Mini split air conditioners: Maintenance and troubleshooting
Updated On: Oct 24 2013 04:31:05 PM CDT
By Cris Carl, Networx
If you are joining the growing trend of homeowners purchasing ductless mini split air conditioning systems, you may benefit from some suggestions on how to keep your system running well. Ductless mini split air conditioning systems are ideal for virtually any home or business. The "mini splits," as they are sometimes called, overcome the need or expense of central air conditioning systems. Ductless mini split air conditioners allow for high efficiency, lower cost cooling and heating with ultimate climate control.
Learn here about some of the common issues with ductless mini split air conditioners and how to avoid and troubleshoot them.
What is a ductless mini split air conditioner?
A ductless mini split air conditioner is made up of three components, compressor (outdoors), air handler (indoors) and a remote. There is no need for extensive rebuilding or retro-fitting to install the unit. All that is needed is an approximately three-inch hole in a wall or ceiling for the connecting pipes and wires to run through. Ductless mini split air conditioners can be installed nearly anywhere and are especially good for remodeling or additions to your home.
If it's so simple, what can go wrong?
Let's start with installation. If you are technically inclined, you can purchase a kit to install your ductless mini split air conditioner. Most companies offer an installation kit. Essentially, you need to attach both the indoor and outdoor units, connect refrigerant lines, and make some electrical connections. It is important to note that while some companies will void your warrantee if you self-install, many do not.
If any of the above makes your eyes cross or cartoon question marks appear above your head, hire a professional for installation. Installation in an average home will only cost around $200. If you are already paying $1,500 to $4,000 for a system, it's a small price to pay for peace of mind.
It's All About the Cleaning
The average ductless mini split air conditioner, with proper care and maintenance, will have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. If you live in an area with high humidity or salt, your system may not last quite as long. The best maintenance you can provide your system is cleaning it. Clean and change your filters. Not only will you prevent breakdowns and freeze-ups, but you will enhance the ability of the system to purify the air in your home. Most air handlers have tabs to take out filters to clean and/or change easily. For your compressor, take the garden hose and wash it down well several times during the season of use.
Caution: When servicing your system, especially when using water, shut the power off.
Other Tips to Keep Your System Running Smoothly
- Ductless mini split air conditioners work best in temperatures between 14°F to 109°F.
- Make sure there is an appropriate place for condensation to run off.
- Keep vegetation, debris, etc. from around the compressor for optimal air-flow (which will also make it easier to clean).
- If you do not keep your compressor reasonably clean, it will overheat, which will lead to a major break-down.
- Lastly, if your remote stops working, first try the reset button, often found at the bottom of the remote. If you are still having problems, contact the manufacturer.
Keep your ductless mini split air conditioner running well for as long as possible by performing regular maintenance. If something goes wrong, take care of it right away to prevent any long-term damage.