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Troubleshooting Mini Split HVAC Systems

Mini-split HVAC systems have made it easy to achieve zoned heating and air conditioning in homes without central ductwork. These HVAC systems are extremely efficient and easy to use, increasing comfort and convenience while reducing your home energy costs over the long term. Learning how to troubleshoot your mini-split HVAC system can help you maintain this system more easily, as well as alert you when it’s time to call ARS/Rescue Rooter for professional help.

Check the Outdoor Unit

Mini-split HVAC systems are two-part systems that incorporate an outdoor unit and an indoor air handler. If you’re experiencing trouble with your mini-split system, it’s a good idea to check the condition of the outdoor unit. Oftentimes, dirt and debris buildup can cause damage to the outdoor unit that affects its ability to heat or cool the air, either via poor airflow or due to a damaged part or coolant leak. Additionally, ice buildup on the outdoor unit is a sure sign of trouble in the summer months; this is most often due to a lack of maintenance, and your HVAC service can quickly provide the cleaning and lubrication needed to eliminate ice buildup and maintain proper airflow and high efficiency.

Check Your Home’s Power

If you can’t get your mini-split system to run at all, your home’s electrical system may be to blame. Check your circuit breaker to make sure no circuits are tripped, then check the unit’s cord and plug as well to look for signs of damage. If your remote isn’t working, make sure it has fresh batteries and try using the reset button or see if you can activate the unit manually via its control panel. When you’ve exhausted these possibilities, it’s definitely time to call in an HVAC service expert. Handling electrical issues is something best left to a professional for both convenience and safety.

Clean the Drain Line

Checking your mini-split HVAC system’s drain line regularly will prevent buildup from backing up this line and causing the system to shut down due to water damage. Most HVAC experts recommend using vinegar to keep the drain line clear by pouring a small amount down the line a few times each year, which will help to break up any buildup and flush it through the line. If the unit doesn’t appear to be draining at all or is leaking from the indoor air handler, it’s definitely a job for your HVAC professional. In some cases, a kinked or damaged drain line can cause leaking or backups that cause ongoing water damage to your home if not addressed promptly.

Power Supply Trouble

Ductless mini-split air conditioners typically use a wall-based power supply. If your system won’t turn on, this is the first thing you should check. Make sure the power cord is plugged in and that the circuit is not tripped. You should also check the cord and plug for wear and tear, which could interfere with the transfer of power and pose a safety hazard in your home. If the power supply seems functional, also check the batteries in your remote, as they may have been exhausted. A mini-split system that needs a power supply replacement or fails to operate even when it should be receiving signals from the remote should be evaluated by an air conditioning repair service to find the problem.

Dirty Filter or Vents

Dirt and dust are pulled into your air conditioner each time it draws air in for cooling. Over time, this dirt and dust can build up inside the filer and vents, causing a drop in cooling efficiency. You should check and change your air filter regularly—your air conditioning repair service can provide instructions and a timetable on which to perform this task. Additionally, you can check the air conditioner’s vents for dirt by shining a flashlight into the appliance and looking for buildup. If you observe significant clogs, it’s best to call in your air conditioning repair service for cleaning. A professional cleaning will remove dirt and dust from the entire unit, not just the areas you can reach without opening the appliance.

Refrigerant Leaks

Ductless mini-split systems use a refrigerant solution to cool the air inside your home. The refrigerant is circulated between the indoor and outdoor units via cables that run through the small opening in your home necessary to accommodate the system. Refrigerant leaks can occur when these cables become worn by weathering or affected by pests. If your ductless mini-split system turns on and off as it should but doesn’t blow cool air as you expect, this poor performance could be due to a refrigerant leak. Your professional air conditioning repair service can check for leaks and replace or repair any leaky lines in your system, as well as recharge the refrigerant safely so your system can efficiently cool the air in your home once more.

Your ARS/Rescue Rooter air conditioning repair service is here to help you maintain your home’s cooling system, including mini-split systems, central air systems, and heat pumps. Our HVAC service experts have experience with maintenance, repair, and replacement of a wide variety of home heating and cooling products, including central heating and cooling, heat pumps, and mini-split HVAC systems. If you need professional help with a heating or cooling appliance, please visit our website for more details on our services or to reach us via our web contact form. Our blog also contains additional home comfort and efficiency tips and news to keep you up to date on the latest HVAC terms, technology, and services.

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