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Do Ductless Air Conditioners Need Maintenance? Find Out the Facts!

ductless air conditioner graphic

Ductless air conditioning systems are not well known in North America as of yet, but they have been popular in most other parts of the world for more than a decade.

These space- and energy-saving, easy-to-install air conditioning systems can go where ducted HVAC systems cannot.

Ductless air conditioners can also have a heating component for less temperate climates such as what we have here in Canada. In this capacity, they are called ductless mini-splits.

Here at Shipton’s Heating & Cooling, we are big fans of ductless A/C and ductless mini-splits – so much so that we devoted a whole blog post to their many benefits.

One common question customers have about ductless systems concerns maintenance. Specifically, do ductless HVAC systems need maintenance? If so, what kind? Find out in this post!

What Is a Ductless HVAC?

First, we want to make sure you understand what we mean by “ductless HVAC.”

At first glance, the ductless HVAC doesn’t look dissimilar to the central ducted HVAC – both have two main components: an inside unit and an outside one.

But in the ductless system, both units are surprisingly compact. With a ducted system, the interior component is typically installed in the attic, but with a ductless system, the interior component is typically mounted on a wall or the ceiling. Ductless systems are simple and quick to install because they don’t require any ductwork.

A ductless or mini-split air conditioner requires only one small hole to connect the interior and exterior units, making it very non-invasive to add A/C and heat to any space. It can also work on a zone system for larger or multi-room spaces, giving you the flexibility to cool or heat only the rooms you are using.

Do Ductless Systems Need Maintenance?

Like central ducted air conditioning and heating systems, ductless systems do need regular routine maintenance to perform at their best and maximize energy efficiency and useful life.

Happily, maintenance for ductless systems is neither difficult nor time-consuming. These are the most important routine maintenance tasks you will need to do to keep your ductless system running smoothly.

Clean or change the air filter

The most important maintenance component for any ductless system is the same as for its ducted counterparts – you want to keep the filter clean!

A clogged filter can quickly become a clogged motor, which can then turn into a major repair or an outage.

Check and clean the indoor and outdoor components

It is also important to regularly check and clean both the inside and outside components of your ductless system.

Keeping the area around each component clear out to a 3-foot safety margin is important for your own safety as well as the operation of each component.

Clean the compressor and coils

The outdoor component of your ductless system is more likely to accumulate dust, dirt and debris over time, especially after seasonal storms.

It is relatively easy to just clean off the coils and compressor with a good-pressure garden hose.

The interior components can be dusted gently with a soft cloth. Bent fins can be realigned with a fin comb.

Keep the pipes clean and clear

The pipes that connect the indoor and outdoor components can also collect dust, dirt and debris over time.

Be sure to check the pipes as best you can, paying special attention to any micro-fissures or cracks, bends or leaks that may develop over time with exposure to the elements.

The pipes can sometimes develop clogs or blocks inside the lines. A thin wire passed through the drain pipes can dislodge any trapped matter, preventing a clog or block.

Check the electrical connections

Not only should you always power down the entire unit before attempting any cleaning maintenance or system examination, but you should also make it a point to regularly inspect the electrical connections, including the power cord.

Should You Do Your Own Ductless Maintenance or Hire a Pro?

As long as your schedule permits, you should find it simple and quick to do the basic maintenance your ductless air conditioner or mini-split system requires each month.

But once per year, you should schedule a complete professional preventative maintenance service and safety inspection.

This is especially important for checking refrigerant levels and for refrigerant leaks. Refrigerant is essential to the operation of your ductless unit, but it is also a known toxin and should only be handled and maintained by a professional.

If your system is a ductless air conditioning-only system, we recommend scheduling this annual maintenance and safety check in the spring before the temperatures start to heat up.

If your system is a ductless mini-split that also provides heat, scheduling your annual maintenance in the spring or fall is a good option, depending on your usage patterns.

2 Special Offers Just for You – Good Through July 15!

Right now and through July 15, 2019, buy any air conditioner, furnace, boiler or combo system and Shipton’s will donate $50 to City Kidz Hamilton to help send a deserving child to summer camp!

Right now and through July 15, 2019, buy any air conditioner, furnace or combo unit and don’t pay anything at all for three months. Also enjoy a FREE two-day/one-night stay at the Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls with free parking and waterpark access – plenty of fun for the whole family! Click here to learn more about this special offer.

Get in Touch

Does a ductless A/C or mini-split system sound right for you?

Contact us online or give us a call at 905-549-4616 to learn more.

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