A mini-split AC, also called a ductless unit, is a dependable source of cool air in your home. To ensure that it works properly and to prevent unnecessary repair calls, it's vital that you perform some periodic maintenance on your unit. The following guide can help you know what to do and when.
Perform Weekly Condenser Inspections
The condenser is the unit that is installed outside. For a mini-split unit, it is normally placed on an exterior wall. You may even have multiple condensers, depending on how the AC blowers in your home are zoned. Take a few minutes each week to make sure dirt, leaves, and other debris hasn't blows up against the condenser, and sweep it away if it has. When mowing or working in the yard, avoid blowing debris right up against your condenser.
Spring Clean the Condenser Units
Even with care to keep debris away, dust will still buildup in the vents on your condenser. This can eventually lead to overheating. Once a year, preferably in spring and on a sunny day, spray out the vents on the unit with a garden hose. This will remove the dust. Make sure the unit isn't running when you perform this operation. If the unit seems exceptionally dirty, remove the bolts that hold the top cover in place and lightly spray out the interior of the condenser. The sun will quickly dry the water and then you can replace the cover.
Cover Up In Fall
You may want to cover your condenser in fall if you live in an area with heavy snowfall. This prevents moisture from sitting on top of the unit for a long period, which can lead to rust. If you opt to cover your condenser, use a partial cover that only protects the top from snow buildup. This leaves the side vents open so that moisture isn't trapped inside the condenser, which can also lead to rust.
Vacuum Your Air Handler
The air handlers are the little vents that deliver the cold air to your home. These are usually placed near the ceiling. Since their main job is to blow out air, they don't tend to get dusty inside during the summer cooling season. The issue is when you first turn on the unit in the spring, since dust that collected during winter can blow out and into the room. A quick pass with the upholstery brush on your vacuum cleaner will handle the problem. Do this before turning on the system for the first time after a period of disuse.
Don't Forget Your Filters
Mini-split units use filters just like a traditional AC. And just like a traditional AC, these filters require monthly changing during the cooling season. Keeping on top of this chore will ensure your unit runs smoothly and cools to the best of its ability.
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