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Ductless Mini Splits: A Maintenance Checklist for Year-Round Performance

When traditional ductwork is not an ideal choice for a home or business, an HVAC contractor may install a ductless mini split instead. The advantages of a ductless system include less expensive installation and operational costs when compared to traditional ducted systems, as well as simpler maintenance. Because a ductless mini split is easy to maintain, you can do some of the simple maintenance tasks yourself, without the help of a professional.

Here’s how:

  • Clean the primary mesh filters once or twice a season depending upon how clogged they become in your location. However, if the ductless mini split is in a laundry area or in a large facility, such as a warehouse, you might need to clean these filters every month. 
  • Remove and clean the indoor quality (IAQ) filtration components after 400 hours of operation (about every two to six months).
  • Examine the evaporator (indoor cooling) coils annually for debris and clean them biannually. Use a soft-bristled vacuum attachment to clean the coils. If necessary, use a solution of bleach diluted with water to remove grime- often this activity is best left to a trained technician unless you are pretty handy.
  • Check the drain pan for moisture. To clean the pan, use a diluted bleach solution. If you do find water in the drain pan, often it is a good idea to contact an HVAC technician to inspect the ductless mini split.
  • Verify that the blower and fan wheel are in balance. If not, contact an HVAC service technician. To clean the fan, use a soft-bristled vacuum attachment for dust and diluted bleach for grime.
  • Check the condition of the condensing unit (located outside). The interconnecting tubing should not have any bumps, and the insulation should be in good shape. Make sure the unit is still mounted on its base well, and that the base has not moved, gotten out of level or slipped.
  • Remove any vegetation and clutter from within 18″ of the unit.

While you can perform simple maintenance on a ductless unit by yourself, you should schedule an annual professional inspection of the unit. A professional technician can find and fix problems that you may not notice (or fix on your own), thus extending the life of the ductless system. Lack of required maintenance can invalidate manufacturer warranties, so it is always a good idea to schedule annual (for cooling only units) or semi-annual maintenance for heat pump version of the ductless split system.

For more expert advice about ductless mini-split maintenance and other issues related to home comfort, please contact P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. We’ve been serving the greater Cleveland area since 1936.

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