A ductless mini-split air conditioner can gather dirt, dust, and debris over time. Cleaning this cooling system is paramount to ensure it provides optimal efficiency throughout its serviceable life. Now you're curious about the steps to clean a ductless mini-split AC. We researched and consulted with different experts to give you the following solution.
Here are the steps to clean a ductless mini-split air conditioner:
- Open the indoor air handler’s cover and remove the filters.
- Rinse the filters in either warm or room temperature water.
- Lift and remove the front panel and the louvers.
- Unscrew the bodyshell and take it out.
- Install an air conditioner cleaning cover kit and use an evaporator coil cleaner to help lift the filth.
- Use a pressure washer at approximately 125 PSI on the air handler.
- Wash the bodyshell and louvers outside with the pressure washer.
Take note that the steps mentioned above are only for cleaning a ductless mini-split system’s inside air handler. Keep reading as we also tackle the procedure to clean the outside condenser unit. We’ll also talk about other important matters, such as the location of a mini-split air conditioner’s filters.
Do Ductless Air Conditioners Need Cleaning?
Ductless mini-split AC units need regular cleaning for them to stay efficient. Homeowners should clean their ductless cooling systems at least once per quarter. However, the frequency of cleaning these appliances may increase depending on the properties' locations and living conditions.
For example, think about cleaning the ductless air conditioning unit's filters at least once per month if the house is in a fairly dusty locale. Furry household pets may also warrant an increase in cleaning regularity.
Preventive measures are available to help reduce filth and debris from entering the mini-split system. One example is to put a mini-split line cover over the wires connecting the outside condenser and the inside air handler.
With this kit, dust and other small particulates will find it challenging to enter gaps and holes near the connections, which may otherwise introduce problems to the cooling unit.
Where Are The Filters In A Mini Split Air Conditioner?
The location of the filters for each mini-split air conditioner often depends on the unit’s specific model. Generally, users can expose these components by opening, lifting, or taking out the front panel cover.
However, if you’re going to open the air conditioner to identify the location of its filters, make sure to turn off the appliance to reduce and perhaps eliminate the risk of electrocution.
Another way to find the filters is to check the appliance’s owner’s manual. Otherwise, you can consult the manufacturer’s customer service hotline. The contact information should be on the air conditioner's packaging or a sticker on the unit’s bodyshell.
You might also be wondering how to reset the filter on a GE air conditioner. If so, read our post on that topic to learn the solution.
How Do You Clean A Ductless Air Conditioner?
Before proceeding with this task, make sure that you exercise precaution and safety at all times. For instance, if you’re using a stepladder, make sure not to place your weight on its last step or you might fall. Also, have an assistant to hold the ladder in place.
Again, ensure that the ductless mini-split air conditioner is off for you to avoid potential health hazards. You can either disconnect the appliance from its main power source or turn off its switch from the property’s circuit breaker panel.
You may also want to wear a mask or respirator during this job. Dirt and dust from the air conditioner might become airborne, which you may inhale while cleaning the unit. Safety gear will help prevent you from encountering or aggravating respiratory concerns you may possess.
Once you finish the preparations, you can continue with this air conditioner cleaning job:
What You’ll Need
- Cleaning cover kit
- Evaporator coil cleaner
- Pressure washer
- Open the front cover of the air conditioner and take out the filters.
- Rinse the filters in a sink and make sure to use warm or room temperature water.
- Carefully lift the front panel and take it out. Set it aside temporarily.
- Remove the louvers, which are the plastic blades responsible for assisting the handler’s airflow.
- Unscrew the screws securing the bodyshell. Then, remove the air handler’s cover and set it aside.
- Install the cleaning cover kit and use the evaporator coil cleaner on the handler’s coils. Let the foam sit for a few minutes for it to pull dirt and filth out of the coils.
- Use the pressure washer at about 125 PSI on the air handler. Don’t attempt to use the tool at a higher setting or you might bring irreparable damage to the appliance.
- Take the handler’s bodyshell and the louvers outside and rinse them clean with the pressure washer.
- Reinstall the removed parts and test the unit to verify its efficiency.
Take note that the steps above focus on cleaning the indoor air handler. The steps to maintaining the outside condenser will be discussed in a later section of this post.
Also, watch the video below to gain additional insight on how to clean a ductless mini-split air conditioner, particularly with regards to the importance of having the system cleaned regularly:
How Do You Clean Outside Condensers?
Make sure to locate the disconnect switch for the outside condenser before attempting to do this job. Operate that switch to ensure that the outside unit isn’t receiving power from the mains.
Additionally, don’t attempt to power wash the condenser unit. Otherwise, the strong water pressure will put the coil fins at risk of bending.
Take note that you may not need special tools for this cleaning operation. Grab a regular garden hose and continue by following these steps:
- Spray the outside condenser with water from the garden hose. Angle the spray downward so the dirty water collects at the base of the unit.
- If you need extra pressure to eliminate relatively tough dirt and filth, block a portion of the hose’s output with your finger.
- Let the condenser air dry or use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck the excess moisture that would otherwise attract additional dirt and dust to the unit.
You can also watch the video below to see how to clean a mini-split system’s outdoor condenser unit in greater detail.
However, it’s advisable not to follow the person in the video because he forgot to turn off the condenser while spraying it with water. Always shut off the appliance before cleaning it to prevent potential health risks.
Take note that some steps to clean the outside condenser might be different with specific brands and models. For instance, read our post on how to clean the coils on a Goodman air conditioner to find some unique steps for this job.
How Do You Clean Mold Out Of A Mini Split Air Conditioner?
Like other air conditioner cleaning operations, make sure to wear safety gear before proceeding. A respirator can help prevent you from breathing airborne mold spores. Also, long-sleeved clothing and a pair of rubber gloves ensure that the mold won't latch onto your skin.
Now that you have your protective equipment, continue the procedure by following these steps:
What You’ll Need
- Mold control spray
- Paper towels
- Remove the air handler’s plastic cover.
- Use the mold control spray on paper towels. Then, wipe the indoor unit with those towels.
- Wipe the areas of the air handler clean with more paper towels or a clean cloth.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 as many times as needed.
- Reinstall the plastic cover once finished.
Take note that mold spores always exist and can be next to impossible to eliminate completely. However, preventive measures are available for air conditioner owners to help reduce mold and mildew growth from these appliances. For instance, practicing regular checkups and maintenance on these cooling systems helps remove excess moisture buildup, which would otherwise invite mold growth.
Eliminating dust and filth buildup from a ductless mini-split air conditioner can be a DIY-friendly job. Individuals need only to use the right equipment for the job, such as an evaporator coil cleaner and an air conditioner cleaning cover kit.
It’s also important to practice safety by shutting down the unit to avoid hazards like electric shocks.