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Best ductless air conditioners 2021: Ductless AC units for large spaces

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

The best ductless air conditioners are the perfect compact indoor units, delivering efficient cool or warm air to an individual room whenever you need it. If you’re looking for a system that will give you year-round climate control of a particular area in your home, a ductless air conditioner can be a great choice.

Also known as mini-split ACs, ductless air conditioners use the same process as you’d find in the best central air conditioning units, except instead of using a series of ducts to distribute the air through the whole of your home, warm or cold air is blown into one room. You’ll find that the best ductless air conditioners are made up of at least two units. The outdoor compressor unit is connected to one or more indoor units, creating a single or multi-zone system, making them a great choice for family homes where everybody wants their room cooled to a different temperature. 

The best ductless air conditioners have plenty more benefits too. Unlike a system that requires ductwork, a ductless AC is usually quicker and easier to install. They allow the temperature of individual rooms to be customized, are cost-effective, and their compact design makes them a good choice if space is in short supply. If you suffer from allergies, then a ductless AC unit can be a better choice than other systems as they don’t gather dirt and pollutants to the same degree that those requiring ductwork do. 

Check out our ductless air conditioner reviews below to help you find what you’re after. 


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
Pricey
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  

Daikin FTXB18AXVJU

(Image credit: Amazon)

Daikin FTXB18AXVJU

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
Efficient
Single zone
Expensive

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.