Mitsubishi vs Fujitsu vs Daikin vs Gree Ductless Heat Pumps
Ductless Mini-Split Side-By-Side Comparison. Mitsubishi vs Fujitsu vs Daikin vs Gree
We’ve already installed more mini-split ductless ac and heat pumps in the Phoenix area by August 2017 than we installed all year long in previous years. That’s noteworthy because Magic Touch Mechanical has been installing mini-split ductless systems in Arizona for the last 20-years.
If you’re looking for ductless AC installation prices to determine the cost to install a single-zone, or multi-zone mini-split system, you should read this article as well: How Much Does a Ductless AC Cost Installed
We thought it was about time for a good old-fashion side-by-side comparison of four major ductless mini split brands!
The four ductless brands we get asked about the most are: Mitsubishi, Fujitsu, Daikin, and Gree. So, we took a look at one of the most popular configurations (electric heat pump, which provides both cooling and heating) and, (1-Ton or 12,000 BTUH – which should cover 400-600 sq. ft. depending on the application).
There are many other brands of ductless mini-split air conditioners and heat pumps on the market today including some newcomers like; LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sanyo. They are definitely not all created equally, so we will write more comparison articles like this in the future, but for now; we thought we’d start with four of the most popular.
Who’s Who Amongst Ductless Mini-Split Manufacturers
Mitsubishi claims to be the “most-sold” brand in the USA, while Daikin claims to be the largest air conditioning manufacturer in the world. Based on the research I did for this article, and having been in the HVAC Industry for the last thirty years, both claims are accurate to the best of my knowledge. After those two “big boys”, we tend to be asked about Fujitsu the next most frequently, followed by the lesser known; Gree.
Gree is sold by several of the big-box retailers and online retailers, at rock-bottom prices, which attracts most people to the brand, but for the few hundred dollars that stand to be saved upfront the Gree brand is not really the best investment of the group over the long-haul.
A word of caution on purchasing ductless AC equipment for sale online (even from trusted retailers): Due to obvious warranty and liability reasons, chances are you will not find a reputable HVAC company to install ductless equipment you purchased online. If you do find a licensed air conditioning contractor to install it, you may not get the caliber of install needed to assure the longevity, reliability, and efficiency these types of units are capable of.
As these units are serialized, the manufacturer can easily track who a unit was sold to, and most of their warranties specifically point out they will void the warranty of equipment purchased on the web, and not installed by an authorized contractor.
In my experience, most people don’t wind up saving any real money by purchasing this equipment online anyway; as a professional contractors quote will include all the other materials, labor, ancillary items needed to complete the installation, a labor warranty, and usually even the first year’s maintenance – not just the equipment. Again, these machines are not all built the same, and there is some real bottom-of-the-line equipment coming out of China that is not worth more than the weight of the scrap metal – so be careful!
Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump Specifications Comparison
Mitsubishi Ductless Heat Pump – MUZFH12NA / MSZFH12NA
- Compressor: Inverter
- Warranty: 12-Years Compressor & 12-Years Parts* / Place: 1st (tied with Daikin)
- Cooling Energy Efficiency Rating: 26.10 SEER / Place: 1st
- Heating Season Efficiency Rating: 12.50 HSPF / Place: 1st (tied with Daikin)
- Operating Range: -13F to 115F (Total range 128 degrees Fahrenheit) / Place: 1st
- Sound Rating Indoors (Max.): 41 dB / Place: 1st
- Sound Rating Outdoors (Max.): 49dB / Place: 1st (tied with Fujitsu)
- Outdoor Dimensions H x W x D: 21-1/2” x 31-1/2” x 11-1/4”
- Indoor Dimensions H x W X D: 12-7/8” x 36-3/8” x 9-3/16”
Fujitsu Ductless Heat Pump – AOU12RLW1 / ASU12RLW1
- Compressor: Inverter
- Warranty: 7-Years Compressor & 5-Years Parts / Place: 3rd (tied with Gree)
- Cooling Energy Efficiency Rating: 22.00 SEER / Place: 3rd (tied with Gree)
- Heating Season Efficiency Rating: 11.00 HSPF / Place: 3rd
- Operating Range: 5F to 115F (Total range 110 degrees Fahrenheit) / Place: 3rd (tied with Daikin)
- Sound Rating Indoors (Max.): 43 dB / Place: 2nd
- Sound Rating Outdoors (Max.): 49 dB / Place: 1st (Tied with Mitsubishi)
- Outdoor Dimensions H x W x D: 21-1/4″ x 26″ x 11-1/2″
- Indoor Dimensions H x W X D: 10-1/2” x 33” x 8”
Daikin Ductless Heat Pump – RXS12LVJU / FTXS12LVJU
- Compressor: Inverter
- Warranty: 12-Years Compressor & 12-Years Parts / Place: 1st (tied with Mitsubishi)
- Cooling Energy Efficiency Rating: 23.00 SEER / Place: 2nd
- Heating Season Efficiency Rating: 12.50 HSPF / Place: 1st (tied with Mitsubishi)
- Operating Range: 5F to 115F (Total range 110 degrees Fahrenheit) / Place: 3rd (tied with Fujitsu)
- Sound Rating Indoors (Max.): 57 dB / Place: 4th
- Sound Rating Outdoors (Max.): 61 dB / Place: 4th
- Outdoor Dimensions H x W x D: 21-5/8” x 30-1/8” x 11-1/4”
- Indoor Dimensions H x W X D: 11-5/8” x 31-1/2” x 8-7/16”
Gree Ductless Heat Pump – VIR12HP230V1A / VIR12HP230V1AH
- Compressor: Inverter
- Warranty: 7-Years Compressor & 5-Years Parts / Place: 3rd (tied with Fujitsu)
- Cooling Energy Efficiency Rating: 22.00 SEER / Place: 3rd (tied with Fujitsu)
- Heating Season Efficiency Rating: 10.10 HSPF / Place: 4th
- Operating Range: -4F to 115F (Total range 119 degrees Fahrenheit) / Place: 2nd
- Sound Rating Indoors (Max.): 45 dB / Place: 3rd
- Sound Rating Outdoors (Max.): 54 dB / Place: 3rd
- Outdoor Dimensions H x W x D: 21-3/8” x 33-3/8” x 12-5/8”
- Indoor Dimensions H x W X D: 11-3/8” x 33-3/8” x 8-1/4”
*NOTE: 12-Year parts and compressor warranty require units are installed and registered by select manufacturer approved contractors. If installed by non-approved contractor warranty reverts to 5- year parts, 7-years compressor.
Full disclosure, my company is a Mitsubishi Diamond Contractor, and this is our preferred brand of ductless equipment. However, we are Daikin Dealers as well, and typically specify Daikin on commercial HVAC projects (because they have the best commercial warranty around). I feel it’s important to point that out as I try to keep our product comparison articles as unbiased as possible. Clearly Mitsubishi wins or ties for first place in every category on this comparison chart, but the numbers speak for themselves, there was no favoritism shown here. Frankly, this is the reason we prefer the Mitsubishi brand.
If you consider the categories we choose to compare these units, you will see they are all the most important to a homeowner or building owner: Warranty, Efficiency, Operating Capabilities, Sound, & Size. (Price is dependent on the installation so couldn’t be compared here)
With regards to size, if we were to assume the smaller the better, the win would go to Daikin for having the shortest width indoor air handler; 5” shorter than the longest air handler – Mitsubishi.
While Daikin ties for first place in two important categories, where it really falls short compared to all the rest is noise levels. The Daikin is exponentially louder both indoors and outdoors than the rest of the bunch and for that reason it makes the decision for 2nd place a tough one. It really boils down to what is most important to you, the end user.
In the past, most of our customers were installing ductless units in their garage or sunroom (which in Phoenix we are stuck-up enough to call an Arizona Room – yes, we’re very proud of ourselves LOL), to expand upon useable livable space, woodshops, craft rooms, etc. For the last few years however we are seeing the trend towards replacing conventional ducted central air conditioning systems with multi-zone ductless ac & heating installations. Comparing a multi-zone ductless system becomes significantly more challenging than the one-to-one systems in the chart above (one-to-one is HVAC talk for one condenser and one air handler). If you are in the market for a multi-zone system, live in or nearby Phoenix, AZ, and would like to compare; we suggest you set up a consultation with one of our mini-split experts who will be delighted to!
If you have suggestions for articles like this you’d like to see in the future. Please let us know, we get our ideas from our readers and our clients and strive to have the most informative and helpful HVAC and Energy Efficiency blog on the internet!