Do you already have a ductless system in your home that you’re using for your air conditioning and heating needs? Or perhaps you’re considering upgrading your current air conditioner (now is the time to do it) or heating system to a ductless system. Either way, it’s important to be aware of the repair needs you may face.
Now, ductless systems don’t inherently need a lot more repairs than any other type of air conditioner or furnace. What’s important to know though, is that ductless systems can have unique repair needs that you may not have to ever consider for any other type of HVAC system. Read on as we go into more detail, and if you do need repairs, please give us a call ASAP.
Refrigerant is the substance that makes the cooling process possible. There’s a fairly common misconception that it is a fuel, and that it runs out like gasoline does from a car. Refrigerant is actually supplied to your air conditioner or heater–or ductless heat pump–during manufacturing. The system is supplied with enough refrigerant to last its entire lifespan. If your HVAC system is losing refrigerant, it means there is a leak that needs to be repaired.
When there is a refrigerant leak, it can cause a number of problems for any type of centralized air conditioner, from lack of cooling to lack of airflow and even a frozen evaporator coil (no, ice is not supposed to be involved in any part of the cooling process). What makes this problem even worse in a ductless system is how that system is set up.
Ductless heat pumps are comprised of a single outdoor unit connected to up to 4 indoor air handlers, each of which can be independently controlled with its own thermostats. This means that each air handler also has it’s own refrigerant line! These air handlers are typically installed high up on the walls in the room where they are needed… so if a refrigerant line springs a leak, that means you might have refrigerant in your home.
In gas form, this isn’t too bad as long as the room is very well-ventilated, but in liquid form it can cause damage to your property, not to mention it can be harmful if any people or pets come into contact with it. That said, professional installation and maintenance are extremely important for ductless systems!
A Broken Air Handler
There’s a bit of good news with this problem–if a single air handler breaks down, you still have up to 3 other air handlers in your home that you can use. You should of course still call for system repairs ASAP, but you can rest assured since each air handler can be independently controlled, and one broken down air handler doesn’t mean a completely broken down system.
Things that can go amiss in an air handler include a condensate line or refrigerant line leak, a loose blower motor, or worn-down motor bearings. These are all natural parts of wear and tear, and can be avoided with routine maintenance, as we mentioned above.