June 13, 2024
How to Maintain Your Mini-Split AC for Maximum Efficiency

Even with the exceptional efficiency that comes with a ductless mini-split air conditioner, maintaining that efficiency requires some effort. Consider these six simple maintenance tips to keep your mini-split AC operating at maximum efficiency.

1. Keep Your Air Filters Clean

Air filters perform the critical job of keeping contaminants out of the air handler that could clog it and restrict airflow. However, doing so clogs the air filter and requires regular cleaning. The general recommendation is to clean your filter about every two weeks, though that may vary depending on your model and air quality.

How to clean your filter depends again on the model mini-split you have. Some manufacturers recommend wiping them off dry, similar to the lint trap in a dryer. Others recommend washing it with simple water, such as from a kitchen sprayer. If you clean it with water, let it dry completely before reinstalling it.

You will also have to eventually replace the filters, though much less frequently than with disposable filters. The proper time to replace them is when they no longer clean well, leaving contaminants clogged in the filter.

2. Keep the Area Around Your Outdoor Unit Clear

Your outdoor unit must be able to circulate air through it to vent the heat absorbed in the house. Debris and anything around the unit will inhibit that airflow, preventing effective heat transfer. Ideally, keep a minimum of 2 feet around the unit clear and then 5 feet above the unit. When clearing the area, be sure to clear bush and tree branches, grass, weeds and loose debris like leaves. Additionally, if you use your heat pump over the winter for heating, plan to clear away ice and snow.

3. Clean Outdoor Coils

Keeping your outdoor coil clear includes more than just clearing away debris. Rather, it also means cleaning the coils regularly to keep pollen and dust from restricting airflow through the unit. Avoid using high pressure, which can damage the coil fins. Using water from your garden hose without a spray nozzle is sufficient to clean the coils. Plan to do this at least twice per year, but more often if you live in an exceptionally dusty environment.

4. Clean the Condensate Drain

As your air conditioner runs, it will condense moisture from the air, called condensate, on the evaporator coils in your indoor units. Each of your indoor air handlers will have a condensate drain to keep your unit from leaking that moisture. This line will eventually clog with dirt, dust, and other particles from the air handler. If the line clogs, it will leak water down the wall and may cause the system to shut down, inhibiting its cooling ability.

A maintenance technician will clean the line during maintenance, but you may want to clean it more often throughout the year. Simply locate the access point and pour distilled vinegar through it. Allow it to sit for about 30 minutes, and then flush with water.

5. Wipe Down Each Air Handler

In addition to cleaning the air filters, the exterior of the unit will get dirty throughout the year as well. As the system runs, the circulating air will pick up particles from the dust and dirt that collects on the unit. Plan to wipe down the unit’s housing as part of your household cleaning routine. Shut it down, and then wipe it down with a damp cloth to ensure you’re capturing the dust rather than pushing it off onto your floor.

6. Get Routine Maintenance

Outside of cleaning your air filters, routine professional maintenance is one of the best things you can do to help maintain your mini-split air conditioner. During this visit, a technician will clean both the outdoor condensing coil and the coils at each air handler. They’ll also check and tighten all electrical connections and mounting hardware to reduce wear caused by excessive vibration. Additionally, they’ll run tests throughout the system to ensure everything’s operating within optimal parameters. If they find anything running ineffectively, you can resolve it before it significantly reduces your system’s operational efficiency.

Property owners around Arvada have trusted Coffman & Company to keep their homes comfortable since 1983. Our team takes pride in providing AC and heating maintenance, repair and installation together with indoor air quality solutions and water heater services, including gas piping. Call to schedule your mini-split air conditioner maintenance with one of our NATE-certified technicians today.

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