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Repair or Replace? Assessing Ductless AC Troubles

closeup view about using some appliance such as air conditionerOne heating and cooling option that has become increasingly popular in modern homes is the ductless mini split system. Rather than operating through a network of ductwork connected to an indoor air handler and evaporator unit, ductless systems break up the indoor unit and blower fans to distribute air around the house through mini air handlers mounted on walls in their given rooms.

If you do not currently utilize a ductless system, the first thing you should know is that there are excellent benefits to doing so, including improved efficiency and space saving benefits. However, just like any other air conditioning system, the ductless system can run into problems requiring Post Falls, ID air conditioning repair—some of which are unique to these particular heating and cooling appliances. We’ve covered these troubles below.

Water Leaking Behind Air Handlers

Ductless systems can malfunction in many of the ways that a heat pump can malfunction, but air handler problems are a bit unique. Each of the wall-mounted air handlers associated with your ductless system have a series of connections routed through a small hole behind it. This includes a power line, refrigerant line, and condensate line.

The condensate line is tasked with removing water moisture from the cooling process so that it doesn’t enter your home. These lines can leak—if this occurs, water starts to build up between the back of the air handler and the wall. Eventually, this will cause the wall material to weaken, and as a result the air handler will rip away and fall off, damaging the wall and almost certainly breaking the air handler.

If you pot any signs of water damage near or around your air handler, it’s time to give us a call! The good news is, this is something that can easily be repaired and should not require a replacement, unless the air handler has already been damaged—but you still won’t have to worry about a complete system replacement.

Broken Air Handler

As we mentioned above, when you have a problem with an air handler, it doesn’t mean you have to replace the whole system. If a single air handler breaks—whether there is a leak or a failed motor, or some other problem—the rest of the air handlers throughout the home will still continue to run. The only part of your home that would lose cooling or heating is the one with the broken air handler.

Leaking Refrigerant Lines

Loss of refrigerant is a relatively routine repair need for all air conditioners. However, there is a higher chance of it happening in a ductless system, because there are more refrigerant lines running to the various air handlers. Keep a close eye out for any warning signs of refrigerant loss, such as a drop in heating or cooling power from the system, or coils icing over in the air handlers (this is never a good sign!)

Refrigerant must be refilled—recharged—and the source of the leak must be repaired by professionals as soon as possible so that your ductless system can continue to run efficiently. If you let this problem go, you could, in fact, find yourself facing a system replacement rather than a system repair.

ACI Northwest is here to help with your home comfort needs or concerns.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for helpful advice.

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