When buying a DIY mini split several things always need to be considered, from efficiency rating to the voltages it uses to operate.
While most units are 240v, there are 120v units when higher voltage is not available.
120-volt units can also be easier to install since many understand the wiring better than 240-volt units.
120v vs. 240v Mini Split
240v units are usually more efficient compared to 120v units, and the reason why most mini split units use the higher voltage.
A 120v system requires more amps to run, which can lead to heat loss in the wires. 240v motors also start and run easier, which leads to better efficiency.
120v units can still be very efficient, but 220v units will often have a better Seer rating.
The Seer rating on an HVAC system shows how efficient it can operate higher the number, the better.
HVAC systems are constantly improving with new 120v mini splits having a Seer rating of 220v systems a few years ago.
For example, a few years ago, a 17-19 Seer 240v mini split was common, with 21-23 Seer units common now in 2022.
Many 120v systems are 19-21 Seer, which 3-4 years ago was a very high rating for 230v systems.
If you are looking to get the highest Seer rating possible, a 240v system is likely the best, but 120v systems are also very good units with high Seer ratings.
Below we list our picks for the best 120v mini split systems.
As always, be sure to read reviews on Amazon, forums, here, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is the right pick for you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Our Picks for Best 120v Mini Split Kits
- MRCOOL Energy Star 120v (DIY-12-HP-115B)
- Pioneer WYS009A-19
- Senville LETO Series
MRCOOL manufactures many mini split units and has quickly become known for its innovative products.
The MRCOOL DIY-12-HP-115B unit is a 120v mini split kit that comes with everything needed to install except the electrical to the panel.
It also has a very good 22 Seer rating which is the best efficiency rating for a 120v system we have seen.
Another very useful feature is the line set comes set in a vacuum with no need for a vacuum pump to pump down the system.
It uses quick connect fittings which have a seal that is only broken when bolted to the outside condenser.
This makes it ideal for those who are unsure about the vacuum process most other mini split systems need.
Vacuuming down a mini split system is not difficult but does require more knowledge and tools that may not be for everyone.
For a high Seer rating along with the easiest DIY mini split to install, the MRCOOL DIY-12-HP-115B is worth a look.
Pioneer is another well-known mini split manufacturer that makes many good units.
The WYS009A-19 is a 19 Seer 110v/120V unit that has 9000 BTU of output.
There is also a 12000 BTU 120v system if more cooling and heating power is needed.
A Pioneer unit will need to be pumped down with a vacuum pump and checked for leaks before releasing the refrigerant.
Pumping down a unit is not difficult, with many low-cost vacuum pumps and HVAC gauges to be found online.
There are many YouTube videos and online tutorials to watch and see if pumping down a system is for you.
If it is not, the Mr. Cool kit, while costing more, will likely be a better option.
The Senville LETO Series is also a good mini split unit that operates from a 120 volt power circuit.
It is a 19 Seer 9000 BTU unit that uses 120-volts.
Senville units are very good and have a long life span for heating and cooling a space.
Like the Pioneer units, the system will need to be pumped down and set into a vacuum as well as checked for leaks.
120 Volt vs. 240 Volt Mini Split Wiring
Often the reason for installing a 120v unit is the mini split wiring is easier, or 240v is not available at a location.
120v will use more amps to run a mini split and often require a detected 20 amp breaker with no other devices on the same breaker.
Circuit breakers are rated to handle about 80 percent of their overall amperage.
This means that if an existing circuit is going to be used for a mini split any outlets and lights should not be on the same circuit.
If the circuit is overloaded, it will trip the breaker.
Installing a larger breaker without running new wiring is not an option since the wiring is also rated to the breaker that is installed.
Wiring always needs to be thought out, and usually, running a dedicated new circuit is best for a mini split.
If you do plan to use an existing circuit, be sure no other devices are also using it as the breaker will likely start tripping.
DIY Mini split kits units are a great way to save on operating costs and installation costs.
120v mini splits kits are a good option when 240v is not available.
Any mini split unit should be on its own dedicated circuit breaker with no other devices n the same circuit.
If other devices are on the same circuit, it will likely cause the breaker to trip.
Most 120v units will need a 20 Amp breaker, but be sure to check the specification.
The Seer rating should also be considered, with a higher Seer rating costing less to operate, which can add up over time.
Some units are also easier to install since quick connect units do not need to be pumped down and placed in a vacuum.
Quick connect systems usually cost more but can be beneficial for a home DIYer that doesn’t want to buy extra tools and go through the pump down steps.
Pumping down a system, in my opinion, is not difficult with many YouTube videos to show the steps.
Have you found a good 120v mini split system? Let us know your thoughts below.