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Mini Split Systems for Beginners: Essential Care & Maintenance Tips

Mini Split Systems for Beginners: Essential Care & Maintenance Tips

An often overlooked element of change leading up to the summer involves your home’s air conditioner. An outdated central HVAC system or inefficient window unit will not do an adequate job of keeping your home cool in the wake of sweltering summer heat. Luckily, we’re here to help! There is a “new” air conditioner technology sweeping the nation — the ductless mini split! At ComfortUp, we have a variety of mini split systems from the top brands in the industry available for purchase. They are the perfect air conditioner for cooling your home this summer. Read below to learn more about mini splits such as caring and maintenance steps, then contact ComfortUp Customer Care Experts if you need any help selecting the right product for you!

Where Traditional AC Systems Fail, a Mini Split System Delivers!

Ductless mini splits are an efficient and emerging type of air conditioner. They are the norm in Europe and Asia, but Americans have only recently discovered all their benefits and advancements from other types of air conditioners. They are increasing in popularity for a variety of reasons, such as efficiency, versatility, and technological advancements. Ductless mini splits are ideal in many different circumstances and fix many of the problems caused by central HVAC technology. 

If your house suffers from temperature inconsistencies or does not have ductwork already installed, a mini split is perfect. They are also ideal in rooms that your already existing ductwork does not reach, such as a garage, sunroom, or new addition.  Ductless mini splits have three main components: an outdoor condenser, an indoor air-handling unit, and a remote control. A piping system made of two copper tubes called the suction line and liquid line, connects to the two parts. These pipes transport a liquid cooling substance called refrigerant throughout the entire system. The refrigerant is responsible for soaking in and releasing hot or cold air. 

Energy Loss Tip

One of the main reasons for the increase in the popularity of ductless mini splits is their efficiency. You lose over 25% of your energy to ductwork in a central HVAC system, and a mini split eliminates this waste. Some mini splits have a higher base cost than other types of air conditioners such as window units and spot coolers, but the long-term savings on electricity bills offset this heightened initial cost, plus they are much quieter. The compressors slow down and speed up based on the current needs of the system. This eliminates any waste caused by abruptly shutting off and restarting and reduces wear-n-tear on the internal components.

The average lifespan of a ductless mini split is 12-15 years, meaning a highly efficient system will greatly reduce the size of your carbon footprint in the long term. Efficiency is not the only major benefit of a ductless mini split system, as they are also very versatile. Ductless mini splits can not only cool your house during the summer but provide heat during the winter. You can control the temperature in your home year round with the push of a button! 

Additionally, they double as filters and increase the air quality in your home. During operation, mini splits filter out dirt, dust, and other allergens from your air. With a ductless mini split, you can also control the temperature from room to room. Their temperature zoning and whole home climate control technology divides the residence into different zones for heating and cooling. 

Remote air conditioning

For example, if you want one room to be colder than another, simply change the temperature on the mini split in that room. This will not impact any other room in the house, and you do not have this luxury with central HVAC systems because they are all connected through the same system of ducts. With a ductless mini split, you won’t find yourself waging war over thermostat control anytime soon! Ductless mini splits save homeowners money in ways other than increased efficiency and reduced electrical bills. Many ENERGY-STAR certified models are eligible for federal tax credits and rebates; contact your local agencies to find all eligible incentives in your area. These systems also add value to your home. If you are selling your home, a ductless mini split makes it more appealing to potential buyers.

Another reason people love ductless mini splits is the new technological innovations. Some models can be paired with sensors and smartphone applications. When paired with a sensor, they increase and decrease airflow when you enter or exit the room. Additionally, many mini splits can be controlled remotely through either a smartphone application. With a compatible smartphone, simply download the application for your system and you’re good to go! You can adjust the temperature from the couch or the other room! There is also a variety of different-looking models available. Many air conditioners are clunky and do not fit the decor of your homes interior. Luckily, ductless mini splits can either sit inconspicuously or match the decorations inside. We guarantee you can find something to match your aesthetic! 

What Brands Do We Carry? 

At ComfortUp, we carry the industry’s most trusted brands, such as Gree,  Mitsubishi, LG, TempBlue, Boreal, Daikin, Fujitsu, and even DIY systems. They differ in a variety of ways, such as the type of warranty, sound pressure, and air flow. Each model also has various SEER, EER, and HSPF capabilities. A professional technician or one of our ComfortUp Product Experts can help you decide which brand and model are best for you! After you decide on a brand, you must choose a properly sized unit. The size of air conditioners is measured in tons and expressed in British Thermal Units (BTU). A ton is the amount of heat, or BTUs, an air conditioner can remove from a space each hour. One ton equals 12,000 BTUs per hour. 

For reference, a 5-ton mini split air conditioner can remove 60,000 BTUs of heat per hour. This means that you must purchase a mini split designed to heat a room of a specific size to maximize its efficiency. After we decide which model fits your needs, you can have it installed in no time!

Call a Professional for Mini Split Installation

For mini split installation services, call a professional HVAC technician. This is not a project homeowners should complete themselves, no matter their level of handiness. Two of the main problems with air conditioners are traceable to installation error and faulty maintenance, both of which are avoidable when you call a Licensed HVAC Technician for your installation. Another reason for professional installation is in the warranty. Many warranties are voided if there are problems caused by unprofessional installation.

HVAC Technician

As their name implies, they do not require the extensive ductwork that most central HVAC systems need. Therefore, their installation process is simple, quick, and inexpensive. All they require is an approximately three-inch-long hole in the wall to run the pipes and wires through. Mini split installation can be as low as about $200, however, there are many factors to consider when estimating the price of installation. You're spending a little extra for a quality product, it's best to make sure it's installer properly to make sure it's working as designed, for maximum comfort. If you follow all the necessary steps, then you can just sit back, relax, and you’ll have long-lasting cold air at your disposal in no time!

Deep Cleaning Your Ductless Mini Split

Installation is not the only task that should be completed by a professional technician. As a reputable HVAC company, we recommend annual inspections of your ductless mini split performed by professionals. Annual maintenance extends the longevity of your system and keeps it operating in top form. Deep cleaning your mini split is one of the best ways to keep it operating at maximum capacity and efficiency. While these systems typically require less maintenance and attention, over time, a light layer of film consisting of dust, pollen, and other contaminants builds up on the coils in your mini split.

Cleaning your AC

A coating as small as one-fourth of a millimeter reduces the efficiency of your system by up to 20%. As it goes without saying, this is not ideal for a variety of reasons. When your mini split is not operating as it should, it must work harder and use more power. Therefore, your electric bill could skyrocket. Removing these contaminants also prevents mold buildup in your system. Mold buildup decreases the air quality in your home and puts your family at risk for health problems caused by exposure to mold, allergens, and other pathogens.

Caring for and Maintaining a Ductless Mini Split

Annual maintenance and deep cleaning by a professional are not the only ways to keep your mini split running smoothly. There are many ways homeowners can set up, care for, and maintain their ductless mini split themselves. Mini splits operate best when there are no obstructions around to block airflow. Therefore, pick an optimal location for both the interior and exterior components during installation. To operate efficiently, there should be nothing within four feet of your mini split. Make sure there is no furniture, artwork, or other household items blocking the airflow for the inside component. Place the outdoor component away from any gardening, shrubbery, or outdoor furniture. 

Annual Cleanings quote

Before beginning any maintenance, turn the system off. There should be a switch for the indoor component and to shut off the circuit connected to the outdoor unit. This prevents any chance of electrical shock, which is harmful to you and your system. Wiping off the exterior with a damp cloth or cleaner once a week is an easy way to keep your system in great shape. If dust, debris, and dirt build up on the outside component, they can make their way inside the system and cause problems such as blockings and decreased air quality. 

Cleaning the Filter, Coils, Pipes, and Condenser

There are also several components of a ductless mini split you can easily clean and maintain yourself to keep it running as smooth as possible. For example, regularly cleaning the filter keeps dirt, debris, and dust out of your system while also increasing the air quality in your home. Every four to six weeks, remove the filter and wipe it off with a dry cloth. When you remove the filter for cleaning, you should also examine its condition. If it is damaged beyond repair or if wiping it off does not adequately clean it, replace it immediately. We have filters for all of our ductless mini splits, so we can replace them in no time! 

cat sleeping on the air conditioner

The pipes of a mini split also require regular cleaning. When cleaning the filter, examine the pipes to ensure there are no blockages or buildup of debris. Pipes serve the important role of connecting the indoor and outdoor components, so they must be clear of obstruction. The coils and condensers of your mini split are magnets for dirt and dust, so they also require regular cleaning. After shutting the system off and disconnecting the circuit, you can spray the exterior components with your house to remove any buildup. Make sure they are completely dry before turning your system back on. You can clean the coils on the interior component with a cloth and disinfectant cleaner. While cleaning these components, keep an eye out for any mold or mildew. If you spot any, call a professional technician for a deep cleaning and thorough inspection. 

Give ComfortUp a Call Today! 

With this helpful guide, you’re now an "expert" on ductless mini splits! You’re ready to properly care for and maintain a model of your own. However, don’t forget to let a professional handle service such as installation and annual maintenance. Give ComfortUp a call at 855-337-0001! Mini splits are the future of air conditioning, so don’t get left in the past! The Future is NOW!

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