Fujitsu vs. Mitsubishi Mini Split: Which Is the Right Fit for Your Home?
Air conditioning is a modern convenience that increases your comfort in warm and cold climates. With a central air system, however, your climate-control options are often limited. If household members have different temperature preferences, you have to compromise because there is often no way to adjust the temperature in rooms independently.
Central air and heating systems that use ductwork are often not energy efficient due to leakage or conduction. Ductless mini split air conditioning systems consistently demonstrate high energy-efficiency ratings, potentially reducing your energy consumption by up to 30%. Mini split air conditioning systems are highly versatile options for cooling and heating homes, businesses, and other spaces.
When you’re searching for a suitable air conditioning system, it can be challenging to know which brands will provide the best value for your money. This is why it’s important to compare features to determine which system can benefit you most based on your specific requirements.
How Does a Mini Split System Work?
Before you decide which type of mini split system is best for your needs, you should understand how air conditioning systems, generally, and mini split systems, specifically, function. A mini split system consists of the indoor air-handling or evaporator unit and the outdoor compressor/condenser unit. The indoor unit connects to the outdoor unit via a conduit.
The conduit that connects the indoor and outdoor units houses coils that contain a constantly flowing refrigerant. The underlying principle of an air conditioning system is that the evaporator coil in your home should remain cooler than the temperature of the room it’s in. In contrast, the condenser coil should remain hotter than the surroundings.
When you use a mini split air conditioner to cool your home, the warm air inside is drawn toward the evaporator coil. It transfers thermal energy to the refrigerant inside, removing heat from your home’s interior. Since the refrigerant has a low boiling point, the warm air transforms it from a liquid into a gas. The gaseous refrigerant passes through the compressor at relatively low pressure. The compressor is designed to transmit the refrigerant from the evaporator coil to the condenser coil, increasing the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant in the process.
When the refrigerant arrives at the condenser coil as hot gas, the heat is exhausted to the outside using a fan. The condenser then returns the refrigerant to a liquid and repeats the cycle. There’s also an expansion valve.
This valve regulates the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant, further cooling it as it returns to the evaporator coil. The air-handling unit also tends to have a mechanism for dispersing or circulating the air that has contacted the evaporator coils and become cooler as a result.
Why Is a Mini Split System Better than Central Air?
Mini split systems have several advantages compared with central air/heating systems. Rather than cooling or heating the entire house, a single- or multi-zone mini split system allows you to control the temperature of the room or area you’re using. A 4-zone mini split also called a quad-zone, enables you to heat or cool up to four rooms simultaneously.
In addition to the heat loss associated with ductwork, a traditional central air system requires more maintenance. As a result, it is less energy-efficient and more expensive to operate and maintain. If your home doesn’t already have central air, the installation costs associated with the system are also generally higher than purchasing a mini split, requiring more extensive remodeling.
Fujitsu vs. Mitsubishi Mini Splits
Two popular brands of ductless mini split systems are Fujitsu and Mitsubishi. Before you commit to a ductless mini split system, it’s worth understanding the benefits of both technologies so you can make an informed decision.
Mitsubishi M Series
Mitsubishi mini split systems are available in various configurations and BTU ratings, designed for different applications. The M series comprises single-zone ductless AC systems, whereas the MXZ series is designed to cool or heat between two and eight rooms at a time. Both series use inverter-driven compressor technology. When the AC system’s sensors detect changes in a room’s temperature, it adjusts performance accordingly.
The M series combines a nano platinum filter containing ceramic and nanoparticles with an anti-allergy enzyme filter — excluding the GL24 — to collect and remove dust, bacteria, viruses, and other airborne contaminants. All units have the vertical air-swing air-distribution capability, whereas the GL24 has wide airflow, and the GL18 and G24 have a horizontal swing.
For convenience, your control interface includes a wireless controller and a 24-hour timer. In the GL09 and GL18 variants, you’ll also find the Smart Set, which remembers the preset temperature when you press the corresponding button on the remote controller.
GL09 and GL18 variants sport five fan speeds — the GL24 has four.
The outdoor unit also features a Blue Fin anti-corrosion finish. Rain or shine, this protective coating prevents the compressor/condenser unit coils from rusting. While the air conditioner’s coils will need periodic cleaning and maintenance, corrosion can drastically shorten their lifespans.
Mitsubishi MXZ Series
The MXZ series is a line of multi-zone air conditioning systems capable of heating or cooling between two and eight zones, allowing you to set the temperature of each room in your home according to individual user preferences, which is helpful since there is no single ideal room temperature. One person will find 68°F too cold, and another will experience 72°F as being too warm. Because individuals perceive temperature differently, it’s necessary to personalize your climate-control system to accommodate these differences in experience.
Like the M series, the MXZ uses an inverter-driven compressor. Inverter technology ensures the compressor only uses the energy necessary to cool or heat a room. You can rest assured that your home will remain comfortable regardless of outside conditions.
Although you should still hire a state-licensed HVAC professional to install MXZ ductless systems, the installation process is relatively quick and easy, requiring no major renovation to your property.
The MXZ Series provides multi-zone cooling and heating capability so you can heat or cool only those parts of your home that you use. The remote controller provides a comprehensive range of options, allowing you to adjust the temperature, fan speed, and airflow. The controller has four modes: cool, heat, auto, and dry. In addition, there’s a 12-hour on/off timer.
Aside from cooling and heating performance, control, and energy efficiency, many homeowners also want to know that their air-conditioning system will remain quiet. Mitsubishi’s MXZ series won’t disturb your home. If you work from home or home-school your children, you can focus on the job at hand in total comfort.
Both the M and MXZ series use environmentally friendly R410A refrigerant, which is a benefit for the environmentally conscious consumer.
Although a professional should perform the installation, ongoing maintenance of the unit is your responsibility as the homeowner. Fortunately, Mitsubishi’s AC systems are convenient and hassle-free to maintain with accessible filters, no ductwork to clean, and minimal wiring.
Fujitsu is a popular air conditioning brand and a competitor to Mitsubishi Electric. Fujitsu is attractive to homeowners because its air conditioning systems tend to be less expensive initially than Mitsubishi. However, as Mitsubishi-brand mini split systems are more reliable and have a generally longer service life, this lower upfront cost is offset by the need for increased maintenance or system replacement.
Energy efficiency is a critical factor for every business and homeowner. While Fujitsu products are known for their efficiency, Mitsubishi excels in this regard when heating or cooling larger spaces, costing you less in the long run.
Although both systems are quiet, Mitsubishi’s quietest system produces only 19 dB (decibels) — less than a whisper. Fujitsu’s quietest model produces 21 dB, which is less than the noise level of human breathing. While neither brand will disturb you, it’s important to remember that the sound intensity doubles every three decibels. Mitsubishi’s products have a slight advantage in this regard.
When comparing air conditioning systems, one of the most important considerations is the warranty. Mini split systems require a high initial investment, and having to replace major parts can be expensive. While Fujitsu-brand air conditioning systems are known for their reliability, Mitsubishi’s mini splits tend to have lower failure rates, requiring less general maintenance.
Mitsubishi Electric offers a standard five-year warranty for general parts replacement; however, the original owner is covered for compressor issues for seven years. This warranty ensures the company replaces parts that are defective due to poor workmanship or materials for free.
If you have the Mitsubishi mini split AC installed in a residential single-family home and register it within three months, the original owner will be covered by the warranty for ten years, provided the original owner continues to reside in the home. This extends to twelve years if a Diamond Contractor or Ductless Pro registers the system within the same period.
Always keep proof of the original installation date, as this is necessary to determine when the warranty period begins. If you cannot verify the date, the warranty period will start four months following the date of manufacture.
As with Mitsubishi’s warranty, Fujitsu’s warranty applies to defective parts and compressors. However, depending on the model, it may be shorter. In its most basic warranty, the company will supply new or rebuilt parts for a period of two years and a new compressor for a period of six years from the date of sale or installation. You’ll need to have proof of purchase to request replacement parts under Fijitsu’s warranty.
In other models, the warranty provided is similar to that of Mitsubishi: five years for general parts and seven years for the compressor, and optional ten and twelve year extensions for AC models installed by an Elite Contractor. An Elite Contactor has additional training and has been certified by Fujitsu. However, these extended warranties don’t apply to the company’s complete lineup.
Both Mitsubishi and Fujitsu feature indoor handler units that are compatible with most home décor styles. However, Fujitsu handlers have kept the same styling as the brand’s earlier models, which tend to protrude into the room more than the sleek, modern Mitsubishis. So, in terms of styling, the Mistubushi is more appealing to the contemporary homeowner.
Mitsubishi Electric uses occupancy motion sensors to detect whether a room is empty. This is part of the firm’s commitment to energy efficiency. If a room is unoccupied, the sensor tells the system to switch to an economy mode, saving energy.
While Fujitsu ductless air conditioning units are typically priced lower than Mitsubishi models that offer the same heating and cooling capacity, Mitsubishi provides higher-quality mini splits that won’t require frequent repairs or parts replacement, which can end up costing you less over the long term.
Reliable customer support is critical when you experience an AC malfunction or operational error. Both Fujitsu and Mitsubishi have U.S.-based customer support services to help you troubleshoot issues with your mini split system. However, you are more likely to need assistance from your HVAC installer rather than the manufacturer when it comes to technical support.
At ComfortUp, we can connect you with local licensed and insured professional HVAC installers to ensure that your AC system heats and cools your home optimally.
Ensure Proper Installation
Once you’ve decided what type of mini split air conditioning system you need, including its BTU rating, you have to install it. A state-licensed HVAC contractor must conduct all air conditioning installations. DIY installation will automatically void the manufacturer’s warranty, depriving you of servicing and parts replacement. Keep proof of professional installation because the company will require evidence to determine warranty eligibility.
Buying the Best Mini Split Systems
If you’re in the market for a mini split air conditioning system for your home, ComfortUp sells a range of high-quality products manufactured by Mitsubishi, Gree, and LG. Our Mitsubishi lines are ideal for either single- or multi-zone applications and feature cost-saving, energy-efficient inverter technology, quiet air circulation, and remote control functionality.