One of the popular options for heating and cooling in modern homes is the ductless mini split heat pump. Rather than operate through a network of ducts connected to an indoor air handler and evaporator unit, ductless mini splits basically break up the indoor unit and blower fans and distribute it around the house in the form of mini air handlers mounted on the wall. If you’ve been in a house and seen something up on the wall that resembles a window AC, but it doesn’t go back through the wall… that’s part of a ductless mini split system. Those wall hanging units are hooked up to a single outdoor cabinet, creating a central heat pump system without ducts.
We’ve often looked into why going ductless is often a good idea for homes. Today we’re going to look at a downside to ductless systems. No, it’s nothing awful. In fact, it’s the downside to all comfort systems. Or to anything mechanical. Sometimes… they break. A ductless heat pump can malfunction in most of the same ways any heat pump can malfunction, but there are a few special circumstances for ductless mini splits that we’d like you to know about.
Water Leaks behind the Air Handlers
Each of the wall-mounted air handlers has a series of connections routed through a hole behind it: a power line, a refrigerant line, and a condensate line. The last one removes water moisture from the cooling process so it doesn’t enter your home. These lines can leak, and if that occurs, water starts to develop between the back of the air handler and the wall. What will eventually happen is the weakening of the wall material will cause the air handler to rip away and fall off, damaging the wall and almost certainly breaking the air handler. If you notice signs of water damage around the air handler, call for repairs.
Broken Air Handlers
This is actually something of a benefit when it comes to ductless mini splits. If a single air handler breaks because of a failed motor or other problem, the rest of the air handlers throughout the house will continue to run. The only part of a home that loses cooling/heating is the one with the broken air handler. When one of the units stops working, call for repairs (and you can go hang out in a different room until the trouble is fixed).
Leaking Refrigerant Lines
Loss of refrigerant is a routine repair need for any type of heat pump. But there is a higher chance of it occurring in a ductless system because there are more refrigerant lines running to the various air handlers. Keep a close watch for the warning signs of refrigerant loss, such as a drop in heating/cooling power from the system or coils icing over in the air handlers. Refrigerant loss must be repaired professionally as soon as possible, since it threatens a complete system breakdown.
We install and service Mitsubishi Ductless Mini Splits, which are among the best systems available. We are a Mitsubishi Diamond Contractor, which means we’ve achieved the highest accreditation level possible from Mitsubishi Electric. When you need ductless services in Clayton, NC, we are the contractor to work with.
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