Ductless air conditioners are one of the most efficient and cost effective cooling options, and you want to make sure that you keep yours in the best shape possible. While it might be easy to forget about the mechanism keeping your home comfortable, not taking care of your ductless air conditioner could shorten its life and greatly reduce its functioning. While there are some things that you will likely want to leave to a professional, there are a number of steps that you can take on your own to increase the functionality and lifespan of your system. Follow these 8 maintenance tips for ductless air conditioners to keep yours up to date and functioning properly.
1. Keep the Outside Clean
One of these easiest things you can do to keep your system in the best shape is making sure that it is free from dust and debris. If you allow dust, dirt and other particles to collect on the unit, they can easily find their way into the operating pieces and ultimately lead to major issues.
All you need to do to ensure that your ductless air conditioner remains clean on the outside is to make sure to include the unit in your weekly dusting routine. Simply wipe down the exterior with a damp cloth or a gentle and safe chemical cleaner. Additionally, make sure that the outdoor portion of the vents are free from dirt and dust and anything else that could clog the unit and make it malfunction. This small step can greatly reduce additional work and costs later.
2. Give it Some Space
While ductless air conditioners require less space than your average air conditioning system, they do work best if you give them plenty of unobstructed room to operate. To run smoothly, the unit needs to have ample wall space to work. Make sure that you do not have any large furniture or art surrounding it, as these things can encourage the accumulation of dust and can hinder the efficiency of the system. You want to make sure to give the machinery at least four feet of surrounding space in every direction, besides the walls themselves. Avoid placing bookcases or pictures on the wall near the ductless air conditioning unit. Clearing the space will prevent issues later and ensure that your machine is working correctly.
3. Turn the System Off
Naturally, you’re going to need to clean more than just the outside of the unit to ensure its optimal performance. Before completing the more extensive cleaning of the interior of the unit, you want to make sure that all the components are off. If you skip this step, you very likely run the risk of damaging your unit, or worse, harming yourself through electrocution or other means. You want to make sure that you turn off both in-home components and the exterior circuit switch. Once you have shut the unit down, make sure to allow it to cool for a decent amount of time. Starting too soon can also be a hazard.
4. Remove the Filters
The filters in your system are some of the most important components for checking the functionality of your ductless air conditioner. Without proper maintenance, these filters can lead to decreased efficiency.
To clean your air filters, you will want to carefully remove them from the inside of the unit. Use a clean, dry cloth to gently wipe the filters clear of dirt and dust. You can check your manual for information about how often you should complete this task, though typically you will want to do this every four to six weeks for best results.
The filters are an important part in protecting the rest of your unit from dust accumulation and greatly contribute to the air quality in your home. At some point, you may need to replace the filters. If they cannot be sufficiently cleaned or are damaged, go ahead and replace them.
5. Clean the Coil and Condenser
You will also want to maintain the outdoor portion of your unit. Because this portion is essential to the continued operation of your system, you want to make sure that you regularly maintain the condenser and coils. Outdoor dirt and debris can quickly collect on this part of your unit, preventing it from working. If left unmaintained it can prevent the entire system from working and cause a lot of damage
To clean, ensure that all the components are off and then use your regular garden hose to spray the unit. Once you have completed this, make sure that the fins did not bend, and if they did, you can use an alignment comb to return them to their original shape. You can then dust off any final debris by hand, and be sure that the unit is completely dried off when you’re done. Add this task to your weekly cleaning routine to ensure that your ductless air conditioner regularly is attended to.
6. Clean the Pipes
The pipes are an essential in emitting the cold or heat into your home, and they are the pathways between the outside and inside components of the machine. If left untouched, dirt, dust and other items can collect and block air from entering your home. This obviously stops your ductless air conditioner from working. Additionally, pipes can develop leaks, which prevent proper functioning. You will want to take a look at these pipes every so often to ensure they are clear. This is an easy step to address when you are cleaning your air filters, so be sure to not let this task fall through the cracks.
7. Check for Ice or Snow
When used for heating, ductless air conditioners can collect ice and snow, which can inhibit their ability to run efficiently. Regularly check the outside of your machinery for accumulation, and if you spot any, gently remove it from the unit. During the winter, you are likely running your unit frequently, and you will want to make sure that it is protected. Leaving this part of the unit covered in ice can quickly lead to expensive issues.
8. Call a Professional
While there is a lot that you can do on your own to keep your unit running properly, you will want to have a professional take a look to make sure that everything is functioning optimally. Before you hire an air conditioner technician, be sure to make sure they have positive reviews online and that they work for a reputable company.