Who Should I Trust To Maintain And Clean My Ductless Mini Split?
While you can take a few DIY steps to help keep your mini split in great shape, you need a reliable, trustworthy HVAC contractor for annual maintenance. And, dedicated deep cleanings are essential for maintaining your system’s performance and energy efficiency.
Fortunately, coordinating all this becomes very simple once you have the right people. And, it helps to know what each service entails, why it’s important, and how to find the right person for each job.
We’ll help you figure all that out in this article. You’ll learn the three critical steps toward proper maintenance, why you need them, and who you should call for each one.
Then, we’ll talk specifically about how to make sure you’ve found someone reliable and trustworthy to handle the work.
Three Easy Ways To Keep Your Mini Split In Great Shape
There are three important parts of regular mini split maintenance. Addressing all three keeps your system in excellent working order:
- Clean The Filters
- Seasonal Tune-Ups
- Deep CleaningRelated: How Can I Make My Mini Split Last Longer?
Clean The Filters
Cleaning the filter in each air handler is an easy first step toward maintaining your system. The filter prevents dust and other particles from gumming up the components inside your system. And, those pollutants won’t recirculate into the air you breathe when you’re in the room.
Unlike the ones you use for furnaces, these air filters are reusable. So, instead of tossing out the old one and putting in a new one, you’ll remove the one in your air handler, clean it out, and put it back in.
It only takes a few minutes, and you don’t need any tools to access it. We recommend cleaning each one every month. You may want to do it more often if you have pets that shed and find their fur or feathers in the filter.
The filter won’t catch everything — and we’ll address that concern later — but it makes a big impact. However, if it gets clogged, you’ll get a drop in circulation when air can’t pass through it.
You should have a professional HVAC contractor inspect, clean, and optimize your mini split once a year if you only use it for cooling and twice annually if it also serves as a heater. This service goes a long way toward maintaining your system’s performance and energy efficiency.
Your HVAC company checks dozens of inspection points to root out anything that will cause a problem later. If an electrical connection is loose, they’ll tighten it. If a part is worn down, they’ll replace it before it breaks, causing more damage and a more expensive repair call down the line.
These maintenance visits are often called “tune-ups.” The best times to get them are in the spring and fall, so your system is ready for its peak seasons.
And, maintenance is essential for keeping your warranty valid. If you check the fine print on the manufacturer’s agreement, it states the warranty is void unless you have your system serviced regularly.
A deep cleaning is a step beyond a tune-up. While your tech will clear out any surface dust or buildup, they can’t access every area inside the air handlers and heat pump. As a result, it’s common for those components, especially the indoor units, to become infested with mold and other microbial contaminants.
The problem is much more common with mini splits than with other systems.
The inside of each component provides excellent conditions for bacteria, mold spores, and other contaminants to thrive. And, it’s pretty much possible to clean them completely without taking apart the entire system.
Doing that much would take hours, making it expensive for an HVAC tech. And even then, it’s challenging to get in between, say, every tiny ridge, or fin, on the coil.
But, that’s one spot in particular where mold grows and bacteria thrive. Check out the grime in this photo to see what we mean:
All that organic buildup means air can’t pass over the coil to get heated or cooled properly. Even worse, you breathe in all that junk when the air blows back out.
That’s why deep cleaning is an important complement to a tune-up: It addresses problems a regular maintenance call can’t address. And it makes a massive impact on your indoor air quality and your system’s performance and energy usage.
How To Find A Reliable HVAC ContractorWhen you’re in the market for a reliable contractor, you want someone with excellent reviews, an office you can visit, and a track record of regularly working in your town. The best way to find one is through a referral from family or friends, and you can do more research on your own. First, always make sure the contractor you’re considering has a location you can visit. The longer they’ve been in business, the better. Also, check that their trucks have permanent decals on them. People that use removable or magnetic signage are often fly-by-night operators. Next, check their Yelp! reviews and Google ratings. You want to see plenty of five-star ratings and glowing comments. When it comes to their BBB rating, of course you want to see an A+. But, here’s another hint: Read any complaints against them. If you see the same concerns coming up over and over again, that’s a red flag. Even if they resolve them, they still struggle with that part of the business. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask them for referrals, especially if you’re getting quotes on a big job. They should be able to provide the names and numbers of satisfied customers that will vouch for them.
HVAC Contractors Vs. Mini Split CleaningThe last thing to consider is whether your HVAC contractor can also provide a mini split cleaning. Most of them will do a great job with maintenance, repairs, and installation. But, few have the specialized equipment and know-how to provide efficient and effective deep cleans.
At HydroKleen208, we use specialized pressure washers calibrated to flush out air handlers and heat pumps without damaging any equipment. The hoses are shaped to reach every nook and cranny inside each unit without us taking anything apart.
Then, our catchment bags hook onto the air handler to catch all the dirty water coming out without spilling a drop in your home. Finally, our liquid cleaning agents are non-toxic and environmentally-friendly.
This way, we don’t introduce any new toxins into your home or put anything like that into the sewer when we drain it out.
That’s all to say: These are the tools and strategies you need for a deep clean. To prove our point, here’s another picture of a dirty coil. We cleaned one side, stopped to take this photo, and then continued. You can see the difference:
HydroKleen has dozens of teams around the globe, and we’re growing in the United States as mini splits become more popular. If you live in Boise Metro or Valley County in Idaho, call us at (208) 779-5596 to learn more about what we do — and how we do it best.