Ductless systems allow you to heat and cool your home without adding costly and inefficient ductwork (ductwork is used with forced air furnace systems). Ductless heat pumps are the best alternative for replacing baseboard and wall-mounted electric systems. They’re also great for replacing propane, wood, or gas systems. In addition, ductless systems also provide cooling in the summer, making them ideal replacements for window box A/C units and more affordable than central air. Let’s talk about the benefits of caring for your mini-split and hear some ductless system maintenance pro tips that will keep you and your system happy.
Tip #1: Set the fan to auto.
Each ductless heat pump system is equipped with an air handler that automatically adjusts air speeds as needed or as a set. It’s best to avoid fiddling with the temperature and instead just set the Mode to heat or cool, and set the Fan to auto. Unlike a traditional heating and cooling system where you make adjustments when you go to sleep or leave the house, a mini-split is much more efficient in the auto setting. However, if you have rooms you use less often than others, you can save by shutting the doors so that the system doesn’t have to heat or cool those spaces.
Tip #2: Let your system run constantly.
Ductless systems are designed to slowly ramp up and down according to the room’s temperature needs. Rather than turning on and operating on full blast and then off (like a traditional AC or furnace), the ductless mini-split only outputs the exact heat or cool needed. As a result, it makes it seem like the system is running constantly. However, it’s this variable-output that makes it so efficient.
Tip #3: Rinse your air filter.
Dust on the filters blocks the air flow, which makes the system work harder. If it’s working harder, it’s less efficient and uses more energy to heat and cool your space. Thankfully, one of the benefits of ductless air systems is that the filter can be rinsed and put back. Doing this regularly will help ensure your system is operating efficiently.
Tip #4: Wipe down the indoor ductless unit.
Wipe each indoor ductless unit clean using a soft, dry cloth. For more stubborn dirt, moisten a cloth in warm water, wring it out thoroughly, and wipe gently. You can remove the air intake grille to wash it with water. Clean the grille using a soft sponge or rag and wipe away any remaining moisture. There’s no specific schedule for this step. You may prefer to do it as part of your regular house cleaning, filter cleaning, or even when you just notice some dust.
Tip #5: Dust and vacuum your indoor unit(s).
While dusting and cleaning the rest of the house, you can also dust your indoor unit’s filter. By running your vacuum over the filter, you will remove the dust and allergens that can interfere with the air’s quality. You can also locate the filter and gently wipe it to clear away dust and dirt. This is essential because the system will struggle to pull in air, with dirty filters, and your room will feel hotter or colder than it should. You’ll want to do this more often if you have pets!
Tip #6: Wipe down the controller.
Similar to your remote controller for the TV, it’s always a good idea to wipe down your controller and keep the buttons clean and clear of sticky liquids. And, be sure to test your batteries frequently. Sometimes a system may seem on the fritz when it’s actually a result of low remote batteries.
Tip #7: Remove any furniture or blockages around the indoor unit.
One of the reasons you chose your ductless air conditioner in the first place is due to how little space they take up. However, for them to run smoothly, you need to make sure the area around the indoor units is clear. Not only do things like furniture and even art on the walls block the system from dispersing the cool air evenly, but they can add to dusty buildup that interferes with air quality and efficiency. Give the units about four feet of space to help them do their job correctly.
Tip #8 Clear away any overgrown brush around the outside unit.
Northwest Washington weather can hit your system with a lot of dirt buildups. To tackle cleaning the outdoor compressor, you can use a leaf blower to blow away debris. Next, use your garden hose very carefully to remove dirt. Do not attempt to use any high-pressure air or water. Gently wipe everything dry.
Tip #9 Hire a professional to do a deep clean and inspection.
Depending on the age of the unit and the climate in which the unit is located, it is heavily advised to have a professional cleaning done once every two years. During this process, a trained professional will disassemble part of the system and apply commercial chemicals to remove debris. The fan propellers will be wiped down gently as they are fragile and can be broken easily. The system will also be inspected for any mechanical breakdowns or weak points.
Schedule a professional deep clean with Alpine Ductless
Because of their high efficiency, ductless heat pumps are an environmentally friendly heating and cooling solution. A ductless heat pump is engineered to adjust constantly to heating and cooling demands. They use less energy to operate while providing more continuous comfort than a traditional HVAC system. And that’s better for the environment. Conducting regular cleaning and ductless system maintenance will ensure your system’s longevity for years to come. To schedule a professional deep clean, call us at (360) 615-2740, or request more information here.
Want to learn more about ductless systems in the Pacific Northwest? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump Installations in Washington.
Alpine Ductless is a certified Master Installer with Comfort Ready Home. We proudly serve the Thurston, Pierce, Mason, Lewis and South King county areas. Our goal is to help you determine the best system for heating and cooling your home.