MRCOOL System Showdown: DIY, HyperHeat, Universal

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Updated on . 7 minute read

Discover the differences between MRCOOL's Mini Split, HyperHeat, Central Ducted, and Universal series in our ultimate product showdown. Find the best fit for your home.

Table of Contents


    If you're in the process of selecting a new heating and cooling system, it's essential to understand your options. MRCOOL offers a variety of systems—each with its own strengths—such as the Mini Split, the Universal Series, and the Central Ducted Heat Pump. This guide is designed to give you a clear and concise overview of these choices, helping you determine which system aligns best with your comfort needs and lifestyle.

    What is MRCOOL DIY Mini Split?

    The MRCOOL DIY Mini Split system offers a user-friendly solution for home climate control, allowing for easy installation without the need for professional help. Ideal for small to medium spaces, this system features customizable settings and energy-efficient operation, ensuring comfort in homes or specific rooms.

    Advantages of MRCOOL DIY Mini Split Systems

    Energy Efficiency:

    • With high EER (Energy Efficiency Ratio) and SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings ranging from 18 to 22.5, these systems are designed to ensure lower electricity costs.

    Ease of Installation:

    • The DIY Quick Connect Line Set is designed for easy setup, allowing homeowners to install the system themselves without professional help. This is especially advantageous for those looking to avoid additional installation costs.

    Smart Features:

    • MRCOOL systems are compatible with home automation systems such as Google Assistant and Alexa. The inclusion of voice control capabilities enhances usability and offers advanced control.

    Adaptability and Performance in Various Climates:

    • Equipped with a Low Ambient Cooling feature, MRCOOL DIY systems ensure effective operation across a wide temperature range. They are capable of efficient functioning in temperatures as low as -13°F and as high as 122°F. Although they maintain heating capability in sub-freezing temperatures, additional heating sources may be required in regions with frequent extreme cold. Similarly, during extremely hot weather, while effective up to 122°F, their cooling efficiency may slightly reduce in the hottest conditions.

    Flexibility for Larger or Complex Installations:

    • For homes requiring broader coverage, MRCOOL offers multi-zone systems that allow for simultaneous heating and cooling of multiple areas. Additional line sets can be purchased and extended with coupler kits, enabling configurations of two to three line sets up to a maximum of 75 feet each.

    Disadvantages of MRCOOL DIY Mini Split Systems

    Limited Scope in Standard Configurations:

    • While individual units are highly effective for smaller areas or single rooms, larger or multi-room homes might necessitate multiple units or a multi-zone system to achieve full home coverage. This can potentially increase the initial cost.

    Initial Limited Line Set Options:

    • Single-zone purchases come with restricted line set lengths of 25 feet, requiring additional investment for extensions to accommodate longer length needs.

    Performance Sensitivity in Extreme Climates:

    • While MRCOOL systems are adaptable to a broad range of temperatures, their efficiency can decrease in extreme climates—both very cold and very hot. In such conditions, the systems might not achieve optimal energy efficiency without supplemental heating or cooling solutions.

    What is MRCOOL Universal Series?

    The MRCOOL Universal Series is designed for versatility and efficiency. It features advanced inverter technology that adjusts power usage to maintain optimal temperature levels, making it a smart choice for those seeking a flexible and eco-friendly heating and cooling solution.

    Advantages of the MRCOOL Universal Series

    • Powerful Performance: The MRCOOL Universal Series is designed to handle larger areas with varying layouts efficiently, making it ideal for extensive residential or commercial spaces.
    • Flexibility: This series offers both cooling and heating capabilities, ensuring comprehensive climate control throughout the year.
    • Energy Savings: The DC Inverter Compressor technology optimizes operational efficiency, which significantly lowers operating costs. This system maintains a steady energy consumption rate, ramping up and slowing down as needed to save electricity and reduce noise levels.
    • High SEER Ratings: With SEER ratings up to 20, the Universal Series stands out for its exceptional energy efficiency.
    • Multi-Position Installation: The Universal Series supports various installation positions, enhancing its adaptability for different settings and requirements.
    • Cooling-Only Option: There is also a cooling-only condenser available, providing flexibility for users who do not require a heating solution.

    Disadvantages of the MRCOOL Universal Series

    • Higher Initial Cost: The advanced features and capabilities of the Universal Series come with a higher upfront cost compared to simpler Mini Split systems.
    • Complex Installation: Installation of the Universal Series can be more complex, often necessitating professional services which add to the overall expense. This is particularly true due to the versatility of installation options and the technical nature of integrating with various existing systems.

    What is MRCOOL Central Ducted Heat Pump?

    The MRCOOL Central Ducted System is perfect for whole-house heating and cooling. Utilizing a network of ducts to distribute conditioned air throughout the entire home, this system offers consistent temperatures, high efficiency, and the convenience of centralized control. It's a robust solution for maintaining a comfortable indoor environment year-round.

    Advantages of the MRCOOL Central Ducted Heat Pump

    • Whole-Home Solution: This system utilizes existing ductwork to provide consistent heating and cooling throughout the home, making it ideal for large spaces needing uniform climate control.
    • Seamless Integration: It can easily replace older central heating and cooling systems without extensive modifications, facilitating straightforward upgrades.
    • Quiet Operation: The MRCOOL Central Ducted System is designed to operate quietly, enhancing comfort without disruptive noise.
    • High Efficiency: With SEER ratings up to 22, this system offers excellent energy efficiency, helping to keep energy costs down while maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures​.
    • Variable Speed Operation: Ensures that the system operates efficiently by adjusting cooling and heating output to exactly match the demands, which enhances overall energy efficiency and comfort​.

    Disadvantages of the MRCOOL Central Ducted Heat Pump

    • Higher Energy Consumption: Compared to ductless systems, ducted systems can be less energy-efficient, especially if the existing ductwork is poorly maintained or outdated.
    • Dependency on Ductwork: The overall performance and efficiency of the system heavily rely on the condition of the existing ductwork. Inefficiencies or leaks in the ductwork can lead to higher operational costs and reduced system effectiveness.

      User Reviews & Experiences

      • Sebastian Estep on MRCOOL Mini Split:

        • "These units are amazing... Middle of winter we were easily able to keep the house warm and now that it's warming up 80+degrees outside we are able to keep the house nice and cool." (Rating: 5/5 Stars)
      • Jacob James on MRCOOL Universal Series:

        • "Well built, straight forward to install, and very quiet... very pleased, and the ~4k all in was far less than the 20k I was quoted for a high-efficiency unit from a local HVAC company." (Rating: 5/5 Stars)
      • Peter K. on MRCOOL Central Ducted:

        • "Pretty Easy Install and Works Great! Installed my own central HP system... Worked perfectly when powered up and I actually like the thermostat provided." (Rating: Positive Review)

      Quick Overview: MRCOOL Systems

      • Mini Split:

        • Best for smaller spaces or specific areas. It’s compact and energy-efficient.
      • Universal Series:

        • Versatile for various spaces, handling different layouts with more power. Ideal for larger areas or multiple rooms.
      • Central Ducted Heat Pump:

        • Utilizes existing ductwork for whole-home comfort. More traditional and integrates smoothly if replacing an old central system.

      Comparing Features

      • Energy Efficiency:

        • All three systems maintain high efficiency, with models featuring up to 22 SEER ratings.
      • Space Requirements:

        • Mini Splits are perfect for small, targeted areas, while Universal and Central Systems serve larger spaces or entire homes.
      • Installation Ease:

        • Mini Splits offer DIY installation potential, whereas Universal and Central Systems generally require professional installation.

      Cost Analysis

      Upfront Costs:

      • Mini Splits range from approximately $1,800 for a single zone to $7,000 for a multi-zone system.
      • Universal Systems start from around $3,500 to $6,000.
      • Central Ducted Systems vary from $3,000 to $6,000, depending on capacity and additional features.

      FAQs about Top MRCOOL Systems

      Q: Is MRCOOL made in the USA?

      A: Yes, all MRCOOL products, including Mini Splits, Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, and Furnaces, are designed, created, and manufactured by MRCOOL. This proudly American company plans, designs, and ships from its headquarters and warehouse located in Kentucky, USA.

      Q: Which is better, ducted or ductless systems?

      A: Ducted air conditioners are ideal for large, centralized systems in a building, as they collect air from the space, cool it, and then distribute it through ducts to indoor rooms. Ductless systems are more suitable for smaller areas, such as single rooms or apartments.

      Q: How long do MRCOOL mini splits last?

      A: MRCOOL mini splits are known to last for up to 20 years and are generally easier to maintain than traditional air conditioners.

      Q: What size MRCOOL DIY mini split do I need?

      A: The size of MRCOOL DIY mini split you need depends on the area you want to cool or heat:
      • 12k BTU: up to 500 square feet.
      • 18k BTU: 450 to 750 square feet.
      • 24k BTU: 700 to 1000 square feet.
      • 36k BTU: 950 to 1500 square feet.

      Q: What type of refrigerant is used in MRCOOL products?

      A: MRCOOL uses the eco-safe R-410A refrigerant, which is the new standard for American air conditioners and heat pumps.

      Q: Does MRCOOL utilize inverter technology?

      A: Yes, MRCOOL incorporates DC inverter technology in its systems, which includes an inverter compressor and DC motor to create a comfortable and energy-efficient heating and cooling experience.

      Q: Who owns the MRCOOL brand?

      A: The MRCOOL brand is owned by Magnus Cool, the founder and leader of the company.

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