How To Clean Your Ductless Mini Split AC System

For many Tampa, Florida area homes a ductless mini split AC system is a great solution to keep your home cool and lower utility bills. As with any HVAC machine, it will run most efficiently when you clean it properly. This will save the parts from overworking and ensure the unit lasts longer.

Clean the Inside Unit of the Ductless Mini Split

Start by cleaning a mini split system on the outside. It will work better when you keep dust and debris from entering the internal components. You can improve the efficiency of your system by incorporating mini split cleaning into your weekly routine. Clean the outside of the unit with a damp cloth weekly or as needed.

Clean the Outside Unit of the Ductless Mini Split

It’s also important to clean the outside section of your air conditioning unit. Especially after a tropical storm or hurricane, you will want to take time to spend time inspecting and clearing your unit.

1. Clear the debris

around the unit and clean the surrounding area of the unit. Remove the dry leaves, twigs, grass, and all objects that you can find anywhere in the unit.

2. Wash the outdoor cabinet with a damp cloth. You can use soap and water and rinse afterward. Dry the housing with the dry cloth.

3. Remove the dirt collected from the exterior of the unit remove by hand all the debris that is found in the unit. When large objects are removed, use the water hose or water spray to clean the unit so you can remove all the dirt on the exterior surface. 

4. Scrub and wash the grille or fan cage spray the grille with water and remove as much as possible all the dirt that accumulated in the grille or fan cage. You can use the brush to scrub the whole surface.

5. Clean the fan blades. If you find debris lodged inside you may need to unscrew the grille to remove sticks and twigs. Take time to also clean the blades with a damp cloth. You can use soap if they are particularly dirty. Rinse afterward and wipe the blades with a dry cloth.

6. Check the inside of the unit and remove all the dirt. Use the dry cloth to clean the interior surface. You can use a vacuum to remove the dust and other dirt inside.

7. Clean the condensate pan and check it to remove any growth of mold by washing it with soap or use a bleach solution. 

8. Check the drain hose and remove any objects that might block the free flow of water. 

Provide it with Space

One of the main benefits of a ductless mini system is that they don’t require the same level of space as full-sized AC unit. However, you still want to give them some space to operate effectively. If you have a significant amount of furniture or other items near it, they will accumulate dust. This dust will then make it into the unit, making it harder to keep clean. It will also impact the efficiency of the AC system.

Turn the System Off Periodically

When you’re ready to get into the more extensive cleaning aspects, you will want to shut the unit off to avoid damaging the system. There’s also the risk of electrocution if you keep it running while cleaning the interior components. Be sure to let it cool down for at least an hour before you start the cleaning process. You can also turn off the electrical current to your home to ensure you avoid an electric shock.

Remove Filters

There is a risk of a negative impact on your health if your AC system isn’t able to churn out clean air. This means you need to clean the filters periodically. The filters should be removed from within the unit and then gently washed cleaned with water. Gently wipe dirt and dust away from the filter area. The air quality and the efficiency of the system depend on cleaning the air filters periodically.

Clean the Condenser and Coil

The condenser and coil require regular cleaning as well. All sorts of dirt and debris can collect on the outside portion of the unit. Without cleaning this area, it can cause a significant amount of damage. All of the components should be off before you start to clean. Your garden hose will be suitable to use when spraying down the unit. Spray the coil from the inside out. In the opposite direction the air flows.

Ensure that the fins do not bend as you are spraying. If the fins bend, you will need to use an alignment comb to help them regain their original shape. Wipe away any remaining dust and debris by hand. Performing this step several times annually will help you avoid serious maintenance issues.

Some HVAC services will recommend specialized kits. If your Mini Split System comes with specific tools for cleaning we encourage you to use them the way your manual outlines.

Tightening Pieces

Similarly to any other type of cooling equipment, there are a lot of moving parts that could come loose over time. When you are cleaning your mini split take a few minutes to run your fingers over the different sections and make sure nothing is loose. If you see that a screw is loose tighten it, but be careful not to tighten things too much, you don’t want to put too much pressure on a section causing it to crack.

Work with a Professional

It’s also a good idea to work with a professional who understands the various components of a ductless mini split AC system. A licensed and insured company will be able to provide the care and maintenance of your system. If there is an issue that involves a deeper clean or a repair, the professionals can take care of it for you.

You will find that a clean system works significantly more efficiently than one with a full air filter. It doesn’t take long to clean the components. It’s also a good idea to schedule professional maintenance including cleaning your mini split AC system at least once a year so that you can address any potential problems early on.

Contact us at Ball Building Services to learn more about a ductless mini system as well as how to keep it in excellent condition. Regardless of whether your project is small or large, we’re here to assist throughout Tampa Bay and Central Florida.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on June 28, 2018, and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and completeness.