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Best ductless air conditioners 2021

Best ductless air conditioners 2021: Image shows couple sat on a sofa smiling at each other
(Image credit: Getty)

Choosing from the best ductless air conditioners can be a little overwhelming. That’s why we’ve pulled together a list of the top ductless AC units, so you can find an option to suit your needs.

Whether you want to inject some added warmth into your space or cool down a large room, the best ductless air conditioners can do it all. Sometimes called mini-split ACs, ductless air conditioners work just like a central air conditioning unit, but they don’t have to travel through your air ducts to cool or heat your space. 

Instead of blowing cool or hot air through your ducts, ductless air conditioners work by blowing hot or cold air straight into your room. Many ductless ACs are made up of two units, this makes them perfect for those that want different temperatures in different rooms.

Unlike traditional ACs, the best ductless air conditioners require little maintenance. Plus, they don’t suck up dirt and pollutants to the same extent that a central air conditioning unit might. But, they are quite pricey. In our round up, the top ductless air conditioner for multiple zones costs just under $3,000. However, that particular machine is powerful enough to cover three separate zones. While the smallest unit in our buying guide will set you back around $800. Interested? Keep reading to discover the best ductless air conditioners from reputable brands like Gree, Bosch, Emerson, and more.

Or, if you’re looking for other ways to cool your home, check out our guide to the best thru wall air conditioners

1. Gree MULTI24HP312: Best ductless air conditioner for multiple zones 

Gree MULTI24HP312

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Gree MULTI24HP312

Pricey, but powerful, the Gree MULTI24HP312 comes with enough indoor units to cover three separate zones.

Cooling capacity: 31,000 BTU | Heating capacity: 35,000 BTU | Cooling area: 1,550 sq ft | SEER rating: 21

Smart enabled
Great SEER rating
Longer warranties are available

The Gree MULTI24HP312 may be the most expensive ductless air conditioner on this list, but it offers the widest coverage, and with three indoor units, it provides a more affordable alternative to installing new ductwork for a conventional air conditioning system. The three indoor units enable installation in three separate spaces and all three can be individually controlled.

As a premium model, the Gree MULTI24HP312 has a wide range of convenience extras. Three infrared remote controls come with this model, or you can connect the system to Gree’s app, enabling you to control the units from your smartphone.

The Gree MULTI24HP312 has also been created with durability in mind. If you’re splashing out on an expensive system you want to know that it will last. From anti-corrosion technology to five-year warranties on both parts and the compressor, this premium system is designed to last.

2. Daikin FTXB18AXVJU: Best ductless air conditioner for large spaces  


(Image credit: Amazon)


The Daikin FTXB18AXVJU is a single zone system with a wide enough coverage to make it a great choice for workshops and other large spaces.

Cooling capacity: 18,000 BTU | Heating capacity: 17,900 BTU | Cooling area: 1,000 sq ft | SEER rating: 17

Good warranty
Single zone

The Daikin FTXB18AXVJU is a powerful single zone ductless air conditioner that can cool or heat spaces up to 1,000 square feet in size. This makes it a great choice for workshops or open-plan residential spaces. It is pricier than some of the other single-zone systems on this list, so if you don’t need wider coverage you can save money by opting for one of those instead.

This system is energy efficient too, utilizing a range of technology to help keep usage low and energy bills cheaper. Air purification is achieved through the use of a titanium apatite photocatalytic air-purifying filter.

Despite the powerful airflow output, the Daikin FTXB18AXVJU is quiet, it’s often able to effectively operate at low speeds so the sound levels stay low for minimum noise interruptions. 

3. Bosch 8733954447: Best ductless air conditioner for dual zones 

Bosch 8733954447

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Bosch 8733954447

A dual-zone ductless air conditioner from a highly regarded brand name.

Cooling capacity: 18,000 BTU | Heating capacity: 18,000 BTU | Cooling area: 900 sq ft | SEER rating: 17

Works quietly
Energy Star rated
Doesn't come with much wire
Small cooling area

The Bosch 8733954447 provides powerful cooling and heating across two separate zones thanks to the two indoor units included with this system. It is pricier than single zone units, but with the extra hardware included as part of the system, it’s to be expected.

This is also a good quality system that’s durable and well-designed. It’s Energy Star certified too, so energy usage will be lower than some other ductless air conditioners, helping to keep monthly bills lower.

The Bosch 8733954447 also has one of the best warranties of any ductless air conditioner in this round up. It offers a 10-year compressor warranty, five-year parts warranty. Combined with Bosch’s reputation for quality products, this system is likely to last for many years to come.

4. Emerson Quiet Kool 19S-EACH12R1W: Best budget ductless air conditioner 

Emerson Quiet Kool 19S-EACH12R1W

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Emerson Quiet Kool 19S-EACH12R1W

The Emerson Quiet Kool 19S-EACH12R1W effectively cools and heats spaces on a budget.

Cooling capacity: 12,000 BTU | Heating capacity: 12,000 BTU | Cooling area: 550 sq ft | SEER rating: 20

Quiet operation 
Great SEER rating
Only suitable for small spaces
Single zone only 

The Emerson Quiet Kool 19S-EACH12R1W may not be the most powerful ductless air conditioner on this list, but it will be plenty powerful for a wide range of spaces. On top of that, it’s one of the cheapest on the market so you could save money by opting for this model.

This budget ductless air conditioner has enough power to effectively heat or cool spaces up to 550 square feet. It’s a single zone model, so it can only be used to improve the airflow of one space.

This system has a good range of convenience features too. A digital display is useful for easy readout and ease-of-use while the WiFi connectivity allows for control via Alexa or Google Assistant. Along with features like auto defrosting and automated cleaning technology, as well as compressor intelligent pre-heating, this is a budget system that offers great value for money.

5. Pioneer WYS012G-19: Best ductless air conditioner for small spaces 

Pioneer WYS012G-19

(Image credit: Amazon)

Pioneer WYS012G-19

A low-cost option that’s best suited to smaller spaces.

Cooling capacity: 12,000 BTU | Heating capacity: 11,800 BTU | Cooling area: 300-450 sq ft | SEER rating: 17.5

Washable filters
Clear display
Not smart enabled
Only good for small rooms

For such an affordable ductless air conditioner, the Pioneer WYS012G-19 offers a good range of features all within a compact and sleek system. It’s even cheaper than our best budget pick, but the lower coverage area means the Emerson Quiet Kool 19S-EACH12R1W offers slightly better value.

The Pioneer WYS012G-19 offers some good usability options that still make it a great choice for anyone looking to cool or heat a single small space. The dimmable LED display is great for at-a-glance information that won’t disturb your sleep if you decide to install it in a bedroom. Night mode also aids more comfortable sleep.

This system has four operating modes to choose from; cooling, heating, dehumidification, and ventilation. The included remote control is also useful for customizing your airflow output from across the room.