Comparing the MRCOOL Central Ducted and MRCOOL Universal Systems

by Pete Lader September 19, 2022

Comparing the Central Ducted vs. Universal Series by MRCOOL

MRCOOL, most known for their impressive DIY Mini Split products, have recently released their Central Ducted Series. Comparing to the very popular MRCOOL Universal is no easy task, but the PHS Appliance Academy will breakout all the differences related to these two heat pump systems.

Table of Contents

  1. MRCOOL Central Ducted Overview
  2. MRCOOL Universal Overview
  3. Central Ducted vs. Universal Comparison
  4. What should you purchase?

MRCOOL Central Ducted Overview

The MRCOOL Central Ducted Series is a High Efficiency Heat Pump System that includes a Heat Pump and Air Handler to heat and cool your entire home. The BTU options for this series is 18K, 24K, 30K, 36K 48K and 60K (Product Brochure Here). The biggest pros of this system are the versatility, warranty and everything below:

Pros

Multi-Configuration Position. The Central Ducted Series is compatible with Upflow, Downlow and Horizontal Left and Right configurations. You can use the Central Ducted system in almost any ductwork configuration!

Worry-Free Warranty. The Central Ducted systems include a standard (no need to register!) 10-Year Parts and Labor Warranty and an additional 10-year compressor warranty.

Controls Included. Both a wired Thermostat and remote are included if you order the full Central Ducted system.

Highly Energy Efficient. The highest rating for these systems are 22 SEER - which may qualify for many rebates from your local utility company and tax rebates. 

Cons

Extreme Temperature. If you live in an extremely cold or hot climate, the Central Ducted system may not operate during those times. As you will read below, the Universal Series has a wider operating range in for both cooling and heating.

Shop MRCOOL Central Ducted Series

MRCOOL Universal Overview

The MRCOOL Universal Series is no slouch itself, the wildly popular ducted systems comes in 2-3 Tons or 4-5 Tons. The Heat Pump System, best known for it's 'universal' ability to work in extreme temperatures and it's compatibility to 3rd party air handlers. (Product Brochure Here)

All Climate Performance. Live in an extremely cold or hot climate? No problem! Tested by an independent quality assurance company, Intertek, the Universal Series has the ability to work at 100% Heating Capacity down to -5°F and 75°F Heating Capacity at -22°. For Cooling, it operates at 100% capacity up to 115°F and 78% at 129°F. Talk about a wide range of operating temperatures! 

Universal Installation. The Universal systems has many installation options, including the No-Vac Quick Connect Line Sets, Flared or Sweat.

Highly Energy Efficient. The highest rating for these systems are 20 SEER (the 2-3 Ton system) - which will qualify for a handful of rebates from your local utility company and tax rebates. 

Cons

Downflow Configuration. Do you have a downflow configuration? Universal isn't compatible with this type of ductwork so you'll have to opt for the Central Ducted series.

Shop MRCOOL Universal Series

Key Differences

Summarizing differences between these two systems to help you choose the perfect system for you will include reviewing the Operating Temperature, SEER Efficiency, Warranty Period and Price. Let's go!

MRCOOL Universal vs. Central Ducted Comparison

Condenser Operating Temperature Range

The main difference between these two systems? The operating temperature range, or ambient temperature, that the Condenser can work in. The Universal System is known for it's wide operating temperature and the ability for the system to work in EXTREME temperatures... so if you live in one of these regions, the Universal System may be for you!

MRCOOL Operating Temperature Comparison

SEER Efficiency

The SEER Rating on any heat pump system is becoming more and more popular. Why? Not only does it save on your monthly energy bill and can effect the environment, it also qualifies for Utility and Tax rebates. The more energy efficient the system, the higher chances it can qualify for rebates in your area. Here's a breakdown of the SEER ratings for the MRCOOL Universal and Central Ducted Series.

MRCOOL SEER Rating

Warranty Coverage

One of the biggest changes from Universal Series to Central Ducted Series is the Warranty Period. The Universal Series carries a Registered 10 Year Limited Warranty (meaning you have to register with MRCOOL here) and Central Ducted Series has a Standard 10 Year Full Warranty. Two big advantages with Central Ducted:

  1. You don't have to register the unit 
  2. The Universal Series has coverage on Parts, while the Central Ducted warranty includes Parts AND Labor.

Price

For the Universal Series, the 2 to 3 Ton Complete System ranges from $3,843 to $4,153 depending on the length of the lineset. For the 4 to 5 Ton Complete System, the range is $4,819 to $5,129.

For the Central Ducted Series, the 18K BTU system cost $2,896 and the 60K BTU Air Handler + Condenser cost $4,579.

Which should you purchase?

The answer here will depend on the ultimate end customer and situation. If you live in a climate with extreme temperature (either really hot or really cold), the Universal Series is a better fit. If you live in a moderate climate and prioritize the warranty coverage, the Central Ducted Series may the one for you! No matter which option you go with, you'll be getting MRCOOL's latest inverter technology and a guarantee of comfortable temperature throughout your home!

Shop All Ducted Systems

Have any questions? Feel free to leave a comment or call our HVAC experts at 1-800-805-7102.

2 comments

  • CENTRAL-48-HP-230-00.
    Is this unit compact would itfit in a small space? Will it accommodate a 13000 squre feet one story home ? Does the return havento be in a closet?

    Kathy on

  • 60 btu unit both/ways?cost complete?

    PAUL MOORE on

Leave a comment

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