We recommend 5 of the most compact AC units on the market. See what makes them stand out with our reviews and buyer's guide. We make choosing a miniature air conditioner a much simpler task.
An efficient and powerful air conditioner doesn't need to take up huge amounts of precious space these days.
By choosing a tiny air conditioner you can enjoy a comfortable indoor climate from a compact machine that doesn't have a huge footprint.
A mini AC unit provides an affordable solution to cooling the smallest areas and homes.
But, it can be a struggle to decide which micro air conditioner is right for your home.
Fortunately, we have created this guide to help you make a more informed choice. We have reviewed five of the smallest air con units to help you find one that suits your needs perfectly.
In addition, you can use our buyer’s guide to help you make that decision and purchase the ideal small AC unit for your home.
Whether you are looking for a mini window air conditioner or a compact split air conditioner and heating pump, we can help you to make the right choice with minimal stress and hassle.
Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may make a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
The Top Models Compared
We've shortlisted the 3 outstanding models below.
See how the top tiny air conditioners compare in the table below.
There's a key under the table that explains the details.
OUR TOP PICK
Pioneer WYS012-17 Mini Split Air Conditioner
Type: Cools & Heats
Indoor Size: 28.5 x 7.5 x 11.5
Outdoor Size: 30.5 x 12 x 22
Room Size: 200-350 ft2
Most Energy Efficient
Senville SENA 12HF-Z Mini Split
Type: Cools & Heats
SEER 19.5 - 22.5
10.6 - 12 HSPF
Indoor Size: 32.8 x 7.8 x 11
Outdoor Size: 31.5 x 13.1 x 21.8
Room Size: 350-450 ft2
Smallest Window Mount
Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Compact Window AC
Type: Only Cools
Total Size: 16 x 15.2 x 12
Room Size: up to 150 ft2
SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. This is a measure of how energy efficient the unit is. The higher the value the better.
HSPF stands for Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. This is a measure of how efficiently a system can provide heat. The larger this value the better.
Room size shows how big a room the AC unit is suitable for.
The sizes are measured in inches and are in the order width x depth x height.
You can learn more about some of these statistics in our buyer's guide further down the page.
The Smallest Air Conditioners Reviewed
In this section, we take a close look at the performance of each model. Read about the statistics and features that matter when choosing the perfect AC unit for your home.
Our Top Pick
Pioneer WYS012-17 Mini Split Air Conditioner
A tiny air conditioner that's incredibly energy efficient too.
If you're specifically looking for a mini split system air conditioner that heats and cools, this AC unit from Pioneer is worth a close look.
It's incredibly small but doesn't lack for energy efficient features.
Small but Punchy
It effectively cools and heats rooms within its operating ranges of 62 - 90 F. It does so using 9,000 BTUs of cooling power.
There are actually various options available, with some offering up to a massive 36,000 BTUs. Understandably, they increase in size though.
The smallest AC size with a capacity of 9,000 BTU is capable of cooling and heating spaces of up to 350 square feet.
For those that want the smallest mini split AC for their home or office, this is a great choice because of its compact size.
The indoor unit measures just 28.5" (w) x 7.5" (d) x 11.5" (h) which is a tiny footprint for something so powerful. There simply aren't many air conditioners of this type that can boast such compact dimensions.
In addition to its small size it also offers superb energy efficiency due to the modern design.
At 19.5 SEER cooling efficiency and 10 HSPF heating efficiency it offers some of the best numbers on the market (more on this in the buyer's guide).
This makes it an excellent choice for those that want their energy bills to be lower and reduce their energy footprint.
It should be noted that it's not the most energy efficient of our small AC recommendations. That title goes to the slightly larger Senville SENA model. However, it does come a very close second.
You simply can't have the best of both worlds when it comes to compactness and efficiency. At least not right now. Being the smallest air conditioner requires that you make a few concessions.
Besides the remote control, this device is controlled by a smartphone app. You can now easily change the temperature wirelessly from anywhere in the house. Just don't let the kids download the app!
It's completely cloud programmable and ideal for those that want to turn their home into a smart home. Easily set timers and thermostatic modes to the nearest degree so that you heat and cool your home efficiently.
There are four modes that you can choose from in total, which includes heating, cooling, dehumidifying and ventilating. This makes it a very versatile unit for any home.
This AC unit comes with a complete 16’ installation kit, a ductless section for indoors, a heat pump for outdoors, and the LCD wireless remote for your convenience.
In addition to the quality of the air conditioner, you can also look forward to excellent service and support from the manufacturer.
The hotline covers all aspects of your AC unit, from the installation and use through to dealing with any other problems, parts, and warranty.
Whatever assistance you need with your unit, there are always professional on hand to help. The quality of after-sales care is really impressive.
This mini-split from Pioneer is an awesome little air conditioner that's as compact as they come. You simply don't get wall mounted AC units any smaller than this.
It might be small but it doesn't compromise on features or performance.
This little AC unit remains incredibly energy efficient despite being so compact.
The Pioneer WYS012-17 Mini Split is the compact air conditioner we'd choose to cool a small space.
SENA 12HF-Z Mini Split *Most Energy Efficient*
This split mini air conditioner from Senville comes at a higher price point than some of the others on our list. However, it is very well designed and robust with a range of excellent features and benefits.
If you are looking for a stylish AC unit that not only offers powerful performance but also valuable features, this could be the ideal option for you.
This unit comes with DC Inverter technology, which means that you can look forward to excellent efficiency levels as well as powerful performance.
The SEER and HSPF ratings of 19.5 - 22.5 and 10.6 - 12 depend on the type of coil used upon installation. However, even the lower end of the range is extremely impressive. This is the most energy efficient AC unit on our list, but it is also the most expensive and the largest (of our 5).
The great design of this AC means that you can also enjoy an attractive and aesthetically pleasing appearance. The unit is small and compact, which means that it won’t take up a lot of space.
The air conditioner is also ETL Intertek approved, AHRI Certified, and Energy Star Certified. This means that you can look forward to the energy saving benefits of this unit, which is ideal if you want to keep your energy bills down.
It uses Whisper Technology so that the noise level remains low, even at maximum levels. The maximum noise output is 30 dB which like they say is around that of a whsiper. This makes it ideal for work spaces or even bedrooms.
Another thing to bear in mind is the 2-year warranty on parts with this system. In addition to this there's a 7-year warranty on the compressor. This is the best warranty of all our recommended small AC units.
Bottom Line: The most energy efficient air conditioner on our list. However, it's also a bit bigger than the rest and also the most expensive.
Senville SENL-09CD Mini Split
When it comes to finding the smallest mini split AC, you won’t go far wrong with this model from Senville.
It comes at an affordable price and offers efficiency and ease of use as well as being a split system that you can use all year round.
With plenty of excellent reviews from numerous customers, you can benefit from total peace of mind and confidence when you choose this unit for your home. With this air conditioner, you get the versatility of a mini split ductless air conditioner and heater in one.
The 9,000 BTU rated unit will comfortably cool and heat spaces of up to 400 square feet.
This has a 16 SEER energy efficiency rating which isn't bad, but it's not up there with the leading AC units on this list. It's one of the better value models out there so that's something you have to take into consideration. If we're taking small air con systems that offer great value for money then this model from Senville is right up there though.
The invertor and compressor are manufactured by the world renown brand, Toshiba. Toshiba make quality pieces of hardware so you've got some dependable mechanics "under the hood".
Another key benefit you can look forward to when you purchase this air conditioning unit is a five-year warranty. Five years is excellent for an air conditioner of this type and you'll be hard pushed to better this.
This is a low ambient kit which enables you to heat up or cool down your room in temperatures as low as -5F. Not all air con likes really cold operating temperatures like this so this could be a good option for those that get extreme winters.
It also boasts Whisper Technology for super quiet operation. This means it's ideal for rooms where you don’t want noise and disturbance, such as your bedroom. This is an often overlooked feature of AC units that's especially important if you're a light sleeper.
It outputs just 25dB of noise at its highest setting. This level of noise is considered only slightly louder than the rustling of leaves or whispering (source).
The design of the AC unit is sleek and modern, and because it is a mini system it is also extremely compact. This makes it ideal for smaller homes and offices as well as for those that do not wish to have a huge AC unit taking up space in their property.
Included in the kit is the indoor air handler, the outdoor condenser, the 16 ft installation kit, and an infrared remote control for convenience and ease.
It is the perfect choice for all sorts of rooms and settings ranging from single rooms to garages and commercial premises. You can look forward to controlling the climate with ease and convenience without spending a fortune.
Bottom Line: This AC unit is an excellent choice for those that are looking for an affordable option that's both small and versatile.
Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Compact Window AC * The Smallest Window AC*
For those that are keen to find a high-quality small window conditioner from a reputable manufacturer, this is a solid choice.
The system comes at a very affordable price, which makes it ideal for those who are on a tight budget.
In addition, its compact size and design makes it ideal for smaller spaces and properties. The window mounting kit is included with this unit, so you should have no problem getting it installed.
Finding the smallest window air conditioner is not always easy but you will be delighted with the compact size and modern design of this one.
This is a 5,000 BTU air conditioner that uses a standard power outlet for operation. It is able to cool a room of up to 150 square feet with speed and ease.
It also offers 1.1 pints per hour when it comes to dehumidification. This makes it easy for you to achieve the perfect temperature during the warmer months.
This unit comes with a range of features, which makes it a versatile and practical choice for your property. It has mechanical rotary controls, two speeds for cooling, two fan speeds, and two-way airflow for increased effectiveness.
It is ideal for windows that are 23-36 inches in terms of width. You should make sure you measure your window before you make your purchase to ensure it will fit properly.
With its low power start-up, this is a unit that is also efficient in terms of energy use, so you don’t have to worry about spending a fortune on bills. It boasts very quiet and smooth operation, so you also don’t need to worry about excessive noise when you are using the unit.
You can restart the air conditioner without any hassle and you can enjoy clean, cool air whenever you need it. This is the ideal way to create a comfortable climate in your home.
Thanks to the mechanical rotary controls that come with this unit, you can look forward to total ease of use and greater control. You can manage the fan and cooling speeds effortlessly.
In addition, you can direct the air where you want to feel it the most thanks to the two-way air flow system that comes with this unit. Installation of the unit is very simple, and you will receive everything you need to get it installed.
If you want an air conditioning unit that offers affordability, efficiency, and great performance, this is a great unit to choose.
Because it is a tiny window air conditioner compared to some others, you don’t have to worry about creating an eyesore.
Instead, you can simply enjoy the cooling effects that the unit offers, which will provide welcome relief during the warmer months when temperatures can get unbearable indoors.
Bottom Line: If you are on budget and you are looking for a small window air conditioner, this is a great choice. It is the smallest air conditioner on the list when it comes to overall size, but you will need a window to install it.
Recommended Article: Make sure to check out our guide to the quietest AC units next!
HomeLabs Window Mounted Air Conditioner
This window AC is ideal for smaller rooms and properties. It is perfect for rooms that are up to 150 square feet in size.
It comes with all of the fixtures and fitting required to install it with relative ease and convenience. It's a great unit for a wide range of single rooms or for small apartments that can get very hot in the summer months.
You will find an impressive seven temperature setting that you can use with this mini air conditioner. This means that you can control the temperature with greater accuracy and create the perfect climate indoors.
There are also two fan speeds that you can choose from as well as two-way airflow direction, so you can direct the cool air to where you want it the most. It works very quickly and can cool down small rooms in less than 15 minutes.
In addition to the fast cooling capabilities of this unit, you can also look forward to very quiet operation.
This air conditioner is ideal for windows that are 23-36 inches in width. You should always ensure you measure your windows before you make your purchase to make sure the unit will be suitable.
Another thing you get when you choose this window air conditioner is a reusable eco filter, which is easy and convenient to maintain. This antibacterial filter can simply be washed with soap and warm water or cleaned with a hand vacuum. If you wash it, you need to make sure that it dries out properly before you put it back into the unit. By making sure your filter is regularly cleaned, you can look forward to maximum performance from your air conditioning unit.
This is an air conditioning unit that is also ideal for RVs, so if you enjoy heading out on RV trips with your family and friends, this provides the perfect way to enjoy increased comfort while inside the vehicle.
All in all, this is a very versatile little unit that comes at a great price and offers a wide range of useful features for your comfort and convenience.
Bottom Line: If you want an air conditioning system that can be easily installed, and comes at a low price with some great features, you cannot go wrong with this one. It's also really small and only a matter of fractions bigger than the smallest AC unit on this list.
With the wide range of miniature air conditioner units on the market, it is easy to see why some people struggle to make their choice.
All of the air conditioner units on our list can be considered small but some offer better performance features than others. Energy efficiency is so important these days for a number of reasons so that played a big part in our choices too.
When it comes to a split system, our choice would have to be the Pioneer WYS012-17 Mini Split.
Our Top Pick
Pioneer WYS012-17 Mini Split Air Conditioner
- Extremely compact
- Heats/cools spaces up to 350 square feet
- Energy efficient
It's not the smallest AC unit on our list but it is the smallest mini split system. It offers a great combination of energy efficiency, features, and size. The true "all-rounder".
If you are looking for the tiniest window air conditioner, the one we would recommend is the Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Compact Window AC.
Again, this is a very affordable option and it offers the ideal way to cool small spaces and rooms. It also offers very quiet operation and can be installed with ease. Also, with a choice of temperature settings, you can control the temperature in your room with far greater ease.
If you have a bit more "wiggle room" in your home and are able to spare a few more inches, then the Senville SENA 12HF-Z Mini Split could be the one for you.
It's slightly bigger than our "Top Pick" but it's slightly more energy efficient too.
We all want to be sure we are making the right choice when making large purchases such as an air conditioning system.
However, this is not always easy. Particularly if you cannot get word of mouth recommendations.
Of course, you can look at reviews online to see what others think but it helps to understand the key features of the product too.
Our buyer’s guide is designed to help you to do this by better understanding the features that matter when getting the right air conditioner.
It is hoped that you can boost your chances of finding the ideal small air conditioner for your needs, as you will better know what to look for and how to compare different options.
These are the key areas you should be looking at when buying a tiny house air conditioner:
The BTU Output and Cooling Power
One of the most important things you need to consider is the BTU output of the units you are interested in.
BTU stands for British Thermal Units and it's basically a measure of how much power an air conditioner has. The larger this value is then the bigger area it is capable of cooling.
It's really important that you match the room size and air conditioner as closely as possible to make the most efficient use of energy.
In general terms the BTU output corresponds to the areas in the table below.
150 sq. ft.
250 sq. ft.
300 sq. ft.
350 sq. ft.
400 sq. ft.
450 sq. ft.
550 sq. ft.
700 sq. ft.
1000 sq. ft.
1200 sq. ft.
1400 sq. ft.
1600 sq. ft.
1900 sq. ft.
2700 sq. ft.
It's not simply just a matter of matching the room size to the unit though. You'll also need to consider the "heat load" of the space.
For example, if a room is next to a warmer than average space like a kitchen then it will have a higher heat load.
Also, if a room has multiple windows it may have a high heat load. Spaces like these will need a bit more cooling power.
However, the table is a great guideline and generally speaking is pretty accurate for your average space.
The BTU output is really important as it represents the overall cooling power of the unit. However, it doesn't take into consideration the energy efficiency. This is another important factor that we'll discuss next.
The energy efficiency of AC units is represented by a SEER rating. The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is the cooling output over a whole season divided by the energy consumption in Watt-Hours.
This value is calculated using a constant indoor temperature over the course of a cooling season. The outdoor temperature is varied to simulate "real life" conditions.
Modern air conditioner units range from 13 to 25 SEER and some states require a minimum SEER value. For example, California requires SEER 14.
The higher the SEER value the better and the more efficiently your unit will run. Just remember these are maximum values and your AC won't always run at the SEER value.
For units that also provide heat, they are rated using the HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor). Again, the higher this value is, the more efficiently it provides heat for a room. HSPF is the ratio of BTU heating output and Watt-Hours of energy used over the course of a heating season.
A split system that cools and heats will have both of these values, HSPF and SEER.
The Cost of the Unit
One of the things that will be a key consideration for most people is how much they have to pay for their compact air conditioner.
As you can see from our recommendations, the prices vary quite widely depending on various factors like cooling power and energy efficiency (two name just a couple).
Before you start searching for the right small air conditioner, you should take some time to work out your budget and determine the maximum amount you are realistically able to afford.
This will help to streamline the process for you as you can focus on the models that fall within your price range rather than wasting your time looking at units that you cannot afford.
However, it is important to make sure you do not base your decision solely on the cost of the unit.
Air conditioners are notoriously energy hungry devices and the price you pay for the unit will be dwarfed in time by the cumulative energy bills. It therefore makes a great deal of sense to go for the more energy efficient options. Not only will they save you money in the long run but they are much better for the environment too.
Features and Specifications
Air conditioners come with a variety of special modes and operational features.
Some mini-splits now offer up to four different modes. They can cool, heat, dehumidify, and act solely as a fan.
Remote controls are pretty much a staple these days but new to the market are systems that can be controlled remotely using a cellphone app.
Both timed and thermostatic modes are pretty standard these days but thermostats that can be controlled to the nearest degree are much better than ones that are set to just high, medium and low. They save more energy by being much more accurate.
There's also the matter of noise. This is always a big consideration for me. Most modern air conditioners work relatively quietly but it's worth checking out the noise rating for any unit you are considering. You don't want this to be over 35dB to be honest.
We've got multiple guides to AC maintenance here at Tiny House, Huge Ideas. Find out how to clean filters properly here.
The Size and Dimensions of the AC
If you are looking for an air conditioner that is compact, you naturally need to check the size and dimensions of the units before you make your choice.
Remember for a split AC system you'll have two unit sizes to consider. There's the wall mounted unit that blows the air into a room and also the larger outdoor unit that houses the compressor.
You'll need to ensure that there is adequate clearance for cool air to be distributed in an efficient manner. There's no point wedging a compact air conditioning unit into a tight space where it can't cool a room efficiently. This leads us on to our next point.
Installing a window mounted unit is fairly easy and you'l be able to do it in no time. However, installing a split AC system is much harder.
The outdoor unit that houses the compressor will need to be installed in a place that allows it to be accessible for maintenance but also out of the way as it can be noisy. It needs good airflow too.
You'll also need to install sealed duct work to connect the two units (assuming it's not installed already).
Installation of a mini split system is doable as a more advanced DIY project however we'd recommend hiring a professional.
Window-mount AC Installation
There are many people that prefer having a window air conditioner as these are cheaper and also ideal for smaller spaces.
You can choose from a wide range of window air conditioners and they are easy to install and plug in to regular power outlets, which is an added bonus for many.
However, you need to ensure that the unit you buy will be suitable for the size of your window, so this is something you need to check. Not all window types are usable without special kits.
Check out our guide to window AC installation for more help on this matter.
Consumer Reviews Online
You will find many consumer reviews available online and you can benefit from having access to unbiased and honest opinions from those that have already tried and tested the unit you are considering buying.
By looking at online consumer reviews, you can enjoy the next best thing to a personal recommendation when it comes to finding the right air conditioner.
You will be able to learn more about what other customers thought about the quality of the AC unit, its effectiveness and efficiency, its energy usage, and the ease of use. This will make it far easier for you to decide which air conditioner to choose.
The Manufacturer of the AC
As you can see from our recommendations, there are various manufacturers that make these compact AC units.
It's a good idea to check out the background of a manufacturer just to gauge the level of build quality, and also the after-sales support and warranty.
A solid reputation is hard earned over years and this will show online in reviews and customer feedback.
The Warranty Offered
Finally, you should check to see what sort of warranty is offered with the any air conditioning unit you're considering purchasing.
If something goes wrong, you naturally want the problem ironed out so having a warranty in place is important.
The length of the warranty can vary greatly from one AC to another, so this is something you need to double check. You can then benefit from increased peace of mind and protection in the event of any issues arising.
AC warranties are usually a bit strange. You're usually offered one warranty for the compressor and one for the labor and parts of the internal unit.
By considering the above points when you are searching for your air conditioning unit, we hope you will find it easier to know what to look for and to make an informed choice.
This type of unit can be a big investment, particularly if you are purchasing one of the more expensive split air conditioner systems with heat pumps.
Do you own one of these models? We'd love to hear about your experience, both good and bad! Leave us a message down below in the comments box.