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Last updated on Apr 01, 2020

Daikin Air Conditioner Review

High-efficiency models to help people get the most out of their AC ​
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Daikin Air Conditioner

How We Reviewed Daikin Air Conditioner

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8 models compared

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7 features evaluated

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3 ratings analyzed

Daikin reigns supreme as the largest HVAC manufacturer in the world. Based in Japan, the company has become a popular brand in the U.S since entering the market in 2004. The company offers a variety of models for home and commercial use.

Daikin sets itself apart by using the latest technology in its products. Air conditioners built by Daikin are usually more affordable than comparable brands like Mitsubishi. But a Daikin unit could also require more maintenance over the long run.

The 12-year general parts warranty that comes with a Daikin AC should put most buyers at ease. However, because Daikin is a company based overseas, customer service can be tricky and take a little more time than what’s expected. 

A SEER rating is used to measure the efficiency of air conditioning and heat pump cooling. The rating is calculated by taking cooling output for an average cooling season and dividing it by the entire electric energy input during that time period. 

With a SEER rating of up to 23, Daikin’s premium model, the Daikin DX20VC, is one of the most efficient air source split system ACs on the market. Recently the DX20VC, along with three other Daikin ACs, were awarded the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient 2020 designation.

Anyone in the market for a new AC should consider Daikin AC’s high efficiency and long warranty. Throw in the latest technology and it’s easy to see why Daikin has the largest market share in global HVAC sales. 

Potential buyers should be aware of the downsides that come with buying a Daikin unit. The units use specialized parts that cannot usually be interchanged with generic substitutes. And the installation for these ACs is fairly complex, meaning that a professional should do the job in all cases. 

Daikin

Daikin Air Conditioner

Pros

  • Good SEER ratingLong warranty
  • Relatively low cost

Cons

  • Loud unitsGeneric parts won’t work
  • Complicated installation

Daikin sells both high-end and budget air conditioners. The SEER rating and price vary widely between models. For the high-end models, the SEER ratings are up to 23, and the sound level can be as low as 58 decibels (dB). Most of these high-end models are also compatible with the ComfortNet advanced control system, which allows users a variety of smart features for their AC.

For the budget models, the SEER ratings are between 13 and 15, and the sound levels are significantly higher, due to the lack of vibration and noise dampening features. These models come with fewer features and are not compatible with the ComfortNet control system. The adjustability of these models is limited, with most of them operating at either high or low levels. 

Due to the variety of model options that Daikin offers, the average price for a Daikin air conditioner can range from anywhere between $3,100 for high-end models and $1,100 for budget models.

Daikin Overview

  • Efficiency (SEER rating): 13 – 23
  • Model options: 8+
  • Warranty: 12 years (if product is registered within 60 days)
  • BTUs: 18,000 – 60,000

Daikin Mini Split Air Conditioner Prices by Model

ModelSEER RatingModel Cost BTUsCooling Area
Daikin DX20VC Up to 23$3,12524-60 (MBH)1,500-5,000 (sq. ft.)
Daikin DX18TCUp to 19$2,55524-60 (MBH)1,500-5000 (sq. ft.)
Daikin DX16TVUp to 16$2,375 24-60 (MBH)1,500-5,000 (sq. ft.)
Daikin DX16SAUp to 16$2,04524-60 (MBH)1,500-5,000 (sq. ft.)
Daikin DX14SAUp to 15$1,68524-60 (MBH)1,500-5000 (sq. ft.)
Daikin DX14SNUp to 15$1,45024-60 (MBH)1,500-5000 (sq. ft.)
Daikin DX13SAUp to 14$1,66518-60 (MBH)1,000-5000 (sq. ft.)
Daikin DX13SNUp to 14$1,16518-60 (MBH)1,000-5000 (sq. ft.)

*All information accurate as of Jan. 8, 2020. Pricing information from AirConditionerLab.com. Cooling area calculated using EnergyStar.gov. MBH represents every 1,000 BTUs.

Energy efficiency – SEER rating 

Daikin’s premium model, the DX20VC, features one of the highest SEER ratings available for consumers. That means the DX20VC is an excellent model in terms of energy efficiency. Unfortunately, the SEER ratings drop as the models become less expensive.

Daikin’s next model, the DX18TC, features a SEER rating of 19, which was still enough to land the model a spot on ENERGY STAR’s list of air conditioners that earned the “Most Efficient 2020” designation. 

After that, the SEER ratings drop to 16 and below. To get the most efficiency out of a Daikin air conditioner, the top model is definitely recommended. 

Warranty options 

Daikin offers a 12-year limited warranty on parts for most of its air conditioners. On some of its models, Daikin also offers a six to 12-year replacement warranty. However, any buyer should be careful to note that the 12-year warranty is only applicable if the product is registered within 60 days of purchase. Otherwise, the default warranty is six years. 

Hiring a professional for installation is a good idea because Daikin does not offer any warranty for damage to the product during the installation process. If the air conditioner is broken during installation, then the buyer will be on the hook for the entire replacement cost. 

In the event that the warranty needs to be used, then it might take a bit of doing to make it happen because the claim will go all the way to Japan. When claiming a warranty, patience will be key in following it through to the end.

Installation and maintenance  

Like most air conditioners, the installation process for Daikin models is fairly difficult and should only be handled by a professional in the area.

When choosing a wall to install the Daikin unit, make sure to keep fire resistance in mind. An air conditioner should never compromise a wall’s overall structural integrity. If the model is a Split System Air Conditioning unit, then it’s important to place it where it will cool the desired room or rooms. 

HVAC manufacturers usually don’t work directly with customers, so buyers will need to do some research to find a professional installer in their area. Local HVAC contractors are readily available in most U.S. regions, and national hardware chains like Home Depot and Lowe’s also offer options for professional installation.

Compare to Other Air Conditioner Brands 

Factors to ConsiderDaikinColemanTrane 
SEER rating14-2313-2014.5-22
BTUs18,000-60,00018,000-60,00018,000-60,000
Warranty12 years10 years20 years

*All information accurate as of Jan. 8, 2020.

Daikin vs. Coleman Air Conditioners

Coleman became a household name by selling camping equipment, but they are no slouch when it comes to manufacturing air conditioners. Its premium model, the Echelon AC21, is the less expensive option when compared to Daikin’s top model, the DX20VC. However, the Echelon has a lower SEER rating by three points, which means that Daikin’s model wins in terms of energy efficiency.

The two companies offer similar warranties, but Daikin’s warranty comes out on top by extending two years past the warranty featured with Coleman’s air conditioners. 

Daikin vs. Trane Air Conditioners

Trane commands a large market share of the U.S. air conditioner market and for good reason. This brand is known as a solid all-around option for AC units. Its premium unit, the XV20i, is fairly comparable with Daikin’s DX20VC. With a SEER rating of 22, the XV20i only lags behind Daikin’s premium model by one point. 

The main difference between the two companies is the warranty options. As long as the buyer registers their Trane air conditioner within 60 days, the warranty will last 20 years. Two decades is above average for air conditioner warranties and easily beats out Daikin’s 12-year warranty.

About the Authors

The Reviews.com staff is dedicated to providing you with all the deep-dive details. Our writers, researchers, and editors came together from Charlotte, Seattle, San Juan, Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, San Diego, and Chicago to put this review together.