best 18000 btu mini split

The Best 18000 BTU Mini Split Options

The robustness and high power output of central HVAC systems make them a poor fit for relatively small spaces. The best 18,000 BTU mini-splits are a much more affordable option if you’re searching for an energy-efficient cooling and heating system for your apartment or specific area of your house.

These ductless Mini Split systems offer various features that help you improve the air quality in your home and increase your level of comfort. However, the options they offer affect their price, as models equipped with advanced sets of features cost much more than mini-splits that only have basic functions.

In this article, we’re going to provide you with the information you need to find the best 18,000 BTU mini-split option for your home. You should go through our guide to mini-splits if you want to learn more about how these systems work.

At a Glance – The 5 Best 18,000 BTU Mini-Splits

Brand Energy Efficiency  Wi-Fi Enabled  Price range
Cooper & Hunter mini-split SEER 19 Yes $$$$
Senville SENA 18MO-209 SEER 22.5 Yes $$$$$
Pioneer Diamante Series WYT018GLFI19RL SEER 19 No $$$$
Klimaire KSIV018-H219-S SEER 19 Yes $$$
Olmo Alpic SEER 16.5 No $$

Senville SENA 18MO-209 | Amazon

Use voice or app control to control your air conditioner from anywhere. Use routines to adjust temperature settings while you are away and enjoy energy savings of up to 40%.

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We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
07/20/2024 05:18 am GMT

Selection Criteria

Besides the power output and coverage area, numerous factors can help you determine which 18,000 BTU mini-split is the right choice for you. The parameters we used to select the mini-split options included in this article can assist you during your search for an 18,000 BTU mini-split.

Let’s take a look at the selection criteria we used to select the mini-splits for this article:

  • The number of indoor air handlers – Depending on their type, mini-splits can have one or more air indoor handlers. Our selection includes both single-zone and multi-zone models so that you can pick the version of these systems that fits your needs.
  • Heating function – This isn’t a standard feature on all models, as some mini-splits can only be used for cooling purposes. The units equipped with a heating function deliver the same level of performance throughout the year.
  • Power-saving capacities – Units that utilize the inverter technology have high SEER, EER, and HSPF ratings. Our selection of 18,000 BTU mini-splits includes models that have SEER ratings above 16.

Read our guide to finding a window heat pump if you don’t want to go through the process of installing a 1.5-ton mini-split.

Types of mini-splits

Mini Split Installed

These systems contain two components that are connected by refrigeration lines. All types of mini-splits have just one outdoor compressor that supplies hot and cold air to the indoor air-handlers.

Depending on the number of indoor air handlers, they have 18,000 BTU mini-splits divided into the following categories.

  • Single-zone mini-splits – This is the most common type of 1.5-ton mini-split. The system features one indoor air handler capable of delivering 18,000 BTU of heating and cooling power. Splitting the output of these units by connecting additional air handlers to the system isn’t possible.
  • Multi-zone mini-splits – Rather than having a single 18,000 BTU air handler, these systems have a pair of equally powerful air handlers. This enables you to regulate the temperature in multiple rooms without utilizing the unit’s maximum capacities. In addition, some versions of multi-zone systems have indoor air handlers with uneven output capacities, so for instance, you can get a model that has 12000 BTU and 6000 BTU air handlers.

Check out our guide to the best 4-ton AC units if you need a system capable of providing balanced cooling for an entire home.

The coverage range of 18,000 BTU mini-splits

The size of an area you can heat with a mini-split depends on its power output. These systems are available in different sizes, and you can choose from models that offer between 9000BTU and 36000BTUs.

A mini-split needs approximately 20BTUs to heat or cool 1sq/ft of floor space, which means that an 18,000BTU unit can effectively regulate room temperature in spaces smaller than 900sq.ft.

The average home size in the United States is approximately 2.000sq/ft, which suggests that a 1.5-ton isn’t powerful enough to supply heating and cooling for an entire home.

Also, the unit’s heating and cooling coverage range aren’t always the same, as some models can have higher or lower outputs when used in the heating mode. That’s why you must check the heating capacities of the mini-split system you want to get if you’re planning to use it for heating.

Go through our guide to furnace types to find a suitable heating solution for your home.

Energy efficiency ratings

Mini-splits are among the most energy-efficient cooling and heating systems on the market, but their power consumption depends on the unit’s size, climate, room insulation, and numerous other factors.

Going through the model’s efficiency rating will make it easier to select a model that doesn’t need vast amounts of power to keep your home cool or warm throughout the year.

  • Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) – This ratio shows you how much cooling a mini-split can provide for every Watt of energy you supply to it. 18,000 BTU units with 10 EER or higher are considered energy efficient. 
  • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) – According to the latest standards, an energy-efficient mini-split should have 14 SEER or higher. This rating indicates how much power the unit is going to consume during the cooling or heating season. The most energy-efficient 1.5-ton mini-splits have SEER ratings above 20.
  • Heating Seasonal Performance Ratio (HSPF) – A mini-split won’t have this rating unless equipped with the heating function. The HSPF shows you how much power a unit needs to supply a specific BTU output over the course of the entire heating season.

It is worth adding that each of these ratings is calculated under ideal conditions, and the unit’s actual energy efficiency might be lower if it is used in unfavorable conditions. Browse through our guide to the best electric fireplaces if you need an additional heating source in your home.

Key features of mini-splits

The performance of a 1.5-ton mini-split doesn’t depend solely on the power output, as the unit’s other features can affect its efficiency. Let’s go through some of the key features the 18,000 BTU mini-split should have.

  • Timer – Using the timer to program the mini-split to switch off and on at specific hours ensures that the temperature in your home is going to remain constant even while you’re away.
  • The sleep mode – 18,000 BTU mini-splits can detect temperature changes through the night while operating in the Sleep mode. This feature can be useful if you want to install a 1.5-ton mini-split in your bedroom.
  • Dehumidification – Almost all units feature dehumidification or dry mode designed to absorb moisture from the air. However, this feature isn’t designed for winter conditions, and you cannot use it to control air humidity during the heating season.
  • Air filtration – The main purpose of air filtration systems on 18,000 BTU mini-splits is to prevent dust or insects from entering the system and potentially damaging its components. Some units feature antimicrobial filters that improve the air quality in your home and protect the system simultaneously.

Our guide to humidity control systems can help you deal with dry or humid air in your home.

The most important factors to consider while choosing an 18,000 BTU mini-split



Brands like Pioneer, Air Con, and Senville dominate the 1.5-ton mini-split market, so choosing a unit manufactured by one of these brands is your safest choice. Moreover, these units often have similar or identical features, making it difficult to determine if one model is better than the other.

We’ve shortlisted some of the most important factors that can help you decide which 18,000 BTU mini-split is the right choice for you.

The number of zones

In most cases, you’ll have the choice between units that have one or two indoor air handlers since 18,000 BTU mini-splits with three or more indoor air handlers are rare. Opting for a two-zone model will enable you to regulate the temperature in two rooms with a maximum size of 450sq/ft.

Single-zone units are better suited for living rooms, home-based workshops, or other large spaces in your home that don’t contain barriers that could prevent the air from flowing freely to all parts of the room.

Heating output

Even though most models have identical heating and cooling outputs, assuming that a particular 18,000BTU mini-split can heat and cool the same amount of floor space can be a mistake.

Some 1.5-ton units can’t provide you with more than 12000 BTUs of heating, while others are actually more powerful while operating in the heating mode. That’s why you need to check the model’s heating output and make sure it is powerful enough to heat a part of your home.

Noise levels

Mini-splits produce considerably less noise than other cooling and heating systems. The loudest models make approximately 40dB of noise while operating at the maximum capacity, and they’re not a great fit for bedrooms or kid’s rooms.

The quietest 18,000 BTU mini-splits make between 20dB and 25dB of noise. These units don’t make enough noise to disturb your sleep or disrupt any of your activities.

Filter type

Whether or not you can use an 18,000 BTU mini-split to improve the air quality in your home depends on the type of filter that unit has. Filters with antimicrobial properties are your best option if you want to eliminate allergenic particles such as mites, dust, or pet dander.

Also, you should search for 1.5-ton BTU mini-splits that have washable and reusable filters because they will help you lower the system’s upkeep costs.

Budget limits and guarantee duration

The price range of 18,000 BTU mini-splits spans from $800 to over $2000, depending on the unit’s features, number of indoor handlers, and control options. The least expensive models often lack advanced options, while their energy-efficiency ratings are usually underwhelming.

You should include the installation costs in your budget since most 18,000 BTU mini-splits require professional installation. The warranty duration depends on the brand you choose, and it varies from two to seven years.

Keep in mind that the compressor warranty might be longer than the warranty for other system components.

The advantages of 18,000 BTU mini-splits

Mini Split

Suitable for different space layouts

You can choose between single-zone and multi-zone models depending on the layout of the space. A single-zone unit is better suited for large rooms that need powerful indoor air handlers, while multi-zone mini-splits can be a great cooling and heating solution for multiple rooms.

Great power-saving features

1.5-ton mini-splits equipped with inverter technology consume less energy than models that have a standard compressor motor. These systems have high SEER, EER, and HSPF ratings, and over time they can reduce the amount of power you’re spending to cool or heat your home.

Effortless temperature control

Besides having the ability to reach the set room temperature in minutes, 18,000 BTU mini-splits offer a variety of temperature control options. Hence, you can program these systems to switch off or on at specific hours or use them to control the room temperature during the night.

The disadvantages of 18,000 BTU mini-splits

Difficult installation process

DIY installation isn’t recommended, even if the model you purchased arrived with a DIY installation kit. The best solution is to hire a licensed HVAC technician to set up the unit for you, but keep in mind that this service can be very expensive.

Top 5 18,000 BTU mini-splits

Cooper & Hunter mini-split – The best single-zone 18,000 BTU mini-split

Cooper & Hunter

The impressive list of features the Cooper & Hunter mini-split offers suggests that this unit is capable of remarkable heating and cooling performances. You can use this ductless mini-split to heat and cool the same floor space because its output is capped at 18,000 BTUs in both modes.

The model has high SEER and HSPF ratings, which indicates that it doesn’t need a lot of power to heat or cool a 900sq/ft area. You can control this mini-split through an app or the remote, but you must purchase the USB WiFi adapter if you want to connect the unit to the Internet.


  • Low noise level
  • Performs well at low and high outdoor temperatures
  • Great power-saving features
  • Versatile control options


  • It doesn’t have an antimicrobial air filter
  • The system is prone to leakages

Cooper & Hunter Mini-Split | Amazon

Cooper&Hunter Mia Series 18,000 BTU, 230V Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump ETL Intertek Approved, AHRI Certified WiFi Ready (Additional USB adapter is required but NOT included).

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07/20/2024 05:26 am GMT

Senville SENA 18MO-209 – The best multi-zone 18,000 BTU mini-split

Senville SENA

The sleek design of the Senville SENA 18MO-209’s wall-mounted indoor air handlers makes it easy to match them with different home décor styles. Each air handler offers 9000 BTUs of cooling and heating capacity allowing you to regulate the temperature in separate rooms.

The outdoor compressor utilizes the inverter technology motor that lowers its power consumption and noise level. You will get a remote controller for either of the indoor air handlers, but you can also connect the system to the internet and control it from your smartphone.


  • Multiple cooling and heating zones
  • Broad operating temperature range
  • Energy-efficient performance
  • Lightweight construction


  • Very expensive
  • Connecting the unit to WiFi can be difficult

Senville SENA 18MO-209 | Amazon

Use voice or app control to control your air conditioner from anywhere. Use routines to adjust temperature settings while you are away and enjoy energy savings of up to 40%.

Buy at Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
07/20/2024 05:18 am GMT

Pioneer Diamante Series WYT018GLFI19RL – The best 18,000 BTU mini-split for heating

Pioneer Diamante Series

Manufactured by one of the industry-leading brands, the Pioneer Diamante Series WYT018LFI19RL is equally effective at cooling and heating. This model has a high HSPF rating, and it can provide hyper-heating even at subzero temperatures.

What’s more, its heating output is 19000 BTUs, which indicates that this mini-split can cover more floor space in the heating mode than in the cooling mode. The indoor air-handler features double-directional louvers that allow you to choose the direction of the airflow.


  • Excellent heating capabilities
  • Offers dehumidification and ventilation options
  • Features a DC inverter compressor
  • Quiet operation


  • No built-in WiFi functionality
  • Insulated copper tubing is 16-feet long

Pioneer Diamante Series Ductless Mini-Split Air Conditioner | Amazon

All-in-one ductless mini-split system for superior single-zone comfort. Efficient targeted heating and cooling for optimal year-round enjoyment.

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07/20/2024 06:27 am GMT

Klimaire KSIV018-H219-S – The quietest 18,000 BTU mini-split

Klimaire KSIV018

You should consider getting the Klimaire KSIV018-H219-9 if you’re looking for a mini-split you can install in your bedroom. This unit makes just 25dB of noise at maximum capacity, and it is unlikely to disturb you or your neighbors.

Klimaire’s model doesn’t have an inverter compressor motor, but despite this, its SEER and HSPF ratings are high. The auto-cleaning function ensures that the unit’s evaporator is properly cleaned after every heating or cooling session.

The manufacturer offers a 7-year warranty for the compressor and a 5-year warranty for other system components.


  • Low power consumption
  • Utilizes Golden Fin technology
  • Built from high-quality materials
  • Long warranty period


  • Features just one indoor air handler
  • It can’t operate at temperatures below 5F

Klimaire KSIV018-H219-9 | Amazon

Klimaire highly efficient 19 SEER KSIV018-H219-S(W) DC inverter system includes indoor unit, outdoor unit, 15-ft. installation kit with all accessories, interconnecting cables, outdoor wall mounting bracket, and remote control.

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07/20/2024 05:50 am GMT

Olmo Alpic – The most budget-friendly 18,000 BTU mini-split

Olmo Alpic

Despite being one of the least expensive 18,000 BTU mini-splits on the market, Olmo Alpic still has a lot to offer. This single-zone unit features a Toshiba inverter compressor that reduces the amount of power the system needs to maintain a constant temperature in a room.

The Olmo Alpic has a similar coverage range in heating and cooling modes, and its performance isn’t affected by low temperatures. The model ships with a programmable remote that lets you switch between different modes or adjust temperature settings effortlessly.


  • Affordable price
  • Arrives with the installation kit
  • Equipped with inverter technology
  • Excellent heating features


  • Some components are not made of durable materials
  • Parts are covered by a limited warranty

Olmo Alpic | Amazon

OLMO mini split air conditioners are ductless heating and cooling systems that allow you to control the temperatures in individual rooms or spaces. It is a great way to heat and cool your home all year round with.

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We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
07/20/2024 06:27 am GMT

Frequently asked questions about 18,000 BTU mini-splits

Question: Are 18,000 BTU mini-splits corrosion-resistant?

Answer: Yes, these systems usually have corrosion-resistant components that can withstand prolonged exposure to moisture.

Question: Do 18,000 BTU mini-splits utilize eco-friendly refrigerants?

Answer: Yes, they do. None of the models you can find on the market use refrigerants that contain ozone-depleting substances.

Question: Do I have to purchase the installation kit for an 18,000 BTU mini-split?

Answer: Fully charged line sets, communication wires, and drainage accessories usually arrive with the unit, so there’s no need to purchase the entire installation kit.

Question: Can I use a generator to power an 18,000 BTU mini-split?

Answer: Yes, you can; if the generator is powerful enough to supply a 1.5-ton mini-split with the starting and running wattage, it needs to function normally.

Our Verdict: Deciding Which Is The Best 18000 BTU Mini Split

Ductless mini-split systems can be very effective in a variety of contexts since you can use them to control the temperature in your office or your garage.

Their coverage range prevents you from using them as the only cooling or heating system for spaces larger than 1000sq/ft, and you should search for a more powerful solution if you need a system that can regulate the room temperature in your entire home.

We recommend the Senville SENA 18MO-209 if you need a multi-zone mini-split with excellent power-saving features. A single-zone unit like the Pioneer Diamante Series WYT018LFI19RL if you want to make sure that the mini-split you get is going to perform well throughout the year.

07/20/2024 05:26 am GMT

Which 18,000 BTU mini-split are you going to choose? Let us know in the comments or continue reading our guide to the best 5-ton heat pumps to learn more about systems that can cover more than 3000sq/ft of floor space or check out some of the best:

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