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HVAC Education, Ductless Systems

Ductless Mini Split Repairs

When it comes to residential heating and air conditioning, a ductless mini split system is a great fit for room additions, space conversions and a home without ductwork. While these systems are reliable, mini split repairs and maintenance are always going to be a part of the equation.

Much like a typical central air conditioning system, mini split maintenance can be a mixed bag – some tasks are user-friendly, and others are best reserved for your local Carrier expert. When the system begins showing warning signs, troubleshooting can help determine if you need to call an expert for servicing mini splits at your house.

mini split repairs

Troubleshooting and Servicing Mini Splits

As you consider your options for troubleshooting and servicing mini splits, you definitely have options. Of course, your best bet is to contact your local Carrier expert any time you are in doubt about the solution. However, if you want to troubleshoot on your own first, start the process by making some basic observations.

For example, the indoor unit of your system includes an air filter that needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. Heavy dust and dirt buildup on the filter can affect system performance in a number of ways. For these reasons, opening the indoor unit and checking the filter is a good first step.

The indoor unit also includes an air handler that pushes heated or cooled air out into your living area. The indoor unit’s blower wheel can be affected with dust and dirt buildup, causing reduced airflow, higher energy use and reduced comfort. While you may not have the tools or the training to properly clean the blower, at least you’ll be able to communicate your observation to someone who can do the job.

servicing mini splits

Mini Split Not Blowing Cold Air

A mini split not blowing cold air during the warmer, summer months deserves a closer look. Issues related to mini split not cooling complaints include:

  • System not running at all: If the system isn’t running at all, you might have an electrical issue. Start by making sure the system is turned on. Then, check the breaker box to make sure you have power to the system. The outdoor unit should also have a separate power shutoff switch you can check. Finally, make a visual inspection of electrical connections to rule out any obvious signs of damage.
  • Weak airflow: If your system is running but airflow seems weak, check the indoor unit’s air filter and, if possible, the indoor coil and blower wheel. Heavy buildup of dirt and dust could be the culprit.
  • Reduced cooling: Ductless air conditioners require refrigerant in the system and unrestricted airflow across the condenser and evaporator coils to provide cooling. If the system is blowing, but the air doesn’t seem cold enough, a refrigerant leak could be the culprit. One visual sign of low refrigerant or refrigerant leakage is frost/ice buildup on the outdoor AC unit. Dirt and debris buildup on outdoor unit or other obstructions that restrict airflow can also lead to reduced cooling performance.

If you are not familiar with mini split AC operation, it might be a good idea to visit our how ductless AC works page to make troubleshooting easier. Cleaning the air filter, coils and other components can help resolve your mini split not blowing cold air issue, but if you suspect a refrigerant leak, it’s probably time to contact a licensed HVAC technician.

mini split not blowing cold air

Mini Split Leaking Water

A mini split leaking water can be caused by a number of issues. A severely dirty filter can cause the coil to freeze and that can lead to water leakage when it thaws

A blocked drain line or a damaged drain pan can also lead to a mini split leaking water. As a part of normal air conditioner operation, your system pulls heat and humidity from indoor air. That humidity turns into water (condensate) which accumulates in a drain pan and exits through a drain line. If the drain pan becomes rusty, corroded or otherwise is damaged, it can cause a water leak. And, if the drain line becomes clogged, condensate can leak out. If your AC is leaking water and the filter is clean, check the drain pan and drain line for issues.

Other Mini Split Issues

Other issues that may indicate mini split servicing is needed include a moldy/mildewy smell or vinegar smell. Each of these can be associated with a different issue, ranging from a clogged condensate line, to a refrigerant leak. If your system cycles on an off more frequently than usual or starts making new/different sounds, it may be time to contact a professional as well.

When Do I Need a Professional to Repair?

When your mini split air conditioning system begins to show any of the aforementioned issues and troubleshooting does not reveal an obvious solution, it’s probably time to contact a professional for an estimate on mini split repairs. As a preventative measure, it’s a good idea to have your system serviced annually (at a minimum – twice annually is better) to keep it operating at its best and to establish a working relationship with a local HVAC professional. Because mini split cleaning cost is typically less than replacing a component, this is a cost-effective habit.

Schedule a Mini Split Repair Service

Ductless mini split repair is best performed by an experienced HVAC technician. If you don’t already have a trusted contact for mini split customer service, you can find a Carrier expert using our dealer locator. Calling your local Carrier dealer to schedule a mini split repair service at the first sign of trouble can potentially prevent a more expensive issue or full system replacement later.

Mini Split Cleaning Cost

Most homeowners don’t budget for mini split cleaning cost, but it’s generally a good idea. While pricing will differ depending upon your contractor and the type of service they recommend, the cost for a mini split heating or cooling system maintenance can be between $125 - $400. For your long-term comfort and the health of your system, it’s probably money well spent.