More than likely you’ve recently made the disappointing discovery that your prized ductless mini split heat pump system has a down side, MOLD !!. Ductless mini split systems can be super-efficient and a highly practical home heating/cooling solution but they must be properly maintained and serviced regularly to ensure optimum performance and cleanliness.
DID YOU KNOW?… Centrally ducted heat pumps and air conditioning systems also harbour harmful mold and air born pollutants. Inside the air handler/Furnace of your system it is dark, cold and damp, the perfect breeding ground for MOLD.
HOW DOES THE MOLD FORM?… During the summer months when you use your system for air conditioning the high humidity levels cause condensation to form on the coil of the air conditioner or heat pump system. Over the season, the high moisture in and around the evaporator coil eventually causes the formation of mold and whats worse is that when you switch your heat pump system over to heating mode, the coil dries out and so does the mold which then becomes airborne and blown directly into the air that you and your family breath.
With a standard centrally ducted heat pump: there’s an outdoor condenser and an indoor coil/air handler unit. The main difference is that the indoor unit is placed in a single room or area that it serves; it doesn’t rely on ductwork to deliver the conditioned air. Without ductwork (where over 30% of a system’s cooling/heating power can be lost) it’s more efficient than a centrally ducted system, and because the condenser is outside piped away from the wall unit, operation is far quieter than a portable or window style unit.
Ductless mini-split heat pumps are an excellent option for retrofitting older homes with baseboard heating. They’re great for additions when it is too difficult or expensive to extend existing ductwork in a centrally ducted heating system. Ductless systems also come in handy when trying to service hard-to heat spaces like attics, sunrooms and basements.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I HAVE MY DUCTLESS MINI SPLIT CLEANED AND MAINTAINED?… You should follow the same cleaning and maintenance schedule as what is recommended for centrally ducted systems. At least one annual service helps maintain system efficiency and indoor air quality.
SHOULD I DO ANYTHING TO MAINTAIN MY DUCTLESS MINI SPLIT?…
Here are the basic steps to maintaining a ductless mini-split.
Whenever you are cleaning or maintaining anything on your ductless mini split you should always ensure that you turn the unit off and disconnect power first.
- Clean or replace filters. Additionally, you should inspect your filters on a monthly basis and clean or replace them as needed.
- Remove and clean the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) components. These vary depending on the manufacturer and model of ductless heat pump system you have. For instance, some models use negative ion technology to further purify the indoor air.
- Inspect and clean the outdoor condensing unit as you would for a central air conditioning system. Check for leaves or any debris inside the unit. Inspect the refrigerant lines and insulation wraps.
- Make sure the unit is solidly mounted on its base and that the fan wheel and blower assembly are balanced. Remove excess debris from the outside of the unit, then spray the coils clean with a garden hose WARNING - DO NOT use a pressure washer or high pressure hose on your condenser coil, the water pressure will bend and/or damage the aluminum fins.