Single Zone units heat and cool one room, while Dual zone units heat and cool 2 rooms.
What Is a Dual Zone Mini Split?
A Dual Zone mini split, sometimes called multi-zone, heats and cools two rooms using only one outside condenser.
Dual zone systems use only one outside condenser, while a single zone system would need two outside condensers.
There are many good units available, with some of our favorite picks below.
As always, be sure to read the reviews on Amazon, forums, here, or elsewhere to be sure a unit is a good fit for you.
*This post contains affiliate links.
Our Picks for the Best Dual Zone Mini Split Systems 2022
- Senville Dual Zone
- YMGI 2 Zone
- Gree 2 Zone
- Mitsubishi Dual Zone
- Pioneer 2 Zone
Senville is a well-known mini split manufacturer with single and dual zone systems.
They have a DIY kit that comes with the outside condenser and two inside wall units.
Two 16 foot line sets are also included that need to be run to each inside wall unit.
Senville makes many good DIY kits that are great for homeowners looking to save money on an install and doing it on their own.
YMGI builds this high 22 SEER dual zone mini split.
This gives a lot of heating and cooling power with a one 12,000 BTU unit rated to cool a room up to 650 square feet.
This gives the unit a total rated cooling power of 1300 square feet.
Gree has been around for many years, with several mini split systems available.
They have multiple zone systems for dual (2) trio (3) or quad (4) zone systems.
Gree units come with a good warranted of a 7-year compressor and five-year parts, of course always read the newest warranted before buying any unit.
The units do not come with copper line sets or control wires and need to be bought separately for a DIY install.
Mitsubishi is a trusted name in HVAC with many good units along with very generous warranted.
They are very well-built units that last many years with a very good efficiency rating.
This 20 SEER dual zone unit is very efficient, which will bring down running costs with a lower electrical bill.
Mitsubishi units are some of the best available but also cost the most, which may not be for everyone.
Pioneer is a well known do-it-yourself mini split manufacture that has a dual zone system.
A refrigerant line-set and control wires are still run as with any mini split install but hooked to the single outside condenser.
Dual Zone Mini Split Systems Comparison Table
|Senville||18,000 BTU||17 SEER||2 Zone|
|YMGI||24,000 BTU||22 SEER||2 Zone|
|Gree||18,000 BTU||22 SEER||2, 3, or 4 Zone Units|
|Mitsubishi||27,000 BTU||20 SEER||2 Zone|
|Pioneer||19, 900 BTU||21.3 SEER||2, 3, or 4 Zone Units|
Dual Zone Mini Split vs. Single Zone Mini Split
The advantage of a dual zone mini split is less outside space is needed which can look better with fewer outside condensers.
The disadvantage compared to a single zone unit is less redundancy.
For example, if a component fails on a dual zone system, there will be no heating or cooling.
If a component fails on a single zone system, the other unit will continue to work.
Mini split units are very reliable with breakdowns not common, but like anything, they can age, and components can fail.
Many computer server rooms use multiple single zone units to have redundancy since if one unit fails, the other will keep working.
A house with limited outside space or wanting a less cluttered look likely would do much better with a dual zone system.
Can a Dual Zone Mini Split Heat and Cool at the Same Time?
No, dual zone units can not heat from one indoor head and cool from another.
While heat pump units can both heat and cool, they can only be in one mode at a time.
For example, if the system is on cool, all the indoor air handlers can only be set to cool.
If the system is on heat, all the indoor air handlers can only be set to heat.
This is not usually a problem since if it is hot out, only the air conditioner mode is used. Likewise, when it is cold, only the heat mode is used.
For a space that needs separate controls, single zone units would be a better option.
How Much Does a Dual Zone Mini Split Cost?
Prices vary between $2000 and $5000 depending on the size, manufacturer, and time of the year the unit is bought.
They will cost more than a single head unit but usually not as much as two single head units.
The cost for a 2-zone mini split is usually less compared to buying two single zone mini split units.
Time of year can also sometimes affect price since units are more in demand when the weather is hot.
Can I Add a Second Zone to a Mini Split?
If the outside condenser is a multi zone unit a second indoor air handler can be added.
Most mini split systems are single zone units that can have only one inside air handler.
Most often another single zone unit needs to be added or the system swapped out for a dual zone outside condenser.
Do You Need a Mini Split Head in Each Room?
No, each room does not need a separate indoor air handler.
Most often 2-3 units are paced strategically in the house such as the living room and main bedrooms.
For example, a 1500 square foot home usually would have three indoor heads placed in the living room, master bedroom, and the second largest room.
Installing a mini split is a great option since they work very well, are low-cost to operate, and are very versatile. While single zone units work very well, two zone units can cool or heat more space.
Keep in mind that two single zone mini split units can also be installed, with two outside condensers.
Multiple stage mini split systems such as dual zone units help to solve problems that may arise during an install, such as limited outside space.