Ductless mini-splits are easier to maintain than central ACs. A well-maintained unit can last up to 20 years. But like any type of HVAC system, a mini-split can develop problems. Discovering these early and scheduling prompt repairs can extend the unit’s lifespan. Here are seven signs you need to call for ductless mini-split repair to avoid even larger issues.
1. A Leak
Call for help if your mini-split has any type of leak. It could be water from the condensation that forms when refrigerant circulates cool air. If the condensate drain line is blocked, water may overflow from the drain pan. It can damage your mini-split and home as well as cause mold and odors.
The fluid can also be from a refrigerant leak. If this is the case, you may notice a sweet odor or a smell similar to chloroform. Refrigerant is toxic, so call a professional right away. Shut off your AC; low coolant levels can severely damage it.
2. Unpleasant Odors
Aside from the smell of refrigerant, concerning odors include burning smells. These can indicate there’s a problem with the unit’s electrical wiring or insulation. Musty odors often mean the system is contaminated with mold. Your HVAC contractor can take steps to fix the problem and, if necessary, repair the unit’s wiring or clean out any mold. Preventative steps such as installing ultraviolet (UV) light purification systems can avoid future issues with mold or bacteria.
3. Decreased Temperature Control
If your ductless system isn’t producing cool air or heat, the cause can range from a clogged filter to an electrical issue to a broken compressor. A mini-split’s main purpose is to heat or cool your home. If it’s not reaching the set temperature, call a professional to determine the reason and make any necessary repairs.
4. Insufficient Airflow
Air should blow from the indoor units at a steady rate. If the airflow feels weak, there is likely a problem in the system, especially if it starts to cycle more frequently. Common reasons include faulty motors, clogged air filters, compressor issues, and air duct leaks. A lack of airflow inhibits temperature control and proper circulation and ventilation, and that can affect indoor air quality.
5. Strange Noises from the Mini-Split System
Mini-splits operate at about 40 decibels or less, which isn’t louder than a small fan. Call for help if you hear a high-pitched screaming or hissing sound, indicating the compressor is under high pressure. If you hear metal screeching, a fan motor bearing may be loose or broken. A squealing indoor unit may have a fan belt issue. If the outdoor unit is clanging, its fan may be loose or obstructed; a clicking noise can also signal an obstruction. Bubbling or gurgling sounds often originate from a condensate drain or refrigerant leak.
6. Frozen AC
A problem with a mini-split can cause it to freeze in winter or summer. Ice often forms because the evaporator coil is dirty and can’t absorb heat. Other reasons include low refrigerant, a broken blower fan, or a clogged air filter. Each of these can create other issues. For example, a clogged filter can reduce indoor air quality. Low refrigerant can burn out the compressor, while a damaged fan can break into pieces that harm other components.
7. The System Doesn’t Turn On
Whether the outdoor compressor or any indoor unit doesn’t turn on, call for help. If the issue isn’t resolved by adjusting the thermostat, switching a unit on, or flipping the circuit breaker, there’s likely a mechanical or electrical issue that needs to be fixed.
Call Grasshopper Heating & Cooling
We provide high-quality mini-split AC repair in Clifton Park and surrounding areas. If you have any issues on this list or your energy bills spike, have your ductless system checked and repaired by a professional. Our NATE-certified technicians arrive in fully stocked trucks to address the cause of leaks, low airflow, poor temperature control, loud noise, odors, and other issues. We fix all makes and models of air conditioners. Call (518) 216-0051 to request 24/7 emergency service.