Daikin vs. Mitsubishi Mini-Split: Which One Is Right for You?

daikin vs mitsubishi mini-split

When choosing a mini split system for your home, you must carefully consider each system’s capabilities and advantages over the other brands. 

Two of the most popular manufacturers in this sector are Daikin and Mitsubishi Electric. Although both are Japanese companies known to offer high-quality, reliable products, you need an in-depth comparison of both brands’ products to see which one is the best choice for your needs.

A Brief Look at the Manufacturers

Before comparing the mini split products each brand offers, it is beneficial to know which manufacturer made them and the background of each company.

Daikin Industries, Ltd.

Daikin Industries is a Japanese joint-stock company (Kabushiki-Kaisha, equivalent to a corporation) founded in 1924. Despite only entering the North American HVAC market in 2004, they are the world’s largest air conditioning manufacturer, employing over 84,000 individuals. 

They officially operate in multiple sectors, from chemicals and electrical equipment to the defense sector and medical equipment. However, Daikin is most well-known for its air conditioning and split systems innovations, such as Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV). 

Approximately 91% of the company’s sales come from air conditioning and refrigeration products, leading industry specialists to consider Daikin a company wholly focused on the HVAC sector.

mitsubishi electric corp logo

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Mitsubishi Electric is another Japanese joint-stock company. Established in 1921 and employing over 145,000 individuals, it is one of the many branches of the Mitsubishi Conglomerate, home to many other well-known Japanese brands, such as Mitsubishi Motors, Kirin Brewing Company, and Nikon.

Although Mitsubishi Electric is a well-known name in the air conditioning industry, it is a generalist electrical equipment and electronics manufacturer active in many sectors. They deal with HVAC, power generators, semiconductors, automotive electrical equipment, and space satellites.

As an HVAC manufacturer, Mitsubishi Electric has been in the U.S. market since 1982, during which they introduced their well-known Mr. Slim series of multi zone mini split systems. They are responsible for many innovations, such as Ultra-Quiet technology and dust-repelling dual-barrier coatings.

Daikin vs. Mitsubishi: Product Comparison

There are multiple essential factors to consider when comparing mini split systems: cooling and heating efficiency, operating temperature ranges, quality-of-life features, and warranty.

a close-up of a Daikin air conditioning unit

Comparing a 12,000 BTU 2-zone system to a 36,000 BTU 4-zone system would not give you an accurate estimate of energy output and performance. So, you should only compare units of equivalent BTU capacity. Here are three examples:

Shop Mitsubishi Multi Zone Split Systems

Cooling and Heating Efficiency

The HVAC industry in the United States uses three rating systems developed by the Department of Energy to measure cooling and heating efficiency:

  • Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER): Measures cooling efficiency over an entire season
  • Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): Measures heating efficiency over a whole season
  • Energy Efficiency Rating (EER): Measures energy efficiency with a fixed outdoor temperature of 95°F

In the United States, all mini splits sold since January 2015 must possess a minimum SEER rating of 13 or 14 (depending on the region in which you live), a minimum HSPF of 7.7, and a minimum EER of 10. However, the higher the rating, the more energy-efficient the system.

Units with high ratings can control the temperature the same way as units with low ratings, but they consume less power. This results in more money saved annually on your energy bills.

For example, switching from a 2-ton SEER 13 unit to a SEER 14 unit should result in 7% of annual cost savings on average or approximately $50 per year. The exact numbers vary depending on the system’s tonnage, the SEER and HSPF ratings, and differences between individual models.

Product Comparison

When it comes to cooling and heating efficiency, Mitsubishi mini split multi zone systems typically come out on top.

Daikin Cirra 2-Port 

Mitsubishi Mr. Slim Dual-Zone

BTU Rating

18,000

20,000

SEER 

17

18

HSPF

9

8.9

EER

10

12.5

Although the Daikin model slightly edges out its Mitsubishi counterpart in heating efficiency, the difference is minor. Overall, the Mr. Slim model is not only more efficient across the board, but it is also a 20,000 BTU unit, offering 11% more capacity than its counterpart.

Daikin Aurora Tri-Zone 

Mitsubishi Mr. Slim Hyper Heat Tri-Zone

BTU Rating

24,000

30,000

SEER 

17

18

HSPF

10.3

11

EER

12.7

12.5

The differences in efficiency are more pronounced between the 3-zone models. Here, not only does the Mitsubishi Hyper Heat offer better efficiency in all three ratings, it does it with 25% more capacity than the Daikin Aurora. Mitsubishi is the clear choice if you’re looking for a three-zone system.

Daikin MXS Quad-Zone 

Mitsubishi Mr. Slim Quad-Zone

BTU Rating

36,000

36,000

SEER 

17.7

19.2

HSPF

12.2

11

EER

9.2

8.7

4-zone mini split systems close the performance gap. Both products offer the same capacity, with negligible differences in EER. In this instance, it all comes down to the seasonal heating and cooling efficiencies. While the Daikin MXS offers a higher HSPF rating, the Mitsubishi Quad-Zone model has a higher SEER rating.

With such slight differences between their respective efficiency ratings, your choice may depend on the other features offered by each unit.

Operating Temperature Ranges

The two primary purposes of a mini split system are cooling and heating. Each function operates within an optimal temperature range. The cooling or heating mode will work optimally as long as the temperature outdoors remains within that range.

For example, a mini split system with a cooling range of 50°F–100°F provides optimal cooling efficiency if the outdoor temperature is 73°F. However, if the temperatures rise above 100°F or fall under 50°F, it gradually loses efficiency.

Each mini split system has two temperature ranges to look for: cooling range (efficiency during hot periods) and heating range (efficiency during cold periods). High-quality mini split systems should possess the widest possible temperature ranges, guaranteeing comfort under any circumstances.

Product Comparison

On average, Mitsubishi products feature larger operating ranges than its competitors. Mitsubishi is the right choice if you’re looking for maximum efficiency under the broadest possible range of outside temperatures

Daikin Cirra 2-Port 

Mitsubishi Mr. Slim Dual-Zone

BTU Rating

18,000

20,000

Cooling Range

50°F – 115°F

14°F – 115°F

Heating Range

5°F – 65°F

14°F – 75°F

The Dual-Zone version of the Mitsubishi Mr. Slim offers a far broader cooling range than the Daikin Cirra. In addition, although the heating range starts at 5°F for the Daikin model, the Mitsubishi Mr. Slim has a longer total heating range.

Overall, the Mitsubishi dual-zone system guarantees its efficiency under more circumstances than its Daikin counterpart.

Daikin Aurora Tri-Zone 

Mitsubishi Mr. Slim Hyper Heat Tri-Zone

BTU Rating

24,000

30,000

Cooling Range

14°F – 115°F

14°F – 115°F

Heating Range

-13°F – 60°F

-13°F – 65°F

Daikin MXS Quad-Zone 

Mitsubishi Mr. Slim Quad-Zone

BTU Rating

36,000

36,000

Cooling Range 

14°F – 115°F

14°F – 115°F

Heating Range

5°F – 60°F

5°F – 65°F

Most Tri-Zone and Quad-Zone systems are reasonably comparable, with almost identical operating ranges even across different brands. Here, the Daikin Aurora Tri-Zone, Daikin MXS Quad-Zone, and the 3-zone and 4-zone versions of the Mitsubishi Mr. Slim all possess the same cooling range.

The only difference is in Mitsubishi’s favor, which guarantees an extra 5°F of heating range over its Daikin counterparts in the Tri-Zone and Quad-Zone models. Although the difference is slight, the advantage goes to Mitsubishi.

The Best Mitsubishi Electric Ductless AC

Quality-of-Life Features

Different manufacturers have different names and definitions for what they consider to be additional quality-of-life (QoL) features. However, you can still compare specific aspects, such as the type of refrigerant used or the air quality features.

quality of life refrigerant

Refrigerant

All Daikin and Mitsubishi mini-splits use R-410A refrigerant, also known as AZ-20 or Puron.

R-410A is a modern, environmentally friendly refrigerant invented by Honeywell in 1991. It became the refrigerant of choice for residential air conditioning units following the EPA’s decision to phase out its predecessor, R-22. Compared to R-22, R-410A is more energy-efficient, more performant, less expensive, and less damaging to the environment. 

There is no practical difference between Daikin and Mitsubishi in this regard, as all new mini split systems sold since 2010 must use R-410A instead of R-22.

quality of life air quality

Air Quality

The EPA estimates that the average person spends 90% of their time indoors. For this reason, maintaining high indoor air quality is vital to avoid exposure to allergens and air pollution, which can endanger the life of the elderly and people with respiratory or cardiovascular diseases.

Mini split systems can improve interior air quality, provided they possess quality air filtration systems. Although all major brands (including Daikin and Mitsubishi) fit their mini splits with removable air filters that you can wash or replace at home, Mitsubishi offers the advantage of two-stage filters.

Two-stage Mitsubishi filters employ two elements: a catechin pre-filter and an anti-allergen primary filter.

Catechin is a naturally occurring compound found in specific plants, such as green tea. This compound has natural antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. Mitsubishi pre-filters use green tea catechin infused into the filter material at the molecular level. These filters prevent undesirable odors, bacteria, viruses, and other harmful elements from reaching your house’s interior. 

Once the air has passed through the catechin pre-filter, allergens (e.g., dust, pollen, mites) and surviving bacteria reach the primary filter, coated in artificial enzymes. These enzymes break down any allergens that come in contact, further increasing air quality.

Two-stage Mitsubishi filters do not require more maintenance than filters made by other brands. All you need to do is periodically remove the filters, wash them under the faucet, let them dry, and then replace them inside their respective units. Properly maintained Mitsubishi filters may last up to 10 years.

Warranty

Keeping your home’s interior temperature and air quality under control is worth the investment, regardless of the brand you choose. However, warranty comparisons may help you decide whether each system’s efficiency and features fit your budget and expectations.

Note that most warranties for mini split systems include coverage extensions in exchange for registering your product with the company. However, if you are a California resident, the law states that you are exempt from the need to register to benefit from the fully registered warranty.

daikin cs mitsubishi warranties

Daikin Product Warranties

  • Daikin Cirra 2-Port 18,000 BTU: Limited warranty, 10 years, parts only
  • Daikin Aurora Tri-Zone 24,000 BTU: Limited warranty, 12 years, parts only
  • Daikin MXS Quad-Zone 36,000 BTU: Limited warranty, 12 years, parts only

Daikin warranties follow the industry’s standard: 5 years limited warranty on parts, which can increase to 10 years or 12 years if you register your product within 60 days after the installation date.

The warranty length depends on the model purchased: 10 years for the Cirra 2-zone system and 12 years for the Aurora 3-zone and MXS 4-zone.

Mitsubishi Product Warranties

  • All three models: Limited warranty, 10 or 12 years, parts, and compressor

On the other hand, Mitsubishi’s warranty system is overall more advantageous for the customer. Parts are warranted for 5 years without registration, except for the compressor, which is covered for 7 years.

Like other manufacturers, Mitsubishi offers you the possibility to extend the warranty’s length if you register your product. Unlike other brands, the registration period is 90 days instead of just 60, and all elements, compressor included, will receive a 10-year coverage.

You can benefit from an additional bonus if a Mitsubishi Electric Diamond Contractor has professionally installed your mini-split system in your home. In that case, your parts and compressor warranty extends to 12 years instead of 10.

The Mitsubishi warranty does not cover labor. However, if you order your unit from ComfortUp, we offer an extended warranty option that includes labor and covers parts beyond the initial 10 or 12 years.

a technician installing an outdoor ac unit

Invest in Your Home’s Comfort

If you need total control over your home’s temperature and interior air quality, a mini split ductless AC system made by a reputable manufacturer is the way to go.

ComfortUp is an authorized online dealer of Mitsubishi single-zone and multi zone mini split systems. Equipped with the latest technologies and air quality innovations, our lineup of Mitsubishi mini splits is perfect for single-family homes. Browse our wide selection of Mitsubishi ductless AC units, or contact one of our experts today to find the best product for your needs.


Image Sources

Andrew Angelov/Shutterstock.com

Billion Photos/Shutterstock.com

chanonnat srisura/Shutterstock.com

New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Ekaterina Kupeeva/Shutterstock.com

Brett Hondow/Shutterstock.com

TK Kurikawa/Shutterstock.com

fizkes/Shutterstock.com

Previous article 4 Tips for Operating Your Boreal Mini Split
Next article Single Zones: 115V vs 220V – Which Is Right for Me?
Compare up to 4 Products