Mitsubishi Heat Pump Review: Pros, Cons, Performance, Top Picks

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Last updated: 
March 24, 2017

This Mitsubishi heat pump review guide gives you research information for single-zone and multi-zone Mitsubishi heat pumps as well as your options for more than 30 indoor units. An overview of the systems, their technical specifications, pros and cons of Mitsubishi heat pumps and top models in each class are included. We’ve reviewed Trane heat pumps here, Rheem heat pumps here and Goodman heat pumps here for easy comparison.

Mitsubishi is a global technology company that was founded in 1921 and divided following WWII during Japanese reconstruction. The company was a pioneer in ductless heating and cooling and remains the industry leader for innovation and sales. Mitsubishi’s headquarters is in Japan, but the company has offices on six continents.

Mitsubishi Heat Pump Brand Overview

Mitsubishi heat pump systems go by several names that define how they operate:

Ductless HVAC: This refers to the fact that they do not require ductwork. Instead, and outdoor condensing unit is connected to one or more indoor evaporator units, also called air handlers and heads, by running refrigerant lines, a drain line and electrical wiring through the wall near where the indoor unit will be installed. The indoor units contain a fan to circulate air and a coil that absorbs heat in AC mode and disperses heat in heat pump mode. Some indoor units also contain a small electric heat coil, like those in a space heater, to provide instant hot air at the start of a cycle.

Split systems: The indoor and outdoor units are separate, in distinction to a packaged unit in which the condensing unit and air handler are installed outdoors in a single steel cabinet.

Mini-split or Mini split systems: The term “mini” refers to the size of the outdoor units relative to a standard split system heat pump condensing unit and the size of the indoor air handlers relative to a whole-house air handler or furnace.

Mitsubishi heat pumps are available in two configuration designs:

  • Single-zone systems with one outdoor unit serving one indoor unit;
  • Multi-zone systems with one outdoor unit serving two to eight indoor units;

Mitsubishi Heat Pump Technical Specifications

For ease of review, your options are divided into single-zone heat pumps, multi-zone heat pumps and indoor units.

Single-zone heat pump outdoor units:

More than 40 units are produced in a capacity range from 6,000 BTU cooling/8,700 BTU heating for one small room to 42,000 BTU cooling/54,000 BTU heating for a large room or home with an open floor plan. Efficiency tends to drop with capacity size.

Sound level ranges from upper-40 decibels to mid-50 decibels, but isn’t strictly tied to size. Some units feature Hot Start technology also called Hyper Heat, which is electric coil heating that provides heat more quickly at the start and assists heating in very cold climates similarly to heat kits in standard heat pump air handlers. All units have technology for automatically restarting when power comes on after an outage.

Top picks for efficiency are:

  • Small: MUZ-FH06NA (6,000 BTU cooling/8,700 BTU heating and 33.1 SEER/13.5 HSPF);
  • Medium: MUZ-FH18NA2 (17,200 BTU cooling/20,200 BTU heating and 21 SEER/12 HSPF);
  • Large: PUZ-A30NHA7 (30,000 BTU cooling/32,000 BTU heating and 22.8 SEER/11.6 HSPF);

Multi-zone heat pump outdoor units:

13 multi-zone Mitsubishi heat pump models are currently produced in capacities from 20,000 BTU cooling/22,000 BTU heating up to 60,000 BTU cooling/66,000 BTU heating.

Depending on size, the units serve two to eight zones. Multi-zone Mitsubishi heat pump models are made in versions with Hyper Heat, best for cold climates, and those without the added functionality. All multi-zone heat pumps have restart technology for power outages.

Top picks for efficiency are:

  • Medium: MXZ-3C24NA2 (23,600 BTU cooling/25,000 BTU heating and 20 SEER/9.8 HSPF w/o Hyper Heat;
  • Large: MXZ-5C42NAHZ (42,000 BTU cooling/48,000 BTU heating and 19 SEER/11 HSPF w/ Hyper Heat.

Mitsubishi heat pump indoor units:

Your choice of indoor air handlers includes four floor-mounted units ranging in cooling capacity from 9,000 to 17,000 BTU, all with 5-speed fans and Energy Star efficiency. Sound ratings range from 21-28 decibels. They can be operated with any Mitsubishi heat pump control options including wall-mounted wired and wireless, handheld and smartphone devices. All include sleep, 24-hour and 1-week timers.

Top pick for floor-mounted air handler:

  • MFZ-KJ18NA: 5-speed fan, 26 decibels, Energy Star;

Mitsubishi heat pump wall-mounted air handlers are offered in more than 10 models, each in three colors, with cooling capacity from 9,000 to 34,200 BTU and fans with 3-5 speeds. They work with all Mitsubishi control types and include 24-hour and 1-week timers. Some of the small and medium units are Energy Star models.

Top picks for wall-mounted air handlers:

  • Small: MSZ-GL09NA, 5-speed fan, 19 decibels, Energy Star;
  • Medium: MSZ-EF18NAS, 5-speed fan, 30 decibels;
  • Large: PKA-A30KA4.TH, 3-speed fan, 39 decibels;

Ceiling-cassette indoor units

These are available in nine models with capacity ranging from 8,400 BTU to 42,000 BTU with 3-speed or 4-speed fans. They work with all Mitsubishi control types. The type of timer each has is dependent on the control used.

Top picks for ceiling-mounted air handlers:

  • Small: SLZ-KA12NAR1.TH, 3-speed fan, 30 decibels, Energy Star;
  • Medium: PLA-A24BA6, 4-speed fan, 28 decibels;
  • Large: PLA-A36BA6, 4-speed fan, 32 decibels.

Pros and Cons of Mitsubishi Heat Pumps

Here are the advantages and disadvantages to consider before purchasing a Mitsubishi heat pump.

Mitsubishi Heat Pump Pros:

  • Mitsubishi heat pumps lead the industry in innovation, quality and reliability.
  • Many small and medium-sized Mitsubishi heat pump models meet Energy Star guidelines and might be eligible for rebates and discounts from your utility company, which can be found here.
  • Ductless heat pump systems are less invasive and therefore more affordable to install since no ducting is required.
  • Ductless systems also prevent the kind of energy loss ducted systems experience through leaky ductwork.
  • Mitsubishi heat pump outdoor units are approximately 20 decibels quieter than ducted split system heat pumps.
  • The large number of outdoor unit and indoor unit combinations allow you to customize an HVAC system with more targeted heating and air conditioning than ducted split systems allow.
  • Mitsubishi heat pumps are popular, so installation, service and repair are widely available.

Mitsubishi Heat Pump Cons:

  • Large homes cannot be served by a single ductless system, and installing two or three systems in new construction costs significantly more than installing one standard split system.
  • Efficiency falls off with size in single-zone heat pump models, and there are ducted heat pumps available from most major brands that are more efficient.
  • Indoor units have a fan in them, so they make more noise in the room or zone than a central ducted system does.
  • Depending on the spacing of indoor units, ductless systems sometimes create warm spots and colds spots.
  • Heat pumps are inefficient in freezing weather, so if you live in a cold climate, you’ll need a system with Hyper Heat technology, which is a heating coil like a space heater, and the heating cost is higher.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Mitsubishi Heat Pump

If you live in a northern climate, a heat pump alone might not be enough to keep your home comfortable in the coldest winter weather. A dual fuel system with a heat pump and gas furnace is ideal. Rheem sells them, so you can learn more about them in our Rheem Heat Pump Review.

If you’re replacing a system and already have ductwork in your home, the most cost-effective choice will probably be to install another ducted, central HVAC system.

By contrast, Mitsubishi heat pump systems are ideal for additions, garage conversions, cabins with open floor plans, small office suites and similar applications.

To determine the right Mitsubishi heat pump for your application, ask your HVAC installer to conduct a load test to show your heating/cooling requirements. Installing a system that is the wrong size will lead to inadequate heating and cooling or to utility bills that are higher than they should be.

It’s Your Turn

Do you have any questions or comments? Please leave them below to help other readers with their decision. If you think this Mitsubishi heat pump review will help your friends understand ductless heat pumps and make a good decision for their own home, please share the information with them!

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