If your garage or basement isn’t connected to your home’s AC system, then one of the best options available to you is to install a mini-split air conditioner. (Related: The Best Type of AC Unit For Your Home: A Consumer Guide) These smart systems can be affixed to your wall with relative ease and enable you to keep your garage cool.
But what are the best mini-split air conditioners out there? And what do you need to think about before choosing the perfect model for your home? We answer these questions and more below as we introduce our top mini-split systems for 2022.
If your garage or basement isn’t served by your home’s air conditioning system, then DAIKIN’s 18,000 BTU heat pump system is an excellent option for your home.
It’s probably best suited to homes that don’t require round-the-clock AC, but it’s perfect when those hot days make working from home unbearable.
In This Review & Buyers Guide
What is a Mini Split Air Conditioner?
Mini-split air conditioners, often referred to simply as mini-splits, are non-ducted systems that are ideal for controlling the temperatures in individual rooms or spaces. They comprise two fundamental components – an indoor air-handling unit and an outdoor compressor.
They’re perfectly suited to your home if you’re keen to control the climate in multiple rooms without relying on centralized heating or cooling thermostat. There are four primary types of mini split air conditioners: single zone, hyperheat single-zone, pre-charged single-zone and multi-zone.
What’s more, the fact that mini-splits are ductless means that they are much more energy-efficient than central air conditioning systems. The US Department of Energy estimates that duct losses can account for up to 30% of energy consumption in residential heating and cooling, which highlights the savings you can make by going ductless.
But what do you need to consider when you’re looking for the best mini-split air conditioner for your garage? Let’s take a look at some of the factors that influence the quality of the system.
Five Factors You Need to Consider Before Buying a Mini-Split Air Conditioner
As mentioned, there are several types of mini-split air conditioners that you can buy. You need to consider whether your garage would benefit from a single or multi-zone system, as this will determine the systems best suited to your home. To give you an idea, a single zone unit can cover between 500 to 1,400 square feet in one location, while a multi-zone system is able to cover between 1,400 and 2,600 square feet in several locations.
When you’re looking for a high-quality mini-split ac, you need to consider its performance in British Thermal Units (BTUs). Ascertaining the BTU performance of a unit is important, as it directly correlates with the space that can be heated or cooled. For instance, a system capable of 10,000 – 12,000 BTUs of output is ideal for a space of between 400-500 square feet.
Another important aspect of your mini-split air conditioner is the filters that it uses. Filters protect the system from dirt, dust, and debris and ensure the air that you breathe in is clean and relatively free from contaminants. Given their availability, it’s best to opt for a ductless system that has cleanable filters, as this will save you money as you don’t need to replace the filters every couple of months.
Aesthetics and Noise
People tend to favor mini-splits because of the way they look when installed within the home. Most units are available in a streamlined design that looks unobtrusive when installed in your garage. What’s more, you need to consider the noise level of your ductless air system. The fan within shouldn’t operate at any more than 50 decibels, but you can opt for ultraquiet systems that operate as low as 30 decibels.
Some ductless systems require complex installation processes that necessitate professional wiring, while others are much simpler and can be installed by anyone (suitable for DIY). Opting for a system you can install yourself is a smart move as it will save you hundreds of dollars, and it will make your life much easier when it comes to maintaining your system in the long run. We introduce two mini-split air conditioning systems below that can be installed without the help of a professional.
Mini-Split Air Conditioning Systems: Our Top Picks for 2022
DAIKIN 18,000 BTU Ductless AC Heat Pump System (Best Overall)
If your garage or basement isn’t served by your home’s air conditioning system, then DAIKIN’s 18,000 BTU heat pump system is an excellent option for your home. It is capable of heating up to 1,000 square feet and is equipped with a range of features that help you heat or cool your home in a short space of time.
It’s also super quiet and operates at just 37 decibels, and looks great when it’s attached to your interior wall. Thanks to its design, it also improves air circulation and ventilation within your garage or basement, which makes your room feel fresher and less enclosed. One of the only drawbacks to this system is that you will almost certainly need to have it professionally installed.
MRCOOL DIY 24,000 BTU Ductless Heat Pump Split System (Best for DIY)
Supposing you like the idea of saving yourself some money on installation costs, then MRCOOL’s 24,000 BTU ductless mini-split system is made for you. Not only is it super easy to install, but it is also equipped with a WIFI smart kit, which allows you to connect it to your smart device or virtual assistants, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Thanks to its BTU output, MRCOOL’s system can serve your garage or basement up to 1,000 square feet, and the indoor unit looks great when affixed to the wall. It also comes with a variable speed fan, which reduces energy costs and makes this an environmentally friendly option. Perfect if you’re looking for an easy to install and cost-effective mini-split AC system.
Della 12,000 BTU Mini Split Air Conditioner
Providing your garage is less than 750 square feet, Della’s 12,000 BTU mini-split will serve you well. One of the most attractive features of this system is that you can control it remotely, and it has a range of time-management options that allow you to place it in energy-saving or 24-hour mode, depending on your heating or cooling requirements.
It operates at between 31 to 40 decibels and is one of the quietest systems on the market, which is great if you don’t want to be disturbed by the constant noise of a fan while you’re in your garage. One slight drawback of this model is that it comes with a 220/240-volt plug, which means you might need a converter to operate the system.
(Best for Energy Efficiency)
For those of you looking for an energy-efficient mini-split system, look no further than Senville’s 12CD air conditioner. You can select your model depending on the BTUs required, with options ranging from 9,000 to 24,000, depending on the size of your garage. It boasts a 4-in-1 design that ventilates, dehumidifies, heats, and cools without costing you a fortune in energy bills.
It also comes with washable filters as standard and includes an installation kit with sixteen feet of copper wire. But like several other systems, you will need to have the Senville system professionally installed, meaning it isn’t a suitable DIY option.
Black & Decker BPACT10WT Portable Air Conditioner (Best Portable)
While it won’t be for everyone, this portable air conditioner from Black & Decker is a viable option if your garage or basement is split into several parts or if you want to have the flexibility to transport it to other areas within your home. It’s probably best suited to homes that don’t require round-the-clock AC, but it’s perfect when those hot days make working from home unbearable.
It has a BTU output of 10,000, meaning it’s suited to smaller garage spaces of between 150 and 250 square feet, and it’s capable of cooling your space by up to 65 degrees. So, if you’re looking for something that is super simple to install and operate, and can be moved around the house, then this Black & Decker system is your best option.
As you can see from our five top picks for 2022, there is a multitude of mini-split AC systems that you can use to cool your home at the height of summer. Your starting point should always be the space you’re hoping to cool so that you select a system that works as you would expect it to.
Thereafter, considering the likes of installation, filters, noise and aesthetics are all important, as there is so much variety when it comes to choosing the ideal system. We hope that you now have all of the information that you need to select a mini-split system that will serve your garage well, so you no longer have to suffer from the unbearable heat of the summer while indoors.