Do Ductless AC Systems Require Additional Maintenance?

Posted on: 15 June 2023

Mini-split systems (also known as ductless systems) are a popular choice for many homeowners. These systems can be particularly beneficial if you have an older home without ductwork but don't want to deal with portable air conditioners or window units. A good mini-split system can offer all the benefits of traditional central air conditioning without retrofitting the ductwork, vents, and registers.

However, these systems can also be more complex than traditional central air units. And since these contain all the same components found in central systems, they still require routine annual maintenance. Keep reading to learn the similarities and differences between maintaining a central air conditioning system and a mini-split air conditioner.

What's the Same Between Each System?

All air conditioning systems work on the same general principles. An air conditioning system extracts heat from the air in your home and moves it to another location, using a refrigerant chemical as a transport medium. In this case, the second location is outside your home. The indoor evaporator coil absorbs heat and the outdoor condenser coil releases it.

These coils rely on having as much surface area in contact with the surrounding air as possible to maintain their efficiency. Unfortunately, both coils can become dirty over time. While your evaporator coil has your HVAC filter to protect it, your condenser coil faces constant exposure to dirt, rain, dust, grass clippings, and more.

Central air conditioning and mini-split systems use similar outdoor units, so cleaning the condenser coil is essentially the same job with either system. Evaporator coil cleaning is similar, but central air conditioning units locate their coils in a central air handling cabinet. On the other hand, mini-split systems integrate the evaporator coil directly into the main unit.

What's Different Between Each System?

The same components require cleaning and testing in mini-split and central air conditioning systems, but the indoor procedures can differ slightly. Since most people install mini-split head units in living areas, more care is necessary during disassembly and cleaning. Special consideration is particularly important when cleaning the evaporator coil since this job can be messy.

In most cases, a trained technician can fully disassemble a mini-split system's head unit, allowing for a more thorough cleaning of components such as the blower wheel. While removing these components is also possible on a traditional central air conditioning system, accessing the blower wheel and even the evaporator coil may require a more substantial disassembly.

In addition to cleaning, a trained technician will check for proper temperature drop, pressure on the refrigerant lines, and correct electrical draw. These procedures will vary slightly between all air conditioning units, whether the system is a traditional central system or a mini-split. These maintenance steps are essential to ensure your system operates within its manufacturer's specifications.

For more information about AC system maintenance, reach out to a local service. 


HVAC For The Layman

Do you remember the last time your air conditioner died? Although you might have been tempted to write off the problem as a simple quirk, serious air conditioning issues might mean that your family gets stuck living in a hot, humid, uncomfortable environment. I have been a homeowner for a long time, and you wouldn't believe how many times I have come across issues with my HVAC systems. I want you to know how to recognize the early signs of trouble, which is why I decided to put up this page. By reading here, you might be able to learn the intricacies of HVAC in layman's terms so that you can get things resolved as quickly as possible.