Do Mini Splits Work in Cold Weather Climate Effectively?


Mini splits are a high energy efficient heating solution. However, do mini splits work in cold weather where we need heating the most? So, I went to find out.

Mini splits do work in cold weather. Most mini splits are able to maintain operation at an ambient temperature as low as 5°F (-15°C). However, they gradually lose their heating capacity when the ambient temperature drops below 47°F (8°C).

Even in cold weather, mini splits are still a great heating solution that offers high energy efficiency. However, they do face difficulty when challenging mother nature.

What Temperature Do Mini Splits Stop Working?

Mini splits rely on the ambient temperature for heat transfer. But, people need to know at what temperature do mini splits stop working in order to decide whether they should use mini splits.

Most mini splits stop working at a temperature below 5°F (-15°C) and above 115°F (46°C). Mini splits have a safety device that may act to stop the operation of either the indoor and outdoor unit or just the outdoor unit to protect the system from damage.

Exactly at what temperature do mini splits stop working is depending on the brand and model. However, most mini splits more or less are working within the range of operating temperature as stated in the above paragraph.

Following is a list of various mini splits outdoor working temperature by ascending order based on the user manual from respective manufacturers:

Mini SplitsHeat ModeCool Mode
Senville
(Aura)
-22°F to 86°F
(-30°C to 30°C)
-22°F to 122°F
(-30°C to 50°C)
Daikin
(Aurora)
-13°F to 60°F
(-25°C to 16°C)
14°F to 115°F
(-10°C to 46°C)
Fujitsu-5°F to 75°F
(-21°C to 24°C)
14°F to 115°F
(-10°C to 46°C)
Pioneer
(Arctic)
-5°F to 86°F
(-20°C to 30°C)
5°F to 122°F
(-15°C to 50°C)
Senville,
Pioneer,
MrCool
5°F to 86°F
(-15°C to 30°C)
32°F to 122°F
(0°C to 50°C)
Daikin5°F to 75°F
(-15°C to 24°C)
50°F to 115°F
(10°C to 46°C)
Senville
(Fixed Speed)
19°F to 75°F
(-7°C to 24°C)
64°F to 109°F
(18°C to 43°C)
List of various mini splits outdoor working temperature

The above table does not represent all mini splits. While most mini splits have the same working temperature, you should always refer to the user/installation manual to confirm the working temperature of a particular mini split.

Standard mini splits are suitable for most people. However, some people living in extremely cold climates. Hence, they need mini splits that work in extreme cold.

Mini splits such as Daikin Aurora and Pioneer Arctic are able to maintain operation even in extremely cold environments. However, when the ambient temperature drops below 5°F (-15°C), they start to lose their heating capacity.

Hence, do keep in mind that while mini splits are still able to work in such a low ambient temperature environment, they are operating at a portion of their full heating capacity which often can be halved. Thus, you should always refer to the manufacturer if you live in a very cold or hot climate.

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Do Mini Splits Freeze in Winter?

Some people wish to install mini splits for high energy efficiency but they heard that people are talking about frozen mini splits in winter. So, do mini splits freeze in winter?

Mini splits do freeze in winter. The heat exchanger of the mini splits outdoor unit will freeze in winter. However, mini splits will automatically defrost which temporarily stops the heating for about 10 minutes. While defrosting, mini splits may produce whistling sounds and steam.

Frozen mini splits may not look good but it is completely normal in winter. Thus, mini splits have a defrost function which will automatically melt the ice once in a while.

Are Daikin Mini Splits Good in Cold Weather?

Daikin mini splits are known for their good quality. However, their headquarter is based in Japan which is not a very cold country. Thus, are Daikin mini splits good in cold weather?

Daikin mini splits are good in cold weather. Daikin Aurora mini splits are capable of maintaining operation even at a temperature of -13°F (-25°C). However, they start to lose their heating capacity when the ambient temperature drops further away from 5°F (-15°C).

Mini splits that are sold to cold weather regions are designed to withstand the harsh environment. But, if you are unsure, you can always confirm with the manufacturer.

My Recommended Mini Split for Cold Climate

Some people complain about their mini split not able to heat well in the winter. However, it is often due to incorrect type of mini split. Hence, I always recommend the Mitsubishi MSZ-FS hyper-heating mini split for excellent performance and reliability.

Mitsubishi mini splits are more expensive but it is worth to pay more for the confident rather than having insufficient heating when you need it the most.

See my post Best Mini Splits for Heating (Selection Guide & List) to find out other mini splits that work well in cold climates.

Conclusion

Mini splits do work in cold weather but most mini splits stop working at a temperature below 5°F (-15°C). Some mini splits are able to maintain operation even in extremely cold environments. However, when the ambient temperature drops below 5°F (-15°C), they start to lose their heating capacity.

Besides, mini splits do freeze in winter but they will defrost once in a while and it is completely normal. Daikin mini splits are good in cold weather because they are capable of maintain operation even at a temperature of -13°F (-25°C). Senville AURA series has exceptionally low working temperature.

Lastly, a more efficient mini split may be more expensive, but it saves electricity and reduce the impact to the environment which is always worth the investment.


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I enjoy working on air conditioners and ventilation fans because Malaysia is a very hot country.

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