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Daikin Mini Split Reviews & Prices in 2021

Ductless mini split air conditioners are becoming increasingly popular in recent years as a low-cost, easy to install alternative to regular AC units. But can they really hold up against more traditional, well-established methods of heating and cooling?

I believe that the cost of comfort within your home shouldn’t come at an exorbitant price, and I stand by that belief as I present this analysis and review of some of the most popular Daikin ductless mini split heat pumps in 2021.

I’ve got over a decade of experience and expertise working in the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) industry. I’ve sold, installed, repaired, and replaced hundreds of different models of AC units, so I know exactly what goes into making a quality air conditioner. 

I’ve seen first-hand the positive impact that finding the right AC unit can have on entire families, and I want you to experience that feeling yourself.

Daikin is an internationally recognized HVAC manufacturer, widely considered among the best AC brands in the world. Read on, and I’ll help you understand and decide if a Daikin ductless mini split AC is the right solution for you and your home.

Daikin Mini Split Unique Features and Pros
Reduces energy consumption by using powerful and precise inverter technology
Some models use ‘Intelligent Eye’, a smart infra-red sensor that can detect when a room is empty and reduce power expenses by around 20-30% accordingly
Revolutionary two-stage air filtration that removes unpleasant odors, mold, dust, and bacteria from within your home
All products covered by a comprehensive warranty
Energy Star™ certified, the gold standard for energy conservation in the US
Daikin Mini Split Cons
Only sold through a limited number of Daikin’s contracting partners, a potential issue if one of these isn’t based nearby to you
Heat pumps probably not worth it if your home already has an energy-efficient gas furnace as its primary source of heating
Initially expensive installation, around 30% higher than that of a regular central AC

About Daikin

Daikin Industries, Ltd. is a multinational manufacturer of air conditioning technology. Since being founded in 1921 in Osaka, Japan, Daikin has established a reputation as one the top global AC brands, and innovators in the mini split system market.  

Daikin produced their first packaged air conditioners in 1951, as a solution to regulating the air in Japan’s diverse climate, using fairly limited resources when compared against other technology companies from around the world. 

In 1958 the company developed and marketed its first window air conditioner, powered by a rotary compressor. Japan’s economy was developing quickly at this time, and Daikin was quick to respond to the increasing demand for residential air conditioning. 

Daikin then produced the world’s first multi-room split air conditioner in 1973, a product that was instantly popular throughout Japan, and by 1982 had developed this into the world’s first commercial split air conditioner– sealing international fame and recognition.

Daikin entered the North American air conditioning market in 2004 and is now a well-established leading brand in the US and beyond. As of 2021, Daikin has made worldwide total sales of over $17billion, the highest total of any air conditioning manufacturer in history.

Daikin Mini Split Buying Guide

When deciding whether to purchase a mini split system, there are some important common factors that you should be on the lookout for, regardless of the brand in question or your available price range.

The following are the absolute essentials you should consider before you make your investment, and I’ll help you to understand exactly what impact these can have on the model that you eventually just go with.

Energy Efficiency

We live in a world that increasingly reminds us of the impact our energy choices are having on the climate and the natural world. Making a positive choice regarding our individual carbon footprint is an important factor for many when considering what air conditioning system to opt for. 

But keeping your energy consumption low isn’t just beneficial for the environment, it keeps your bills from spiraling out of control during those scorching summer months or the freezing, bleak winters. 

With this in mind, rival air conditioning manufacturers are constantly seeking the latest innovations to make their products as energy efficient as possibly can be

Traditional central air conditioners require intrusive ductwork. The energy lost through insufficiently sealed ductwork in walls, attics, and crawlspaces, can account for a massive 30% of the total energy used in your home– that’s 30% of your monthly energy bills being spent on the warm and cool air that isn’t used at all!

If your home doesn’t already have this ductwork- as many older homes commonly don’t- you could be facing considerable digging into your floors, walls, and ceilings, as well a considerable charge for the work involved

A mini split air system is often also called a ductless system because installation is carried out with very little to no ductwork involved. This immediately eliminates the losses you may otherwise experience, so your home consumes less energy and saves money off your bills.

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating of a mini split system is a quick and convenient way to get an idea of just how energy efficient it can be considered to be. 

The SEER rating is reached by dividing the number of British Thermal Units (BTUs) of heat or cold removed from the air by the AC unit’s compressor, by its energy consumption in watt-hours. A higher SEER rating means that an AC system is more effective at using less energy to regulate the temperature in your home. 

If a mini split system has been awarded an official Energy Star™ certification, it means it has met strict criteria set by the US Environmental Protection Agency and can be considered amongst the most energy-efficient models available on the market today.

Zoned Temperature Regulation

Mini split systems have a major advantage over traditional central air conditioning units, in that they can be deployed to heat a single room (zone), or multiple zones around a home according to the preferences of its inhabitants. 

Traditional AC units require a complex system of ductwork to distribute warm or cool air throughout a home from a single point of origin. In a ductless mini split system, this is rejected in favor of a simple, stripped-back system using an indoor air handler unit and an outdoor air compressor unit.

The indoor air handler unit pulls warm air from out of your home before blowing it over cold evaporator coils. A refrigerant absorbs the heat from that air before transporting it to the outdoor air compressor unit via discreet refrigerant lines. Here, the heat is dumped outside before resulting cool air is blown back into the room. 

Single-zone mini split systems deploy a single indoor unit into the room you want to heat up or cool down. Whereas regular AC units regulate the temperature of an entire home, the mini split is in this way able to target the preferred individual room, delivering comfort without pointlessly using energy to regulate rooms that aren’t in use. 

Daikin mini split air-con systems are also able to deploy up to 5 indoor air handler units in separate rooms, linking them back to one centralized outdoor unit. Since each indoor unit has its own thermostat, they can be controlled individually from the rest of the system, and so each occupant can control the temperature as they desire without affecting the rest of the home!

If, as an example, a family member likes to relax in the winter in a toasty warm living room but doing so with a traditional AC would mean you’d suffer through soaring temperatures during a run on the upstairs treadmill, a mini split system could be the perfect solution for you and your family!

Heating And Cooling Capability

If you live in a climate where a regular AC unit may not get much use for 6 months of the year, since your summers are searing, but the winters can be bleak with the biting cold, a ductless Daikin mini split heat pump may be just what you’re looking for.

By reversing the process that the mini split uses to distribute cool air through your home, a ductless heat pump absorbs warmth from outside and transfers this indoors. Best of all, you don’t need a gas furnace that’s usually required to heat a home, and you’ll save plenty of money off your seasonal gas bills!

The energy efficiency of a ductless heat pump is measured by its Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) rating. Like the SEER rating used to measure an air conditioner’s energy efficiency at blowing cool air, a higher HSPF indicates that a heat pump is more effective at using less energy to adequately warm your indoor spaces.

A ductless heat pump can even operate effectively when it’s as cold as -4⁰F outside! This is based on the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, whereby a warmer body of air always transfers to a cooler one. The refrigerant used in a mini split system is almost always colder than the temperature outside, so this transfer is still possible when the freezing winter sets in and you need it most!

DAIKIN 12,000 BTU- 17 SEER Mini Split Heat Pump

DAIKIN 12,000 BTU- 17 SEER Mini Split Heat Pump image

The Daikin 17 series is the Daikin entry-level mini split heat pump. They’re designed to be affordable and cost-effective, with cheap upfront prices for both the unit and installation. 

This AC unit can handle cooling in temperatures up to 77⁰F, and heating when it’s as low as 5⁰F. Coupled with a SEER rating of up to 17 and you’ve got some decent, if unspectacular, numbers that are just about adequate for basic heating and cooling in a single room. 

Unfortunately, though, that SEER does mitigate some of the saving you’re making with a low upfront price since you’re not going to be making the same savings off your bills as you could with a better-quality machine. There’s also a noticeable lack of any Energy Star™ certification.

The overall design is a little tacky looking, so you wouldn’t want your outdoor unit placed anywhere that could spoil the aesthetics of your home. 

But then, what could reasonably be expected for a mini split system priced at just over $1000? Unless you’re after the very bare basics of home heating and cooling, it’s probably worth looking elsewhere.

Daikin AURORA™ 12,000 BTU Mini Split Heat Pump

Daikin AURORA™ 12,000 BTU Mini Split Heat Pump image

The AURORA series of Daikin models offer an impressive step up in quality and efficiency from their basic range. 

This product line is built for heating in extreme conditions, operating up to 100% capacity at 5⁰F, and managing to operate effectively when the temperature plummets to as low as -15⁰F!

A rating of 20 SEER may not be as high as a similarly priced mini split air conditioner on the market, but it is still a solid rating that should cut some dollars off your energy bills whatever the weather.

The innovative ‘Comfort Mode’ and ‘Powerful Operation Mode’ are nifty additions at this price point. Comfort Mode ensures cool air is always blown away from the body, and warm air is directed towards the floor where it rises and stays noticeable for longer. Powerful Operation Mode boosts the unit heating or cooling power for up to 20 minutes, even when operating at high capacity.

The Daikin AURORA also comes with Wi-Fi pre-enabled, and is controllable through the Daikin Comfort App, giving you complete wireless control of up to 5 thermostats from the comfort of your own sofa. 

It’s an ideal choice if you’re looking to heat numerous rooms when residing in a more extreme climate.

Daikin QUATERNITY™ 24,000 BTU- 26 SEER Mini Split Heat Pump

Daikin QUATERNITY™ 24,000 BTU- 26 SEER Mini Split Heat Pump image

The Daikin Quaternity range is part of Daikin’s premium mini split air conditioner systems

It comes with all the benefits and features as the models included in the Daikin Aurora series, plus a multi-stage filtration system that purifies your homes’ air of bacteria and mold, whilst also removing unpleasant odors.

A special anti-corrosive paint on the outside unit guards this mini split against the sort of wear and tear you would usually expect from hostile outdoor environments and make it a great choice if you live in a very hot or very cold climate.

A high energy efficiency rating of 26 SEER has seen this product awarded the Energy Star™ certification for being one of the most efficient units available in the US.

I’ve found the Quaternity is easy to install, simple to maintain and offers a perfect solution if you’re looking for powerful temperature control across multiple rooms in a large home with a high ceiling, such as one within an older house that doesn’t have pre-installed ductwork for a regular AC unit.

Daikin Mini Split Models

As you would expect from an internationally trusted, market-leading brand, Daikin produce an extensive line-up of quality, reliable, and cost-effective mini split systems. Here I’ve narrowed down Daikin mini split air conditioner reviews to some of their most popular models and put their specs into this handy table, so you’ll find comparing them a breeze!

Model name SEER rating HSPF rating Coverage Wall or floor mounted? Additional features
DAIKIN 17 Series Up to 17 9 250 – 1,600sq ft Wall-mounted
DAIKIN 19 Series Up to 19 Up to 10 250 -1,600sq ft Wall-mounted Energy Star© certified, Inverter technology, wireless remote control, Wi-Fi enabled
Daikin AURORA™ Up to 20.3 Up to 12.5 250 – 1,600sq ft Floor-mounted Energy Star© certified, Wi-Fi enabled, Inverter technology, wireless remote control, Powerful operation boost setting, Comfort mode to prevent cold drafts
Daikin LV Series Up to 15.5 Up to 10.4 250 – 900sq ft Ducted concealed Energy Star© certified, Wi-Fi enabled, wireless remote control, inverter technology
Daikin 24,000 BTU QUATERNITY™ Up to 26.1 Up to 11 250 – 1,200sq ft Wall-mounted Energy Star© certified, Wi-Fi enabled, wireless remote control inverter technology, high efficiency rating

Daikin Mini Split Prices

Bryant AC product Unit only Installation included
DAIKIN 17 Series $1040 $3000
DAIKIN 19 Series $1230 $3500
Daikin AURORA™ $1550 $3590
Daikin LV Series $1800 $3810
Daikin QUATERNITY™ $2480 $4520

Who Can Install My Daikin Mini Split?

Ductless mini split air conditioners are certainly easier to install than traditional air conditioning systems, mostly due to the absence of a need for obtrusive ductwork into your walls, floors, or ceilings. 

However, as I recommend with almost all electrical equipment installation, seek out the help and expertise of a licensed HVAC professional contractor who can carry this out for you, and ensure your Daikin mini split is installed properly and safely.

Saving a couple of bucks by attempting to do it yourself really isn’t worth putting you and your family in a potentially unsafe living environment! It’s unlikely you have the required experience to safely install a mini split system unless you’re a trained and licensed electrician. 

Aside from this, you’re likely to void your Daikin parts warranty. If any issues arise in the future, you’ll have to cover the expense of any repairs or replacements yourself. These charges can often run into hundreds if not thousands of dollars!

Daikin Mini Split: Frequently Asked Questions

Is Daikin Mini Splits Any Good?

Daikin is a well-established company that has earned its reputation for producing quality, affordable, and energy-efficient air conditioning systems. As pioneers of the ductless mini split system, they are one of the leading manufacturers of mini split AC units in the world today

Their mini split systems cater to a wide range of needs and budgets and offer respectable SEER and HSPF ratings.

Is Mitsubishi Or Daikin Better?

Daikin and their Japanese rivals Mitsubishi are both internationally recognisable technology brands, and as such there isn’t always a huge difference between the quality and efficiency of their products

Mitsubishi perhaps has the edge when it comes to awards and certified reviews, but Daikin produces a sizeable array of mini split systems that offer high quality and efficiency at lower upfront prices.

How Long Will A Daikin Mini Split Last?

With adequate maintenance, a Daikin mini split system should last at least 20 years. This is well beyond the life expectancy of a conventional air conditioner, which usually lasts between 12 to 15 years.

It’s also well beyond the terms of Daikin’s 10-year extended parts warranty, so I’m confident that when properly installed maintained, a Daikin mini split system should save you money in the long run, not cost you more!

Who Makes Daikin Mini Splits?

Since 2013, after a $3.7billion acquisition of Houston- based Goodman Global Group, Daikin North America LLC. has been manufacturing its products to sell to the US at the Goodman Global Group plant. The 525,000sq ft cooling plant is located near 610 Loop and Highway 290 near Houston, Texas- and sealed Daikin’s reputation as one of the largest HVAC system manufacturers in the US.

My Final Thoughts

Whilst Daikin may not have had, until recently, the same presence in the US as companies such as Fujitsu and Mitsubishi, its global reputation precedes it and after examining some of Daikin’s most popular ductless mini split systems, I can see why!

If you’re looking for quality, affordability, energy efficiency, with the capability to heat your home in the cold winter months and cool it during scorching summers, I’d recommend any of the Daikin mini split heat pumps that are above their underwhelming 17 SEER range.

I hope my Daikin mini split air conditioner review helped you understand what goes into a quality mini-split system! As a pioneer of the original mini-split system over 5 decades ago, it’s unsurprising to see Daikin has established itself as an HVAC powerhouse in the US today!