Heat pumps are one of the best ways to heat and cool a space, and when combined in a mini split system they make for the perfect Do-It-yourself option.
Mini split systems are smaller than traditional home HVAC units and work well in a large open room. The only real downside to a mini split is they don’t use ducts to transfer air around a home and only blow air from one location.
This means that they don’t transfer heat or cold air well past walls or other obstruction. Setup strategically along with ceiling fans they do work well sometimes cooling more than one room and surrounding areas.
It comes down to how well it is placed and the air can travel. Often a home will have more than one setup to cool an entire home.
There are many mini split units available that can be ordered and installed by a Do-It-Yourself type person.
Installing a unit is not hard if you have some prior experience in HVAC or construction. A unit will have to be wired into its own breaker and disconnect along with the refrigeration lines run.
Refrigeration lines called a line-set carries refrigerant from the inside evaporator unit outside to the condenser. The condenser and evaporate work together but separately in a mini split system.
Which Mini Split Units Heat and Cool?
Mini split Heat Pump units can heat during the winter and cool in the summer.
Any unit that is a heat pump has a reversing valve that can change from heating to cooling.
The process of the unit will work the same only pumping away heat or cold air depending on the mode the unit is set on.
When looking for a mini split that can heat or cool be sure it is listed as a Heat Pump unit.
So What is the Best Mini Split Heat Pump?
Opinions will vary as to what is the best Mini Split with 4-5 DIY kits available.
We have installed several of these units and have written post along with YouTube videos of installing them.
Below is our picks of the best units along with links for how we installed them.
As always be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, forums, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Our Picks for Best DIY Mini Split Heat Pump that Cools and Heats
- Mitsubishi Hyper Heat
PIONEER Air Conditioner Pioneer Mini Split Minisplit Heatpump 9000 BTU-208/230 V
Pioneer makes several good units from 9000 BTU to 36000 BTU along with both 120 volt and 220 volt systems.
Installing a unit is not hard but does require some skill so be sure to call a professional if needed.
I installed a 12000 BTU unit and it has been working very well. I installed it for a friend in a home addition that had no A/C and made a video along with a post of how I install a Pioneer mini split here.
Like any DIY Mini Split kit the refrigerant comes locked in the unit that is released after installation.
Pioneer mini splits are a popular option with DIY’ers since the units are low cost and the kits come with everything needed (except wiring) to do an install.
So far this unit has worked very well along with the ability to install it without the need for a HVAC company.
Senville 9000 BTU Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump SENA-09HF/Z
Senville is another popular brand that has an entire mini split kit that comes with everything needed to install the system, except for electrical wiring.
It comes in different sizes ranging from 9000 BTU – 24,000 BTU.
I installed a 9000 BTU unit and made a video along with a post showing how I install a Senville unit which is here.
Mini splits come pre-charged with refrigerant that is released after the line set is vacuumed out.
Even though someone could be hired to install it this is also perfect for the home Do-it-Yourselfer.
Tools will be needed if you do it yourself such as a vacuum pump and HVAC gauges but these can be picked up cheap compared to the cost of hiring a HVAC tech.
A handy person combined with all the YouTube videos out there most likely can install a mini split in a day or two.
Of course, someone can be hired to install the system and this may be the best option for anyone not handy.
If you do decide to install a mini split yourself the most difficult thing will possibly be the wiring.
The electrical is not difficult if you have done it before, such as wiring a dryer or ceiling fan.
Of course, the electrical can simply be outsourced to an electrician who will wire it in quickly if needed.
MRCOOL Comfort Made Simple DIY 12,000 BTU Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner and Heat Pump System with Wireless-Enabled Smart Controller; Works with Alexa, Google or App; 115V AC
The MRCOOL DIY Series of Heat pump mini split units are marketed for the DIY individuals.
Everything comes with the kit except the electrical including the line-set and pre charged unit.
The MRCOOL mini split unit do cost more compared to Pioneer or Senville but are popular and used by many.
One of the things that makes MRCOOL units different from other mini split kits is there is no need to vacuum down the lines.
MRCOOL line-sets are already in a vacuum and have a seal that is broken when bolted onto the outside condenser.
This makes them the easiest to install with no need to worry about vacuum pumps and gauges.
I recently installed a MRCOOL Mini Split on a garage which turned out very well and was much simpler compared to other kits.
It used 120 volt 20 AMP breaker the same as most home outlets.
Daikin 12,000 BTU 17 SEER Wall-Mounted Ductless Mini-Split Inverter Air Conditioner Heat Pump System 15 Ft. Installation Kit & Wall Bracket (230 Volt) 10 Year Limited Warranty
Daikin is a top HVAC manufacture that builds heat pump units that will cool in the summer and heat in the winter.
They have different sized units from 9,000 BTU – 24,000 BTU along with good SEER Ratings.
Like most DIY mini split installs the copper line-set will need a vacuum pump and gauges to pump down.
Daikin is a good manufacture with a good warranty.
Mitsubishi MZ-FH12NA MSZ-FH12NA MUZ-FH12NAH Ductless Split System AC SEER 26.1 Cool & Hyper Heat 12,000 Btu Energy Star
Mitsubishi is one of the top brands available with very good units which unfortunately also cost the most.
They also are not as DIY friendly as many other companies many which have dedicated DIY kits.
With that said they are very good unit with very good SEER ratings and and warranties.
The Hyper Heat model is one such good unit that is specially designed for colder climates.
All mini split heat pumps work very well when cooling in the summer but can struggle in the winter with very cold temperatures.
If you live in a climate with mild winters such as the American southwest most any heat pump will work very well in the winter.
If you live in a colder climate a Mitsubishi Hyper Heat can heat much better compared to other units.
It also has a 26 SEER rating which makes it one of the most efficient units available.
While great units they do cost more and are not very DIY friendly with it best for a HVAC tech to do an install.
They can be installed by a more advanced homeowner with previous HVAC skills but not so much for a first install.
For example, most units will not include a copper line-set like most all DIY kits will.
Installing your own mini split with a DIY kit is a good way to save on cost and have a working heat pump in your house.
Of course care will have to be taken as there are potential danger when installing a unit.
The main danger is the electrical as most know can be dangerous if handled or installed wrong.
Of course this will depend on your prior experience or possible friends or family that work in a trade.
If in doubt installing a window heat pump unit is more straight to the point and easier to install.
Window units are less desirable than mini splits since they are nosier and can block a window from use, but are also popular option since they don’t require any high skill to install.