5 Quick and Simple Ductless Mini-Split Maintenance Tips

Posted by Barry Kindt on

Do you clean and take care of your air conditioning system as much as you should? 

The advantages of having a ductless mini-split air conditioner are both countless and undeniable. It’s a small and convenient size, can heat and cool individual rooms, and can have up to four indoor units connected to only one outdoor unit. But, in order for you to reap these benefits, these systems need to be maintenanced properly.

Although it may be enticing to let your mini-split run without cleaning or replacing the filter, you shouldn’t allow this to happen. No HVAC system has a set-it-and-forget-it maintenance plan.

Pollen, animal dander, dust, and even dust mites are constantly running through it and its air filters, making its upkeep mandatory. Plus, not cleaning the components of your HVAC system could even lead to mold growth and buildup, potentially causing respiratory issues. But, how can it all be effectively cleaned to keep your space the right temperature safely and keep you breathing clean air?

Here are the top five tips on how to maintain an optimal ductless mini-split system:

Tip 1: Vacuum Your Filters Regularly
Tip 2: Date Your Filters Before Placing Them in Your Unit
Tip 3: Take a Photo of Your Unit’s Make and Model
Tip 4: Keep Your Mini-Split User Manual
Tip 5: Buy Bulk Filters to Remember When You Need to Replace Them

Let’s take a closer look at each of the above tips.

Tip 1: Vacuum Your Ductless Filters Regularly

Every indoor unit of a ductless mini-split air conditioner has one or more air filters located on the front panel, which require checking and potentially cleaning once every two weeks. Proper cleaning of ductless filters is vital for a clean, fresh, and healthy airflow. If you see dust on your filter, it might be time for a cleaning. Follow the steps below to clean it properly.

  1. Turn off your unit at the thermostat (remote controller).

  2. Hinge the front panel on the indoor unit until the door catches and stays up. Then, gently remove the air filters. (Pro Tip: Have a garbage bag at the ready to keep from spilling dust.)

  3. Vacuum any dust and debris on the filters on a low setting with a soft brush attachment as to lessen the damage potential.

  4. While the filters are out, take a look at the finned coil. You can shine a flashlight to see any remaining dust on the coil. If you still see dust, try the wash tip below.
  5. Return the filters to their original location in the front panel, close the front cover by gently pulling it down, and snap it closed. Then, turn on the unit at the thermostat (remote controller).

Another method for filter cleaning is to wash them with lukewarm water and a very mild detergent. Always consult your user manual for this step. Once washed, let them air dry completely BEFORE reinstalling. Then, return them to their correct place in the indoor unit’s front panel. It’s worth noting, though, that combining vacuum and wash methods provide a deeper cleaning. We’ve created a step-by-step video guide to walk you through the cleaning process.

Remember—if you can see the dirt on the filter, you are not cleaning often enough! These filters are catching micro-sized particles. Once they “load” with dust, they become less efficient.

Tip 2: Date Your Filters Before Placing Them in Your Unit

Did you know that your ductless filters don’t last forever? It may seem like something that makes sense but we find many ductless mini-split owners don’t even consider the overall upkeep of their systems, let alone the expiration dates on their ductless filters. Depending on the recommended maintenance schedule for your system, ductless filters last for 3 months to 3 years, depending on the filter and your use. Also consult your manufacturer’s guidelines or contact us to learn the lifespan of your ductless filters. 

Before installing new filters in the unit, a great maintenance tactic is to date them. This will assist you in keeping track of when you first placed them in the unit and when both cleaning and replacement are necessary. Some people write the date they need to replace the filters versus the date they installed the replacements. It’s your call!

Even if you vacuum your filters regularly, the suction is not able to remove all air pollutant particles. Leaving old, dirty filters in your mini-split unit can trigger people with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory issues. Because of this, it’s important to know when they’re expired and when you need to replace them.

Tip 3: Take a Photo of Your Unit’s Make and Model

Having a photo of your unit’s make and model handy could be advantageous. If you need to quickly reference it for an HVAC specialist or our staff when you call regarding filters, the photo will be ready to go to get your questions and concerns answered quickly.

Your make and model information can only be found on the manufacturer's label, which is located on the indoor unit. We recommend relying on the information located on your unit, not your user manual. Your manual might apply to several different sizes and can mislead you into buying the wrong filters.

Tip 4: Save Your Mini-Split User Manual

Understanding a machine’s every function is ideal for maximum efficiency. It’s unlikely you will remember every one of your mini-split’s settings and parts, so keeping its user manual in a safe and convenient place for reference will be helpful for effortless usage. If you rely on your ductless mini-split unit, it’s a great idea to have it professionally maintained per your manual to protect your warranty and cleaned at least every 2 to 3 years with a deep cleaning. Both your indoor and outdoor units will need a deep cleaning.

Ductless mini-split units can last up to 20 years if taken care of properly. Over that time, new models and technology in these systems will develop. If your unit is over 10 years old, you might consider having at least one set of filters on hand in case the replacements are discontinued by the manufacturer. Your user manual will also help HVAC specialists troubleshoot your system should you have an older model.

Tip 5: Buy Bulk Filters to Remember When You Need to Replace Them

It’s easy for most of us to forget about maintaining our air conditioners. Having bulk air filters readily available for when it’s time to change them greatly diminishes the chances of missing the expiration date. Plus, buying filters in bulk costs less per product them buying filters individually. Just be sure you buy the correct filters! HEPA Filter Sales proudly sells annual packs for your specific model, so you know you’re prepared all year long and we’re always here to answer your filter questions.

A Clean and Efficient Future with your Ductless Mini-Split

Having this machine in your home or business can be a true luxury for temperature control during both the warm and cold months. Keeping your unit and its filters accurately maintained and cleaned is vital for the best possible experience, as well as maintaining the highest energy efficiency. If you follow the maintenance schedule set by the manufacturer properly, your ductless mini-split should be one of the longest performing systems in your household.

If you have any questions in regards to your filters or need advice on when you need to make a filter change, feel free to contact us!