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What is a Ductless Mini-Split System?

Updated: May 27

A mini-split air conditioner is a cost-efficient substitute for centralized heating and air conditioning. Particularly useful in smaller offices and residences, “mini-splits,” as they are often called, are stand-alone, ductless heating and cooling systems that require only a small hole in a wall or ceiling for the connection of wires and pipes. The air handler is inside the building while the compressor is placed outside.

Mini-splits have a life expectancy of between 10 and 15 years. Of course, as with any appliance, this is contingent on proper maintenance and there are four main considerations for the longevity of mini-splits:

1) Clean the indoor filters

Mini-splits contain two or more filters inside the indoor unit. These filters trap dirt, dust and just about every airborne particle. When these filters are clogged or dirty, it becomes very difficult for air to pass through and the mini-splits will struggle to maintain the desired room temperature. The filters are removed and cleaned with a small air compressor or vacuum. They should be cleaned or replaced every few months, more frequently if you have pets or during periods of high use.

2) Make sure the outdoor unit is clear

The outdoor components of mini-splits include the heat pump and compressor. It is vital that these be kept free from dirt, weeds, tall grasses and winter snow to ensure free flowing air. Mini-splits that experience impeded air flow can overheat and cause serious problems with the fan motor. They are also far less efficient.

3) Mini-splits require an annual deep cleaning

Deeper annual cleaning of mini-splits involve cleaning the evaporator coils on the outdoor unit. Homeowners can purchase a ready-to-use cleaning kit, but this job should really only be performed by trained professionals.

4) Make sure the drainage lines are clear

One of the most common causes of acute failure with mini-splits are clogged condensate lines. A back flow of moisture can cause the unit to operate inefficiently or shut down altogether. It is imperative to make sure this line remains clear.

Mini-splits are wonderfully efficient heating and cooling systems, but they do need regular attention and maintenance. Without the right training and experience, attempting to fix them on your own can be extremely dangerous.

Red Apple Air offers complete service for mini-splits, either on demand or as part of our Clean Air Club membership package. Call us or contact us online to speak with a Red Apple Air specialist and learn more.

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