Mini-split HVAC systems are a compromise between the window unit and the full ducted AC system. They are more expensive up front but save money if your home does not have ducts, and you will need to install them separately for an air conditioning system.
Compared to windows systems, they save you money in the long run when it comes to power consumption. Their SEER rating usually starts from 18, which is an efficiency rating. These mini-split systems don’t only work to provide cool air but also have a hot air pump for winter.
All in all, they are a great option for those that want to save money and improve the efficiency of their HVAC systems. In this article, we will look at the best Pioneer Mini Splits that serve their purpose in the best manner.
How Does Pioneer Compare to the Competition?
Pioneer has been in business for over 25 years and is a subsidiary of ‘Parker Davis.’ This might not be the most known HVAC brand, so why choose it? There several advantages of a Pioneer unit, which include the following.
Compared to other brand names, Pioneer systems have a much lower price. That does not mean that its quality and efficiency is low. Their manufacturing process goes through strict testing and complies with ISO standards. Their products are also environmentally friendly and follow the RoHS guidelines. The refrigerants they use are the newer R407C and R410A that are more eco-friendly.
The minimum required SEER rating for an air conditioner is 13, but the average rating for a Pioneer system is between 16 and 18, which is a very good place to start. There are, of course, higher ratings but for extra money.
These systems save a lot of money along the way in energy bills if bought in the right size for the area it needs to cool or heat. You can control the temperature remotely and save energy when you are not at home. Pioneer also gives the option of a timer on some products so you can set it to turn off at night when you are asleep.
When a particular product is the sole product of a company, excellent quality and research are expected from them in that regard compared to other companies. Pioneer only makes mini-split systems and has a lot of experience in doing that. Its products have received good reviews throughout their years in business.
Comparison of the Best Pioneer Mini Splits
All the mini-splits manufactured by Pioneer follow the same standards and design, but they differ in their size and efficiency. They are all used in different locations and different sized rooms. For a better understanding, look at the comparison table below.
Energy Efficiency (SEER)
Home Sq. Ft.
Cost of Unit Only
Review of the Best Pioneer Mini Splits
Now that you have some idea about the ratings and space requirements of the different units let’s look at them in detail. Picking any of these will surely make a great investment.
Pioneer 12000 BTU Mini Split Heat Pump
Why it Stands Out to Us
This model is from the high efficiency in inverter+ systems. Its cooling capacity is 12000 BTU/h, and the heating capacity is 11800 BTU/h. For a system of this size, its SEER rating is enough for energy star qualification i.e., 19.5. This is a single zone system meaning it only comes with one indoor unit. Everything you will need to install it is provided in the kit along with a user manual.
You can monitor the temperature via the LED display on the indoor unit and change the settings with the remote control. The compressor uses a variable speed DC motor, which improves the efficiency of the system. You can also use an internet app to monitor and control the unit from anywhere in the world.
For light commercial use, this all-in-one unit is our top pick. It comes at a very reasonable price, and it has been reported to reduce energy bills significantly. It has everything you will expect from a modern HVAC system, including internet access.
Its automatic temperature detection will change the speed accordingly. Since it is a 12000 BTU unit, it can easily cool and heat around 400 square feet area. There are other BTU units available in the same series as well, both higher and lower. It is recommended to consult a technician for installation to avoid any leaks and breakage.
Pioneer 9000 BTU Mini Split Heat Pump
Why it Stands Out to Us
This is an inverter++ ductless system with 9000 BTU/h cooling and 98000 BTU/h heating capacity. The SEER rating is quite high at 22.5 as normal SEER rating for a cooling system is between 13 and 21, so one can expect high efficiency with this model.
Its temperature range is from 62-90F. This model also lets you access and monitor the system via the internet. You can choose from 4 options, i.e., cooling, heating, ventilation, and dehumidification. It will remember the settings in case of power loss when it turns back on. The outside unit has a durable construction with galvanized metal.
A step up from the inverter+ series, this Inverter++ model has a higher SEER rating but lower BTU level. This means it is more suitable for smaller rooms around 300 square feet.
When it comes to price, it wins, but that is probably because of the smaller size. It is a single zone residential system and can be bought in different BTU options as well, ranging from 9000 to 24000. It has been safety tested by ELT and listed for energy efficiency by AHRI. It has the same ultra-quiet operation that you get from many other Pioneer mini-splits.
Best for the Money:
Pioneer Air Conditioner WYS020GMHI22M2 Multi-Split
Why it Stands Out to Us
When looking for a dual-zone mini-split, you would expect higher prices, but this model provides both indoor units and the outdoor unit along with the installation kit at a very reasonable price.
The SEER efficiency of the system is also great at 21.3. Its combined cooling capacity ranges from 4197 to 19900 BTU/h. It is perfect for bigger homes that require more units to cool effectively. It will automatically adjust the power consumption as required by each zone. Each zone can be monitored and have its settings changed independently of the other.
If you want a more effective system that can cool or heat up more than one room quickly, this 2-zone Pioneer system is no match for any other brand. You can choose the indoor unit from among three BTU capacities, i.e., 9000, 12000, and 18000.
The outdoor unit is made to match the capacities of both. It is made to optimize the operation and minimize energy consumption in both zones by automatically detecting the needs and changing capacity in real-time. You can choose from different kits and pipes to easily install both units. The price may vary for each kit.
Best Pioneer Ductless Mini Split:
Pioneer 12000 BTU 19 SEER
Why it Stands Out to Us
The 12000 BTU/h unit has a SEER rating of 19.5 cooling and an HSPF rating of 9.5 for heating. The high efficiency, along with a variable speed motor, helps reduce energy costs significantly.
The sound level is as low as 28 dB (A) for the indoor unit, so it will not cause a lot of distraction. It has a control board to turn it on and off from a distance and a temperature sensor in the remote control to sense the surrounding temperature and adjust accordingly. It can heat effectively when the temperature is as low as 46° F.
This inverter+ mini-split is for light commercial and residential use. The energy bills are reasonably reduced, which helps in the long run. You can buy the installation kit in varying sizes of 16 to 50 feet, depending on where you want to install the outdoor unit.
The refrigerant comes pre-installed only for the 25 feet kit. The price includes a wireless remote, flare connection leak guard, installation manual, and user manual.
Given its BTU capacity, it works more efficiently in areas near 400 square feet in size. It follows all ISO (international organization for standardization) standards and is AHRI (Air Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute) certified for environmental concerns.
Best Pioneer 9000 BTU Mini Split:
Pioneer 9000 BTU 22.8 SEER
Why it Stands Out to Us
This is an inverter++ mini-split heat pump system with a 22.8 SEER rating, which makes it highly efficient. Out of all units, it probably reduces the energy costs the most. Its operation is very quiet, and it maintains its efficiency even when heating.
The HSPF rating is 10.5 when an average rating that is considered good is 10. To improve on cost reduction, it has a sleep mode, which automatically turns off the unit after 5 hours of consecutive use.
It also has a standby feature, which reduces energy consumption to 1W when in energy-saving mode. There is a leak detection system that will warn of the leakage by showing the error sign ‘EC’ and stop working until it is fixed.
This unit has advanced features to reduce energy consumption when not needed effectively. This makes things simpler as the system handles temperature fluctuations by automatically adjusting its settings accordingly. It lets you keep your home warm during winter in vacation mode when you are not home.
Considering all that, its price is very reasonable, and you can even buy a high-density filter with it that improves cleaning pollen by up to 80%. Not every product in our list is energy star certified, but this one is along with AHRI certification.
Best Pioneer 24000 BTU Mini Split:
Pioneer 24000 BTU 20.5 SEER
Why it Stands Out to Us
It is a higher-priced unit because of its increased BTUs and high SEER rating of 20.5. It can effectively cool areas up to 900 square feet. Considering all that, its sound level is acceptable at 30.5 dB (A).
It has a temperature compensation feature that combines different layers of air between the ceiling and the floor to remove their temperature difference. This effectively reduces cooling time.
The outdoor unit has a chassis heating belt attached to it that prevents the accumulation of defrosted water in winter. To make installation easier, it has options for draining on both the left and the right side.
If you want a unit that cools or heats large areas easily, then this 24000 BTU unit is the right choice. It adds to the already efficient features to improve cooling time, considering it has to work in larger rooms. It maintains its energy efficiency despite more size and is energy star certified.
All its other features are similar to the other WYS series. The variable speed DC inverter and features like sleep mode and standby mode effectively improve cost and power consumption in both winter and summer.
Best Pioneer 12000 BTU Mini Split:
Pioneer 12000 BTU 21.5 SEER
Why it Stands Out to Us
This 12000 BTU unit is an ultra-high efficiency inverter++ system. Its SEER rating is 21.5, and the HSPF rating is 9.8. Considering its size, the energy costs are significantly low. You can expect an operation that is whisper quiet with a low sound level of 25 dB (A).
It has an anti-cold air feature that adjusts fan speed so as not to blow cold air when it first starts heating. There is also a low ambient cooling kit that allows for cooling even when the outside ambient temperature is as low as -15°C. The vacation mode has a preset temperature of 46°F that lets you keep the room warm even when you are not there.
A 12000 BTU system is built to cool or heat around 400 square feet area. For the size of this unit, this model is Pioneer’s best as it is energy star qualified and not just AHSI certified.
It has three different airflow levels, including 306, 212, and 147 CFM. This variable function of the DC motor improves efficiency and reduces cost. Because it is from the inverter++ line, it can heat effectively when the temperature is much lower outside compared to inverter+ heat pumps.
Best Pioneer 18000 BTU Mini Split:
Pioneer 18000 BTU 20.8 SEER
Why it Stands Out to Us
This is another inverter++ model with a SEER rating of 20.8 and an HSPF rating of 10. It is made for rooms of around 600 square feet in size. You can buy it with an optional high-density filter to improve pollen filtration.
Like all other Pioneer units, it is compatible with an accessible internet app that lets you control the temperature from anywhere. It has features like sleep mode, temperature compensation, and 1W standby to reduce energy consumption.
The Follow Me feature intelligently adjusts the temperature according to remote control’s sensors, and the anti-cold air function keeps cold air from blowing during heating.
This is our last pick, but not because of any reduction in quality though it does cost a little more than others. Because it is an inverter++, it is an energy star qualified product, and it has features to allow for effective heating during harsher winters.
It also includes the chassis belt for the prevention of water accumulation as it defrosts. Remote access and automatic adjustment of temperature as needed are all part of the design to improve the quality of living and reduce bills.
What Kind of Warranty Does Pioneer Offer?
Pioneer offers two warranties; one for the parts and one for the compressor, which are 2 years and five years, respectively. The warranty is offered by the parent company Parker Davis and is only applicable to the original owner.
In case of failure, Parker Davis will be responsible for the repair or replacement of parts. Any parts that have been replaced will have the remaining warranty of the original part.
If you don’t install and use the unit according to the provided guidelines, the warranty will not apply. You need a warranty registration card if you are ever going to claim it. Any accidental failure of the unit is not applicable, and the warranty is non-transferable.
Who is Pioneer?
Pioneer has been in business since 1995 and has since established itself as the largest supplier of ductless mini-split systems in the US. It also has retailers across the world. This brand is a subsidiary of Parker Davis HVAC Systems, Inc. They are dedicated to making efficient HVAC systems, and Pioneer offers the units at a lower factory price.
Their products include ductless, multi-zone, and ducted units. The ductless units are either wall-mounted, ceiling cassette, floor-mounted, or floor-ceiling mounted. Multi-zone systems range from 2 to 5 zone sets. The ducted units are either ceiling concealed or central split.
How to Install Pioneer Mini Split
If you don’t have any experience with HVAC systems, then it is recommended to hire a professional for installing the mini split as they can be tricky. But if you have some know-how of the process, you can follow these steps to install the indoor unit.
- Select the location to install the indoor unit.
- Determine the place to drill the hole.
- Remove the mounting plate from the back of the indoor unit.
- Attach the mounting plate to the wall in an exactly horizontal manner.
- Drill a hole no larger than 3 inches on the selected location.
- Put the sleeve on the inside hole and mount the line set covers on the outside.
- Remove the front panel and then open the wire box in the indoor unit.
- There is a cable clamp at the bottom of the wire box, which you have to remove.
- Run the signal wire into the wire box through the back of the unit.
- Attach the wires according to the numbers i.e., 1 (black), 2 (red), 3 (white), and ground (green).
- Replace the cover of the wire box and close the front panel.
- Turn the indoor unit on the back and pull the copper lines away from the unit.
- Make sure not to bend the pipes.
- Use electric tapes to secure the line set and then wrap it in an insulating material/ tape.
- Put the signal wire through the hole.
- Attach the indoor unit to the mounting bracket.
- Bend the line set from the outside on to the line set cover.
After having read the article, you will realize that most of the features of the units are the same. That is because they all follow the same Pioneer standards. You have to choose the one that best suits your needs. You do that by measuring the room you have to cool and then check for appropriate BTUs. Keep in mind that high BTU does not always mean a good thing. You have to match it with the recommended room size and efficiency rating.
People Also Ask
If you are still confused about mini splits and have more questions, read the following frequently asked questions. You might just find the clarity you’re looking for here:
Are Pioneer Mini Splits Any Good?
Pioneer mini-split systems have high-efficiency ratings for all their ductless units, which reduce energy costs. Their prices are lower compared to the competition as well, and the construction of the units and pipes is reliable.
Who Makes Pioneer Mini Split?
Pioneer is owned by Parker Davis Corporation and is located in Miami. They have been the largest suppliers of ductless systems in the United States since 1995.
How to Determine Age of Pioneer Mini Split AC?
Pioneer mini-splits lasts for about 10 years. If they are not cooling properly the rooms they once used to, then you probably need an upgrade. Any extra noise or grunting during operation is also a sign of an old system.
Where is the Serial Number on my Pioneer Mini Split System?
Serial numbers are generally found on the backside of the unit above the refrigerant valves.
What Does DF Mean on Pioneer Mini Split?
DF is a code that is displayed on the indoor unit LED when the system is in defrosting mode.
How Much Does it Cost to Install a Mini Split Air Conditioner?
The installation cost of a Pioneer system ranges from around $200 to $1000. The per-hour cost, according to their website, is $75 on average.
Are Mini-Splits Better Than Central Air?
If you look at the initial cost, central air systems will be cheaper, but down the line, mini splits are much better because they are more efficient. Central air systems also require the home to have a duct system which, if you don’t already have, can be costly.