactly. Read the manual twice before you begin. Then follow along, step by step, as you install. You will also need to make precision measurements for optimal operation. Do not rush the installation.
Troubleshooting Guide: MRCOOL Mini Split Error Codes
Each MRCOOL system comes with an owner’s manual that lists possible issues you may encounter, along with a guide on how to check or repair the issue. What isn’t covered are the MRCOOL mini split error codes.
The display screen on the indoor unit may flash an error code depending on what is wrong with the system. You should note that a majority of the error code issues reported by the control board are self-clearing. This means that whatever causes the error code is a temporary problem that will fix itself.
For example, the heat pump may develop frost in the winter. This will trigger an error code. However, once the system starts running, the frost melts away, and the error code clears. For this reason, it is recommended that you wait at least 10 minutes before troubleshooting an error code to see if it self clears.
There are a total of 30 codes you could see, 10 each for E, P, and F. The numbers run 0 to 9, so you may see an E1 error code or a P6 error code. The E codes deal with the electrical system; P codes deal with refrigerant and air pressures while the F codes deal with fans and airflow issues.
The most common codes you will see are the E1 code and the P6 code. The E1 code usually refers to a voltage issue at either the interior or exterior units. You can check the voltage at the units with a voltmeter. However, it often results from a tripped breaker or a loose wire.
The P6 code is often discovered after installation. You will see the code when there isn’t a high enough pressure in the refrigerant lines or the compressor. This is a tell-tale sign that you either have a leak and need to repair the leak and add refrigerant, or you have added a length of refrigerant line to mount the system in a different location without adding extra refrigerant to accommodate the difference.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Can I access my MRCOOL AC manual online?
You can access your mini split manual online at any time by checking out the documents section of the MRCOOL website. Find your series and model and then click the link to the desired manual or document you need. There is no cost for this service.
What are the steps on how to clean a MRCOOL mini split?
Every 240 hours of operation, you need to wash the filter. There will be a reminder on the display of the interior unit when you turn it on. At 2880 hours of operation, you will be alerted to replace your filter. When starting the system up after a long time off or for the first time of the season, you need to wash your filter, replace remote batteries, and check for damage or leaks.
Are MRCOOL mini splits any good for heating?
MRCOOL mini split systems use inverter technology in their heat pumps to effectively and efficiently warm your home when temperatures outside are cold. The systems are effective in ambient temperatures as low as 13 degrees (F). As with most mini split systems, any lower than 13 degrees may require a supplemental heat source to operate efficiently.
What is the MRCOOL mini split warranty policy?
MRCOOL offers a 5-7-1 warranty on the DIY, Oasis, Olympus, and Premier series lines. There is a 5-year warranty on all parts with a 7-year warranty on the sealed compressors and a 1-year warranty on the remote module. For the Advantage series, it is a 2-1-1 warranty.
How much will an HVAC contractor charge for installing a MRCOOL mini split?
According to Home Advisor, ductless mini split systems will average about $3350 to buy and install. The cost fluctuates depending on the type of install, extra materials needed, your region or location, and how many zones are being installed. The average labor-only costs are about $500.
Where do I find the best HVAC contractor in my area?
The best method is to seek out the online services service such as Angie’s List for locating a reliable and trustworthy contractor. Each listed contractor has been vetted with background checks, customer reviews, and in most cases, a general pricing guide to help you decide on the perfect one for your needs.
Where can I find a MRCOOL mini split for sale?
You will want to purchase your system through authorized MRCOOL mini split dealers. Home Depot, for example, has a decent selection, and you can also order online. However, the best place to buy a MRCOOL mini split system is through Amazon. You will get great savings on models that department stores no longer carry. Amazon doesn’t have to worry about making room for next year’s model and will hold last year’s model in stock, too.
MRCOOL mini split systems are ideal for smaller homes on tighter budgets and those looking to replace their more expensive central AC counterparts. If you are currently using a window unit or portable AC, you may want to upgrade to a more efficient mini split system.
If you cannot decide on which model to purchase, we recommend the MRCOOL Advantage system. This 18,000 BTU system is 19 SEER with fully integrated remote and wireless operations. It does require professional installation, but the benefits and savings far outweigh any negative cost factors.