10 Mini-Split Maintenance and Upkeep Tips
Mini-split maintenance extends your heating and cooling system’s life span, prevents costly repairs, reduces energy usage, and improves indoor comfort. Always leave major upkeep in the hands of a heating and cooling specialist. This way, you’ll enjoy great peace of mind because you’ll have an expert maintaining your system. You can also use our guide on 10 mini-split maintenance and upkeep tips to keep your system maintained properly.
1. Inspect the System
A thorough inspection performed by a licensed and certified technician is the first step in effective mini-split maintenance. The tech will walk the entire system, carefully listening to see if the air handler or condenser makes any weird noises. They will also check the air handler’s discharge temperature and see if the short system cycles.
Mini-split inefficiency and increased energy costs will result from short cycling. In addition, repeated short cycling causes unnecessary wear and strain on the unit, which can lead to early system failure. This makes regular mini-split maintenance all the more important. If you’re located anywhere in the vicinity of O’Fallon, simply reach out to our professionals at Hoff Heating & AC for assistance.
2. Clear Some Space
Ductless mini-split systems require less space for installation compared to traditional ducted heating and cooling systems, but they still need ample airflow and wall space to function properly. Because of this, don’t place any items, including curtains and drapes, couches, bookcases, beds, and other pieces of large furniture, within three feet of mini-split wall-mounted units.
In addition to clearing space around indoor mini-split units, keep the outdoor condenser unit clear of obstructions. During regular maintenance sessions, a technician will clear away clutter from this area if necessary. They may also recommend that you contact a landscape professional to cut away trees or shrubs that block airflow to the exterior unit.
3. Sniffing for Foul Odors
Another crucial part of mini-split maintenance involves checking for unusual smells or foul odors. Unpleasant odors coming from a ductless mini-split system can originate deep inside the equipment. A musty stench may permeate your home if moisture builds up and provides ideal conditions for mildew and mold growth.
Call an HVAC expert if you detect unpleasant scents in your home or office. The professional will investigate the problem and provide a solution. If a technician smells anything burning, they will immediately check the system’s electrical wiring.
4. Change the Air Filter
The filter on your mini-split system captures harmful airborne particles floating around your home. Over short periods of time, the filter can become so dirty that it clogs and blocks airflow to the mini-split system. As a result, you’ll notice hot spots throughout the home, and the mini-split will use more energy than necessary to keep your home cool. To avoid this, have the filter changed regularly.
Because mini-split systems are ductless, they usually require more filter maintenance than their ducted counterparts. In addition to regular mini-split maintenance about once every six to twelve months, you should have the filter changed every month. If you don’t feel comfortable changing the filter, one of our technicians can perform these changes for you.
5. Understand and Use the Right Settings
Like any heating and cooling system, mini-split systems come with multiple settings, enhancing your ability to customize indoor comfort. Understanding and using these settings is key to helping a mini-split achieve optimal efficiency. So, which setting is best?
If you set the system to ON, it will work around the clock to keep your home cool or warm. Setting it to ECO or AUTO will allow it to heat and cool according to your desired temperature without having to stay on all day and night.
It’s also important to remember that keeping the FRESH AIR setting turned off allows the system to recycle indoor air to heat and cool the house. This saves energy and lowers heating and cooling expenses while resulting in less wear and tear on the mini-split. If you turn this setting on, the system will work twice as hard as it sucks in air from the outside and then heats or cools it.
6. Keep an Eye on Utility Expenses
If something is wrong with your mini-split system, you’ll see a reflection of the problem in your heating and cooling expenses. This is why it’s important to check your energy bills every month for major dips or increases in energy usage.
During home energy audits, your monthly energy expenses play a large role in identifying your home’s biggest energy wasters. If you’re interested in learning more about home energy audits, our experts at Hoff Heating & AC can discuss them with you.
7. Cleaning the Outdoor Condenser Unit
Cleaning the outdoor condenser unit of a mini-split system often requires nothing more than a simple dusting. Ideally, you should wipe it down each time the grass gets mowed. You don’t want freshly cut grass (or anything similar) making its way into the outdoor unit’s air vents. It’s also perfectly acceptable to spray the unit with your garden hose. Much beyond this, however, you may want to leave to your HVAC technician during routine maintenance.
If the air vents on the outdoor unit ever look clogged, make sure to contact an HVAC technician right away. It’s safer to let a technician clean interior clogs and blockages.
8. Replace Worn Out Parts
All heating and cooling units eventually wear out. With many systems, though, you can replace worn parts to extend the system’s life span by several years. Regular maintenance and upkeep are key to spotting these faltering components before they result in costly repairs. When you notice any part of a mini-split system wearing out, contact a professional immediately.
9. Condenser Coil Maintenance
If you want your mini-split system to function at peak efficiency, have a technician clean the coil condensers at least once a year. There are several coil cleaners available for technicians to choose from. This is why choosing the right mini-split maintenance company is so important.
Also, cleaning the coil condenser by hand is a dirty and dangerous endeavor. Leave your safety and the well-being of your equipment in the hands of a professional, and get your condenser coils cleaned effectively by investing in professional mini-split maintenance from Hoff Heating & AC.
10. Be Careful With Heat-Generating Products
Don’t place heat-generating appliances and products near any of the indoor mini-split air handlers. Keep them away from the thermostat as well. Close proximity to heat-generating items like TVs, computers, and large lights will make the mini-split system work harder than necessary to keep your home cool. This compromises its parts, increases your energy bills, and results in poor indoor comfort.
Schedule a Mini-Split Maintenance Session Today
Mini-split systems come with a number of advantages. These highly flexible systems have a simple installation process and require less space to install than ducted systems. They also provide zoned heating and cooling, which makes it easy to heat and cool a home with the least amount of energy possible. For assistance with your system, rely on our professionals at Hoff Heating & AC. We offer a variety of heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services, including installation, repair, and maintenance. Contact us at Hoff Heating & AC today to book your next mini-split inspection and tune-up session.