By: Keith Good, eComfort.com
Wall Mounted Systems
The Mitsubishi MZ-GE12NA2 heat pump is an ideal option for otherwise hard to heat areas. The MZ-GE12NA2 is a wall-mounted mini split system, meaning it is a self-contained heating appliance unshackled from a central furnace or boiler system. A mini split consists of an indoor blower unit and an outdoor condenser unit, connected via thin tubing. The indoor unit installs with ease; the small profile and thin-gauge tubing requires very little demolition. This simple installation makes the MZ-GE12NA2 heat pump mini spit perfect to compliment an existing central heating system (providing boost where the furnace can’t seem to reach, for example) or in renovations or additions.
This Mitsubishi heat pump can provide either heat or cold in a room, depending on need. And because the MZ-GE12NA2 is meant for a single room, it can provide maximum possible comfort. The MZ-GE12NA2 is rated for 12,000 BTUs an hour of cooling and 14,400 BTUs an hour of heating. This gives the unit muscle enough to keep most rooms temperate through all seasons. Even with this power, the MZ-GE12NA2 is a high efficiency unit. For cooling, it scores a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 22.7. For heating, the MZ-GE12NA2 boasts a Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) of 11.4. SEER ratings above 15 and HSPF ratings above 8.2 are considered high-efficiency by Energy Star and can, in some cases, qualify a home owner for energy efficiency tax credits.
The Mitsubishi MZ-GE12NA2 makes use of environmentally friendly R-410A refrigerant. A step beyond the chlorinated refrigerants of old, R-410A makes less impact on the environment through its useful life.
Ceiling Cassette Systems
The Mitsubishi SL-KA12NA.TH heat pump works in much the same fashion as the MZ-GE12NA2. Still a mini split system, the SL-KA12NA.TH makes use of an external compressor connected via thin gauge tubing to an indoor blower unit. The SL-KA12NA.TH sets itself apart in its profile. Other mini split systems install on the walls of rooms, looking much like one would expect a fan to look. In some spaces, where walls are smaller or wall space comes at a premium, an MZ-GE12NA2-styled mini split just wouldn’t work. The SL-KA12NA.TH, then, is a ceiling-recessed mini split. The blower of the SL-KA12NA.TH pushes in flush with the surrounding ceiling via a ceiling cassette system. This frees wall space and provides the aesthetic look of a more traditional central heating and air conditioning system.
The SL-KA12NA.TH sacrifices little by virtue of its being a ceiling cassette mini split. The SL-KA12NA.TH ceiling cassette mini split is rated for 11,100 BTUs of cooling and 13,600 BTUs of heating capacity and it scores a SEER rating of 15.4 and an HSPF rating of 9.6. While it is less efficient than its wall-mounted counterpart, the SL-KA12NA.TH is still a high-efficiency heating and cooling option for nearly any home.
This efficiency extends to other areas of the SL-KA12NA.TH as well. The fan unit on the SL-KA12NA.TH features a wide air flow pattern to extend its heating and cooling into every corner of the room. This reduces the possibility of uncomfortable in a room. The SL-KA12NA.TH can also be operated by any number of Mitsubishi remote control units. With remote in hand, a homeowner can nudge the temperature a few degrees higher from their favorite chair while reading on a cold winter’s night.
Concealed Duct Systems
The Mitsubishi SE-KA12NA.TH offers yet another configuration for mini split heat pump conditioning. The SE-KA12NA.TH is a concealed duct heat pump, making it a sort of hybrid between the ceiling-recessed SL-KA12NA.TH and wall-mounted MZ-GE12NA2. Like the MZ-GE12NA2, the SE-KA12NA.TH uses a horizontal blower unit. Like the SL-KA12NA.TH, the SE-KA12NA.TH recesses flush with the surrounding surface. Meant for applications with short duct runs, the SE-KA12NA.TH can install either below the floor or above the ceiling. This makes it a concealed duct mini split. The external portion of the SE-KA12NA.TH looks like nothing more than a wall panel, installing nearly flush to the surrounding surface.
The SE-KA12NA.TH boasts numbers similar to the ceiling-recessed SL-KA12NA.TH. In cooling applications, the SE-KA12NA.TH, with its concealed cut unit, is rated for 11,500 BTUs per hour. In heating applications, the SE-KA12NA.TH runs at 13,600 BTUs per hour. And like the SL-KA12NA.TH, the SE-KA12NA.TH is an efficient machine, boasting a SEER rating of 16 for cooling and an HSPF rating of 10 for heating.
The fan unit on the SE-KA12NA.TH can move an impressive amount of air in conditioning a room. At its highest setting, the SE-KA12NA.TH pushes 388 cubic feet of air per minute. This is enough to fill even the largest room in just a couple of minutes. The indoor unit of each SE-KA12NA.TH also comes standard with an air filter, to make sure this air is as clean as possible. There’s little point in having a comfortable room if the air inside is going to give you a sneezing fit.
When it comes to comparing Mitsubishi to other brands of mini splits, Mitsubishi looks good. Fujitsu and Daikin are two major players in the North American mini split game. When you line Mitsubishi’s MZ-GE12NA2 system up against their 12,000 BTU wall mounted offerings with similar efficiency ratings, all three systems have many similarities. They all offer advanced air filtration and robust airflow control options. The Mitsubishi systems cost about 10% more than Fujitsu and about 5% less than Daikin. Daikin’s single-zone systems do include a motion sensor, while Mitsubishi only adds that functionality to their low ambient systems. All three manufacturers offer a five year parts warranty and a seven year compressor warranty.
Mitsubishi’s SEKA12NA.TH concealed duct system will run you about 15% more than the offerings from Daikin and Fujitsu, a difference that can be explained by Mitsubishi’s system including a more advanced remote control. Daikin does not offer single zone ceiling cassette systems, but Fujitsu’s 12RLFCC costs 20% less than the Mitsubishi SL-KA12NA.TH. That difference drops to 10% when you account for the fact that Fujitsu’s system doesn’t include a ceiling cassette grille. Regardless, Fujitsu systems are an excellent option if you’re looking for something that costs a bit less than Mitsubishi, and their reputation is excellent.
Thanks to Keith Good from eComfort.com for this review. More good mini split system info at eComfort.com. –ACboy