When the summer months arrive, the masses crank up their AC’s and ductless mini-splits to escape the hazy, hot, and humid days that we all know too well. With the advent of the mini-split systems, some people have opted to have the convenience of heating and air conditioning included in the same unit. Whether we’re using a window AC or you’ve made the jump to a ductless mini-split system, one things for sure, regular maintenance is necessary to keep your AC running smoothly and efficiently.
WHY REGULAR CLEANING IS IMPORTANT?
Let’s face it, an air conditioning unit is just like any other appliance in your home in that it requires regular maintenance to operate at peak performance. With regular use comes the normal wear and tear that happens with moving parts. Also, when you’re dealing with a cooling system there will be condensation. Where there’s moisture, molds and grime tend to be not far behind. That’s not to mention the dirt and dust that gets pulled into your AC and ductless mini-splits as it circulates the air in your home. With all this happening the inner components of any AC or ductless mini-splits will get dirty and even start to grow mold.
This of course can be extremely dangerous for you and your loved ones. Especially at risk are the young, elderly, and any who suffer from allergies and breathing disorders. In today’s ‘New Norm’ we now deal with the threat of COVID-19. Some reports are indicating that this pathogen can spread not just by social interaction, but by microdroplets. Thus, the disease has a longer dwell time in the air and a greater possibility of infecting people. https://youtu.be/vBvFkQizTT4 With such conditions it’s important that we have a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule in place.
HOW TO CLEAN MY AC OR DUCTLESS MINI-SPLIT?
Cleaning an AC or ductless mini-split doesn’t have to be a scary process or for that matter a costly one. In researching this information I found a nice step by step explanation of the cleaning process at the following link, https://comfortup.com/blogs/learn-center/clean-ductless-mini-split .
First off, we want to stress that Safety is Job #1. Be sure to turn off or disconnect the power to your AC or ductless mini-split system. Next, if you will have to work on a ladder please be sure to follow safe practices to avoid injury.
Next you will want to get your cleaning supplies ready. This will include such items as:
- A damp cloth
- A dry cloth
- Shop vacuum
- Soap, and household cleaners
- Water, and a water hose with a spray nozzle.
The items that you might have to purchase are:
- Fin comb
- Air conditioner coil cleaner
- Cleaning brush
- Spray bottle
- Wash bag
- Condensate drain pump treatment
- Condensate drain cleaner
The ‘purchase items’ listed above you may decide to let the professional deal with when they come to service your AC or ductless mini-split system at your regularly scheduled appointment(s).
To clean the Outdoor Condenser Unit the basic check list is as follows:
- Clear the debris around the unit
- Wash the outdoor cabinet
- Remove the dirt collected from the exterior of the unit
- Scrub and wash the grill or fan cage
- Clean the fan blades
- Clean the interior of the unit
- Clean the condensate pan
- Clear the drain hose of any dirt
To clean the Indoor Air Handler Unit the basic check list is as follows:
- Clean the exterior surface of the air handler
- Remove and clean the air filters
- Clean the evaporator coil
For a more in-depth cleaning where your indoor air handlers drip pan and blower wheel receive a proper cleaning, we would recommend you call a professional as there will be some disassembly needed to access these components. If you’re of the DIY mindset, there are a number of video tutorials that will walk you through the process. But again, remember Safety is Job #1.
WRAPPING UP THE CLEAN UP - BE PROACTIVE, NOT REACTIVE
Throughout this blog we repeatedly endeavored to stress the importance of properly maintaining your AC and ductless mini-split system. You can have this done by a professional or you can opt for a more hands on approach and do a good deal of it yourself. One thing I’ve found that really helps to cut down on the build up of molds and mildew on the inner components is an easy to use, automated cleaner called, PureAC. This device is worth the investment as it uses the same disinfecting process utilized in many industries today to eliminate the worst things your AC can grow and spread…mold, germs, and bacteria.
Remember the goal is to have your AC and ductless mini-split unit(s) running at their peak performance. By having a regular schedule for cleaning you’ll ensure that everything is running safely, quietly, and efficiently.
Some would say that ‘a good defense is the best offence’, I like to say, ‘Be Proactive, Not Reactive’. By following the steps we’ve outlined and conducting preventative maintenance on your AC and ductless mini-split system you will save yourself money, extend the life of your system, and help avoid premature repairs and replacement.