Yes, mini-splits require routine maintenance, and let’s talk about why. When properly maintained, mini-splits just last longer. They also require fewer repairs, use less energy and heat and cool more efficiently. Hiring a professional HVAC technician to do maintenance is a smart decision because these professionals will have the experience and knowledge it takes to keep a mini-split system operating at optimal efficiency. To keep your system in good working order, make sure to follow these mini-split maintenance requirements.
Keep the Condenser Clear of Obstructions
Mini-split systems need their outdoor condenser units clear of obstructions. If required, an HVAC technician can remove debris from the outdoor condenser during routine maintenance visits; this often involves clearing away dirt, dust, and loose grass and leaves. If trees or bushes impede airflow to the outside unit, the technician may also suggest calling a landscaper.
Piping connects the interior and outdoor components of a mini-split system. If you don’t have these pipes cleaned regularly, they’ll accumulate a lot of dust and debris, which can impair the performance of your mini-split system and make it harder to move air in and out of your house. As the air leaks increase in the pipes, the system will use and lose a great deal of energy. If you detect unclean piping coming from your mini-split system, it’s important to have an HVAC technician clean it. Otherwise, the technician can clean them as part of regular mini-split maintenance sessions.
Make Some Room
Technicians can install mini-split ductless systems in smaller spaces than conventional ducted heating and cooling systems, but they still need access to outside air and sufficient space on the wall to work effectively. Never place large items closer than three feet to mini-split wall-mounted units to ensure they can maintain adequate airflow.
Replace the Air Filter
Your mini-split system’s filter collects dust and other airborne particles. When left unchanged, the filter can damage the mini-split system and your health by allowing harmful particles to remain in the air. A dirty filter will clog and prevent airflow to the mini-split system in very short periods of time as well. Because of this, the mini-split will have to work harder than it needs to in order to maintain a comfortable inside temperature.
Due to their ductless design, mini-split systems often require more frequent filter cleanings than ducted systems. Even though normal mini-split maintenance is only recommended once every six to twelve months, you should have the filter replaced every month. One of our specialists can change the filter monthly if you prefer not to deal with it.
Use the Right Settings
One of the simplest maintenance tips you can follow to ensure a mini-split system operates at maximum efficiency is to use the right settings. Mini-split systems, like other types of heating and cooling equipment, provide adjustable temperature zones and fan speeds to allow for optimal personal comfort. However, the system will continue to cool or heat the house continuously if it is set to ON. By switching to an ECO or AUTO setting, you can have the system automatically heat or cool the home to the preset temperature without it having to remain on all day and night.
If you switch off the FRESH AIR setting, your mini-split will heat and cool using recycled air from within your home, which is more cost-effective, uses less energy, and reduces your carbon footprint. When activated, the system will work twice as hard to heat or cool the air it draws in from the outside, so it’s best to avoid this setting.
Monitor Monthly Utility Bills
The cost of heating and cooling your home will increase when there is a problem with your mini-split system. This is why monitoring monthly bills for changes in energy use, both large and small, is essential to determining whether to schedule a mini-split maintenance appointment. If you don’t change your usage of a mini-split system but notice a significant increase in your heating or cooling bill, contact one of our qualified technicians right away to have the system inspected for damaged and worn-out parts. The technician can quickly pinpoint the cause of your rising energy bill and fix the issue.
Wipe Down the Outdoor Unit
If possible, wipe down the exterior of the outdoor condenser unit every time the grass gets cut. You shouldn’t let any grass into the outside unit’s ventilation system. During the heating season, try to remember to wipe down the unit once every two weeks.
If the outside unit vents become blocked, you should call an HVAC specialist immediately. It’s okay to remove debris like dust and grass clippings from the outside of the condenser, but it’s best to have a professional remove any obstructions from the inside.
Replace Damaged Components
Whether you have a ducted system or a ductless mini-split, your HVAC equipment will fail at some point. However, you can prolong the life of a mini-split system by several years simply by replacing worn-out components. In order to catch worn-out and defective parts before they lead to expensive repairs, regular maintenance and upkeep are essential. This is why it’s important to have a mini-split system inspected as soon as you see any signs of wear and tear.
Exercise Caution Around Sources of Heat
Keep all of the indoor mini-split air handlers well away from any sources of heat. Also, make sure the heat they produce can’t reach the thermostat. Having the mini-split system work harder than required to keep the house cool because of the presence of heat-generating goods like TVs, laptops and bright lighting can result in component failure, higher energy bills, worse indoor air quality, and decreased comfort levels.
Preventative Care for Condenser Coils
Every year, a professional cleaner needs to clean the coils on the condenser in mini-split systems. Technicians can pick from a variety of coil cleaners on the market, with some cleaners working better than others; this is why it’s crucial to choose a reliable mini-split servicing service provider that knows which cleaners work best. Furthermore, it’s smart to let a professional clean the coils because manually cleaning them is a hazardous and tedious task.
Use Ceiling Fans
Whether you’re heating or cooling your home, you should turn on any ceiling fans to help distribute the cool or warm air throughout your house. This will result in less wear and tear on the mini-split system. Using ceiling fans in combination with the mini-split system can also help maintain ideal humidity levels in the home.
Book Your Next Routine Mini-Split Maintenance Session
Mini-split systems come with several advantages over ducted systems, but they still require routine maintenance. Generally, most experts recommend getting a mini-split serviced once at the end of each heating and cooling season. This will extend the system’s lifespan, decrease costly repairs and improve the comfort level of your home. TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing specializes in a variety of mini-split maintenance services, as well as plumbing repairs, drain cleaning, furnace installation, heat pumps, boilers, and more. Contact TR Miller Heating, Cooling & Plumbing today to book your next routine mini-split maintenance session.