Ductless mini split systems have helped change the way we heat and cool our homes, offering versatile solutions for room additions, converted basements, or even whole-house climate control. Compared to traditional central AC or heating systems, they bring an array of advantages, from easy installation to high energy efficiency and whisper-quiet operation.
One particular advantage of the mini split system is its longevity. But what is the life expectancy of a mini split? Can anyone really say?
While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are general guidelines to know and tips to follow that will help you maximize the lifespan of your ductless HVAC.
In this blog, we’ll look at the top factors influencing the lifespan of mini split systems and share maintenance tips that can help prolong their service life.
The Average Life Expectancy of a Ductless Mini Split System
There are many benefits to owning a ductless mini split system, so If you’re contemplating using a ductless AC as an alternative to central air or a full HVAC system, you’re not alone. However, understanding the ductless mini split lifespan is crucial. Nobody wants the burden of early replacement, regardless of the HVAC choice they make. Fortunately, mini split systems have a life expectancy comparable to that of central air conditioning systems.
So, what is the life expectancy of a mini split? Typically, you can expect 10-15 years of reliable use when you purchase a quality ductless air conditioner from a reputable manufacturer. However, properly maintained ductless HVAC systems have been known to last 20-30 years, surpassing the average lifespan of traditional air conditioners.
How to Help Your Mini Split Last Longer
Mini splits are low-cost systems that are also relatively low-maintenance compared to traditional central air conditioner and heating systems. Mini split maintenance schedules are often more straightforward to follow, as they don’t involve the complexities of ductwork. You won’t have to worry about cleaning ducts, vents, or grates, nor will you need to inspect ductwork joints regularly. Ductless systems for the win!
That being said, mini split systems are not entirely maintenance-free. Performing basic maintenance tasks every four to six weeks will help keep your air conditioning unit in excellent working order and help your compressor last longer. These tasks include:
- Regular Cleaning: Keep the indoor unit and filters clean. Clean or replace the air filters every four to six weeks, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. A clean air filter allows for better airflow, improved indoor air quality, and more efficient operation.
- Outdoor Unit Maintenance: Inspect the outdoor units regularly and remove any debris that has accumulated. Turn off the unit and gently clean dirty evaporator coils with a garden hose at low pressure – do not use a power washer.
- Clear Surroundings: Trim any shrubs or vegetation that may have grown around the outdoor unit. Maintain a clear space to allow for the necessary air exchange.
- Efficient Usage: Use your mini split system properly. Avoid frequent temperature adjustments, and set it to maintain a consistent temperature when possible. This reduces wear and tear on the cooling systems.
- Follow the Manufacturer’s Guidelines: Just like you would with central HVAC units, pay close attention to the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations outlined in the user manual. These guidelines are specific to your mini split system and can help maximize its lifespan.
- Professional Installation: Ensure your ductless heat pumps are installed by a licensed and experienced HVAC contractor. Proper installation is critical for ductless HVAC longevity and proper ductless heating.
When Should You Replace Your Mini Split System?
Generally, you want to replace a ductless HVAC system when you want an upgrade or it’s in need of repairs.
Upgrades to home appliances like ductless mini splits are often driven by two main factors: the desire for improved efficiency or enhanced aesthetics. Typically, after 10 to 15 years, you may encounter newer ductless HVAC systems that offer superior energy efficiency. Conversely, aesthetic upgrades might involve opting for more contemporary mini split systems known for their streamlined profiles and less obtrusive wall units.
Beyond that, when a mini split system encounters a breakdown, it’s often more cost-effective to repair it than to replace the entire unit.
Here are the common signs that your mini split system is in need of repairs:
- Reduced Cooling or Heating: If your mini split isn’t providing the same level of cooling or heating as before, it could indicate a problem with the system.
- Strange Noises: Unusual sounds like grinding, rattling, or hissing may suggest mechanical issues within the ductless units.
- Water Leaks: Leaking water from the indoor or outdoor unit can indicate a refrigerant or drainage problem.
- Foul Odors: Strange or unpleasant odors when the system is running could be a sign of mold or other issues.
- Irregular Cycling: If your ductless heat pumps are turning on and off frequently or not responding to temperature changes, there may be an issue with the thermostat or other components.
- Ice Buildup: Ice forming on the indoor or outdoor unit is a sign of airflow or refrigerant issues.
- Uneven Cooling or Heating: If some rooms are significantly cooler or warmer than others, it may indicate an issue with the air distribution.
- Higher Energy Bills: A sudden increase in energy bills without a change in usage patterns could signal reduced system efficiency.
Contact Thiele for Ductless Mini Split Repair and Installation
Professional installation and proper maintenance of your mini split system are essential for ensuring its longevity and efficient performance. When you hire a reputable HVAC contractor like Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning for the job, you benefit from our expertise and commitment to quality service. Our licensed and certified technicians have the experience to correctly install your mini split system, guaranteeing that it operates at peak efficiency from day one.
We follow manufacturer guidelines to the letter, minimizing the risk of future issues and maximizing the lifespan of the HVAC unit. Additionally, our annual maintenance services are designed to keep your heating and cooling system running smoothly for years to come. We conduct comprehensive checkups, clean internal components, and address any potential concerns, all to ensure your system remains reliable and energy-efficient.
With Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning, you can trust that your mini split system is in capable hands, providing you with optimal comfort and peace of mind. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.