Convenient and efficient, ductless air conditioners require your participation in keeping them in top shape. Proper maintenance will ensure your system runs at peak performance and saves on the cost of frequent repairs and premature replacement. Your ductless mini-split should be serviced annually by an HVAC professional (twice a year if it provides heating and cooling. However, here are ductless air conditioning maintenance tips for you to follow to help your system function properly.
1. Clean the Air Filters
The air filters constantly capture particulates in the air running through them. These include dust, pollen, dander, and other irritants that can cause respiratory issues. To clean the filter, turn the system off, open the cabinet door, and slide the filter out. Depending on the model, or what the manual recommends:
- Wipe it down gently with a dry cloth or,
- Use a light vacuum with a soft brush attachment or,
- Wash it with lukewarm water and a mild detergent
Once the filter is clean, reinstall it, close the cabinet door, and turn the system back on. If the filter cannot be cleaned or is damaged, replace it immediately. Ideally, ductless filters should be checked/cleaned every four to six weeks (to help remember, write the date the filter needs to be replaced or when it was installed).
2. Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean
Wipe down the exterior of the unit with a damp cloth. If necessary, you can use a gentle chemical cleaner. The unit should be free of dust, dirt, leaves, and debris. If these collect on the outside, they can eventually get inside and interfere with operational components. When you clean the outer casing, check the exterior parts of the vents for dirt and clean them as well. Otherwise, vents can clog up and cause the unit to malfunction; the added strain can lead to costly service and repairs later.
3. Clean the Inside of the Unit
Interior components can get dirty even if you regularly clean the outside of the unit. You don’t need a professional every time you do this. Just make sure the unit is turned off before you get started. Otherwise, you risk being electrocuted. Make sure the exterior circuit switch and in-home units are turned off and allow sufficient time for the system to cool down.
Here are a couple of important ductless air conditioning maintenance tips for the inside of the unit.
- Clean the Condenser and Coils: The ductless AC condenser and coils are prone to dirt buildup, which can prevent the system from working. To clean these vital components, spray them with a garden hose (at low pressure). Then check for bent fins, which can be straightened with an alignment comb. Remove any additional debris by hand and then wait until the unit is dry to turn it back on.
- Clean the Drain Pipes: The pipes connect the outside and inside components and drain condensate away. Therefore, they should be in excellent condition. Keeping the pipes clean prevents blockages that can lead to heating and cooling issues. Also, check the refrigerant lines for dirt, clean them as necessary, and look for signs of wear, corrosion, or leakage.
4. Remove Ice and Snow
If the outdoor unit becomes covered in ice and snow, it can be damaged. A ductless air conditioner is prone to ice buildup when in heating mode. When running frequently in the winter, the problem can be exacerbated, so it’s important to check the unit frequently. Even if it’s not snowing, ice can accumulate and prevent the system from operating normally. Remembering to check it often can save you from a lot of hassles and expenses.
5. Check for Signs It Needs Repairs
Aside from leaks, look for signs of excessive condensation when inspecting the system. Maintenance gives you a chance to spot problems such as broken or damaged parts, reduced airflow from indoor units, or unusual sounds from the indoor or outdoor unit that you’ve never heard before. The sooner you find evidence there is a developing, problem, the sooner you can call a professional to correct it and avoid more serious issues.
Call Grasshopper Heating & Cooling
We provide AC and heating installation, repair, and maintenance in Clifton Park, NY, by NATE-certified technicians. Our team is committed to ensuring your home comfort and is available 24/7 for emergencies. To schedule professional central and ductless air conditioning maintenance, contact us online or call 518-240-9467.