What is the Best Mini Split Heat Pump for a Tiny House?

By | September 12, 2020

What is the Best Mini Split Heat Pump for a Tiny House
Tiny homes have become very popular for many reasons from low-cost and saving money to less impact on the environment.

Heating and cooling a tiny home can be done in a variety of ways with perhaps the best option to use a Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump.

Using a ductless mini split on a tiny home is ideal as they are cheap to buy, install, and operate.

What is a Mini Split Heat Pump?
A Mini split is a scaled down smaller HVAC system from the big units used on large homes.
Best Mini Split Heat Pump for a Tiny House
They basically work the same as a large units only smaller and cheaper to buy and run.

They are perfect for a small home and are often installed on home add-ons, garages, work sheds and more.

What is a Heat Pump?
A heat pump is an air conditioner that reverse in the winter to heat.

Air conditioners only pump out heat from a space while a heat pump unit has a reversing valve to pump heat in either direction.

This makes them ideal for heating and cooling.

The one downside to a heat pump is if the temperature drops too low during the winter it will have problems pulling heat.

Most new units can heat well down to 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit but if the temperate drops much more they will start to struggle.

If you live in a location that has very cold winters it will be best to have an extra heat source for very cold nights.

How Much Does a Mini Split Cost?
Units can be bought from $600-$3000 dollars depending on the brand and size of the unit.

Installation cost will also need to be considered.

There are many DIY kits for the handy type of person who has no problems using power tools with basic wiring and construction skills.

Of course an HVAC company can also be called for a bid to install a unit.

Bids to install a mini split can vary greatly with pricing for an install in the $1000-$3000 range.

What Size Unit Do You Need?
Sizing a mini split is done by the square feet a home has.

Measuring length and width and multiplying the two number will give the square feet of a room.
What Size Mini Split Do You Need
This should be done in each room including closets and all added together for total square footage.

After the square footage is known, next use a mini split sizing chart for the right size for your home.

BTU Sizing Chart for Mini Split

Area Size Sq FtBTU's Needed
150 to 250 Sq Ft6,000 BTUs
250 to 300 Sq Ft7,000 BTUs
300 to 3508,000 BTUs
350 to 400 Sq Ft9,000 BTUs
400 to 450 Sq Ft10,000 BTUs
450 to 550 Sq Ft12,000 BTUs
550 to 700 Sq Ft14,000 BTUs
700 to 1,000 Sq Ft18,000 BTUs
1,000 to 1,200 Sq Ft21,000 BTUs
1,200 to 1,400 Sq Ft23,000 BTUs
1,500 Sq Ft24,000 BTUs

What is a SEER Rating?
The more efficient a unit is the better the SEER rating is.

This means lower electricity cost to operate.

There is two different SEER ratings for any heat pump, one for cooling, and one for heating.

The higher the number the better. For example 19 SEER is better then 17 SEER.

The lowest SEER Rating to consider for 2019 is 16 SEER for cooling and 9 SEER for Heating but higher the better.

There are many units with each having a different SEER rating.

Our Picks for Best Mini Split Heat Pump for a Tiny House

  1. Pioneer
  2. Pioneer WYS012-17 Air Conditioner Inverter+ Ductless Wall Mount Mini Split System Air Conditioner & Heat Pump Full Set, 12000 BTU 115V

    Pioneer units are very popular with the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) crowd since they come with everything needed to install it except the electrical wiring.

    The outside condenser comes pre-charged with refrigerant that is released into the system after installing it.

    I installed a Pioneer 230 volt model on a small home 2 years ago and it works very well.

    Pioneer sizes range from 9000 BTU to 3600 BTU and have both 110 volt and 230 volt systems.

    Read Here for How I installed a Pioneer Mini Split
     

  3. Senville
  4. Senville SENL-09CD/220V Mini Split Air Conditioner Heat Pump, 9000 BTU 18 SEER 208/230V

    Senville is another popular DIY Mini split system that comes in different sizes and voltages.

    Like most all DIY mini split kits it some with everything needed except the electrical wiring.

    The SEER rating on the new models range from 20-25 which make them very efficient units with some of the highest SEER ratings available.

    I installed a 220 volt 22.5 SEER unit on a small room add-on and it works very well heating and cooling.

    Read Here for How I installed a Senville Mini Split
     

  5. MRCOOL
  6. MRCOOL DIY 12k BTU 22 SEER Ductless Heat Pump Split System 3rd Generation – Energy Star 120v (DIY-12-HP-115B)

    MRCOOL makes the easiest units to install since they have no need to be vacuumed down with a HVAC pump and gauges.

    Using a vacuum pump and gauges to vacuum down a mini split is not hard and I have made some videos of how it is done.

    The reason for the vacuum is the two copper lines called a line-set the runs between the inside unit and out side unit.

    Before the refrigerant is released the line-set needs to be in vacuum.

    MRCOOL comes with the lines already sealed in a vacuum that is broken when bolted onto the outside unit.

    It is also runs from 115 volts AC which is the standard wall outlet power everyone is familiar with.

    I installed a unit on a garage and it is working very nicely with no problems so far.

    Read Here for How I installed a Mr Cool Mini Split

Summary
Using a ductless mini split on a tiny home is very popular since the cost is much lower compared to a standard large packaged HVAC system.

There are many DIY kits or a HVAC company can be hired to install the unit.

Installing a split-system is not difficult if you have some basic construction experience.

Be sure to read tutorials and watch YouTube videos to see if installing one yourself is possible.

If in-doubt be sure to call a professional.

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.

Have you installed a mini split in a tiny home let us know your experience below in the comments.

https://youtu.be/M3WXL8TBWJs
https://youtu.be/Dg-w2uAsEJE
 




 

4 thoughts on “What is the Best Mini Split Heat Pump for a Tiny House?

  1. Camilla Augustine

    The shed that will be my year-round art studio is only 10 x 12 feet with 10 foot ceiling at highest point.
    Windows are all insulated. Shed is located under a large oak tree, so is always in shade, but This is Florida and temperatures range from 20 – 90 degrees. I’m interested in a mini split hear pump air conditioner as some of the units I’ve seen are VERY noisy and are continuously stopping and starting.
    Please advise as to the best 6000 BTU unit that could be used. What are the electrical requirements? The household panel apparently has some “room”, but I’d like to tell the electrician what you report.

    Reply
  2. Roderick Bedingfield

    I would really like to benefit from your response to Camilla
    This is not a reply to her question some questions that may fit in with your answer
    I am building a shed 120sq ft – 8 ft ceiling
    It is air sealed and well insulated
    Sacramento Valley – Climate Zone 3 – dry – no ice or snow
    Looking for something that generally works more efficiently at the level where it is maintaining a small amount of cooling ie the temperature drop is small to maintain and the incoming heat is lower than usual houses and the southern facing wall has another wall between it and the sun deflecting much of the heat
    The unit would not be running full tilt except on a hot day when the air conditioning has been left off and the room needs to cool down over an hour or two)
    Some units I have seen are cool only – is there any advantage to those? (using a small and separate heater)
    Are there any that would be better for using with a solar generator?
    Thank you for any expertise in advance.

    Reply
  3. Dave

    Why are so many ‘articles’ available referencing ductless ac systems for small rooms? This is utter nonsense. The vast majority of these systems are dramatically over-powered for bedrooms or ‘tiny homes.’ Sure, there are units that can scale down but tbat’s inefficient.

    Get a good window or wall ac and install it correctly in a proprly insulated room.

    Reply
    1. Meee

      Window units are loud, inefficient, and last 4-5 yeas on average. Most Windows units have bad SEER ratings costing 2-3 times more to operate and are loud noisy packages. Mini split units are highly efficient, very quite, and built to last many years. There is no comparisons of the two.

      Reply

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