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Minisplit recommendations

raul4817 | Posted in General Questions on

I just finished installing a fujitsu ducted minisplit for the second floor. Last fall before building my deck I pumped down and removed the old 10seer ac unit that was servicing the basement and 1st floor. I Had a quote the other day to braze and add r22 if needed for 450$, this is with me providing and installing line set and electric  to the unit. 

So I got to thinking why not just replace with a wall mounted mini split.  I was planning to do this with a another ducted fujitsu possibly the mid static version.  But with time and money as a constraint I thought I could at least for summer cooling get away with a centrally located head unit till money permits.   

I will be leaving my gas furnace existing for a few more years. 

zone 5
My 1st floor heat load is 22k  + 5k for the basement
                 cooling load  11K   +  1k for the basement. 

I figure to go with something in the 12k btu range since the cost is slightly lower.  I would like to use it in the winter as well till I need the extra btus then my gas furnace could supplement.  

I have eyeballed a few 18k units as well that could potentially cover the entire 1st floor load.  

Not including basement in my decision making because ideally id like to go with a ducted unit with a bit more capacity since the wife dislikes the head unit, but has agreed for the interim. This is really to get us through summer and offset natural gas usage in the winter as much as possible. 

Of the more budget friendly units I have seen blueridge sold through alpine air, Gree, pioneer, and panasonic.  

Most of these are in the $800 range(12k btu) 

the one i’m really eyeballing is a panasonic RE12SKUA.  for $800
16 seer  
heating capacity up to 16k( pretty close to my design load without the extra price of the 18k unit)

I am having a tough time locating the cold weather performance and minimum outdoor temp for heating. 

I figured why pay 450 to reinstall the old unit when for a bit more I could just go with a a budget unit.  My 1st floor is around 950sf. We are sleeping down there now but the bedrooms will be upstairs soon. I can easily locate this unit in the central foyer with hopes it can keep us comfortable all summer. 

I am not opposed to going with the 18k unit just hard to find in the $800 range beyond going with something like blueridge or mr cool. 



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  1. Expert Member
    Michael Maines | | #1
  2. Deleted | | #2


  3. raul4817 | | #3

    Thanks Michael,

    I found the submittal sheet after posting. Any thoughts on this particular unit? Not as high seer rating as the Mitsubishi or fujitsu but the modulation seems on par. Panasonic has a good reputation for there bath fans and ervs, but for minisplits?


    1. Expert Member
      Michael Maines | | #5

      Raul, I don't have experience with Panasonic mini-splits so I can't say.

  4. BFW577 | | #4

    Where are you located? What kind of winter temperatures would you be looking at during heating? You might not need a cold climate unit and there is a decent price difference between the two.

    The majority of the off name brands are actually made by either Midea or Gree in China. Midea is the largest air conditioner manufacturer in the world and Gree is the 2nd biggest.

    Pioneer, Blueridge, Mr Cool, and all the other brands are just redbaged Mideas or Grees. If you dive into the service manuals and parts diagram you will quickly find the units are identical each other. The manuals and specs are exactly the same. My floor console 12k mini split made by Midea is the exact same unit that Fujitsu, Daikin and just about every manufacturer are using are identical. They all appear to come from the same factory.

    My 2 self installed Midea and Gree 12k units have been running practically 24/7 for close to 2 years with no issues. My Midea unit was actually in a Carrier North America box and had both Carrier and Midea stickers to put on the unit.

    If you don't need a cold climate unit the Pioneer brand which is actually a rebadged Midea are good. They are reported to have excellent support. Like if something goes wrong they will send you an entire new unit. They are currently the best selling mini split on Amazon.

    1. raul4817 | | #9


      I am in zone 5. It does get cold but I'm fairly confident I can get by without the base pan heater. I have seen this pioneer sub 600$ WYS012AMFI19RL-00
      Its rated to around 7k btu @17f. But I will still have my gas furnace to pick up the slack. And I could in theory use this most of the time with the exception of those january/February cold spells.

  5. _JT | | #6

    Not sure if anyone has seen the 3rd gen MrCool DIY. It's a rebadged Midea with quick connects and the 3rd gen is well over 20 seer. It is about $200 more than the equivalent non DIY which might be worth it to some folks. (I think Home Depot has the 12k for about 1000)

  6. Expert Member
    AKOS TOTH | | #7

    In colder climates you want something with a pan heater. Along with heating capacity table, wheather it has a pan heater is hard to find.

    I use an EMI unit for heating a studio which does have a pan heater, works well except for about two weeks out of the year when it is too cold and capacity falls through the floor.

    In colder climate, the mini split on the main floor of the house will need to do the bulk of the heating for a two story structure, I would not skimp on it. The extra 300 to 500 for a budget hyper heat unit is well worth the money (Midea Premier). These are generally much higher SEER/HSPF and also come with a pan heater.

    1. raul4817 | | #8

      Thanks Akos,

      Like a said this is mostly a transitional option before I can go with a fully ducted version which will entail new ductwork and some time/patience to design currently.

      My second floor will have the fujitsu operational for summer but no AC on the main floor, so really just wanted to keep it comfortable. My old 92% afue is still operational and will take the brunt of the heating demand this coming winter, however if I have a single zone wall unit I would try to take full advantage of that as much as possible.

      The panasonic and pioneer units I saw in the lower price range both heat down to single digits but lose substantial capacity @17F. I'm not positive either have a pan heater but neither does my Fujitsu so it's something i will have to monitor in extreme cold and come up with something creative with heat tape or my heat gun if need be.

      I have seen the emi units at a reasonable price point, thanks for the suggestions I will look into the midea premier.


      1. Expert Member
        AKOS TOTH | | #10

        Not sure if the transition unit makes much sense.

        With a two story, you can get pretty decent cooling of the main floor by keeping the bedroom doors open. Maybe add a circulation fan on the main floor to move air around.

        A better in-between solution would be to get the ducted unit you want and temporarily tee it onto the existing furnace supply trunk with a length of fex duct. About the same work as the wall mount but now at least you have the unit you want.

        1. raul4817 | | #11


          I get what your saying, but the mid static fujitsu is somewhere at the 3k price point last I looked.

          I have seen a pioneer unit at 550$. That may not pick up much of the heating load in the colder months but should in theory cool the house and I had thoughts of running the furnace fan X minutes an hour to circulate the air.

          The transition unit will be given second life in either my detached garage or at my parents house where they still put window units in every summer.

          But your idea is a good one and has crossed my mind.


          1. Expert Member
            AKOS TOTH | | #12

            I would price one of these out:

            Last I checked, it was significantly less than a Fujitsu ducted unit.

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