Mini-split HVAC systems are known for being highly efficient and easy to maintain. However, in order for these systems to work properly long-term, cleaning them regularly is essential. If you’ve never cleaned a mini-split system before, knowing exactly where and how to clean the unit can be a bit confusing. To clear things up, we have compiled a helpful guide on everything you should know about cleaning your mini-split. After reading this article, you’ll be a pro at cleaning your mini-split unit and keeping it in tip-top shape.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Mini-Split
Cleaning your mini-split on a regular basis is important for several reasons. As we previously stated, cleaning your mini-split is essential for keeping it in good condition so that it operates at optimal quality. When a mini-split system isn’t cleaned for a significant amount of time, the potential for premature wear of internal components, mold growth, and the emergence of strange odors greatly increases. Furthermore, the presence of excess dirt, dust, or mold in your mini-split system can decrease the air quality in your home by circulating such pollutants into your living space.
The mini-split system will also likely become less efficient if left uncleaned for a significant period of time. As dirt, dust, and other contaminants accumulate, the system may have to work harder in order to operate properly. As a result, you’ll likely start to experience higher energy bills each month.
How To Clean Your Mini-Split HVAC System
A mini-split HVAC system consists of two primary components: an interior unit and an outdoor unit. You should clean both units periodically in order to avoid the negative repercussions we discussed above. Generally, you should clean mini-split units once every four to six weeks for optimal results. However, you should consult your system’s owner’s manual for more specific details and instructions on how often the system requires cleaning.
Before cleaning either unit, first shut off the system and disconnect it from its power supply. Doing so will protect your safety and help you avoid electrocution when you’re cleaning around the system’s electrical components. For optimal safety, we suggest unplugging the power cable from the outlet or main electrical panel completely.
Upon removing the system’s power source, the next preparational step for cleaning your mini-split’s interior or exterior unit is to gather the necessary supplies. Fortunately, you don’t need a large amount of fancy or expensive cleaning equipment to effectively clean your mini-split. Typically, you’ll just need the following items:
- A clean, damp cloth
- A clean, dry cloth
- Household cleaners (check your owner’s manual for suggested cleaning products)
- A water hose
- A vacuum with a brush nozzle attachment
For a deeper clean, you will need the following:
- A coil cleaning tool
- A cleaning brush
- A spray bottle
- Condensate drain pump treatment
- Condensate drain cleaner
Once you have gathered the necessary equipment, it’s time to start cleaning your interior and exterior units.
Cleaning the Indoor Unit of Your Mini-Split
To clean your mini-split’s indoor unit, start by simply wiping down the unit’s exterior surface with a damp cloth and then drying it with a dry cloth. Next, locate and remove the mini-split filter and clean it with a mild detergent and water. To do so, you’ll have to remove the system’s front panel. Once you’ve cleaned the filter and let it air-dry completely, place it back into the system where you found it.
After you clean the filter, it’s time to move on to the evaporator coil. To access the coil, remove the unit’s cabinet. Then, use a clean, dry cloth or a cloth with some coil cleaner on it to remove any dirt, mold, or other particles that have accumulated on the coils. When you’re done cleaning the coils, put the cabinet and front panel back on the unit.
Lastly, you’ll want to clean the condensate pan as well as the drain. If you notice any mold growth or accumulation of other debris that’s hard to remove, consider cleaning the pan and drain with soapy water or bleach.
Cleaning the Outdoor Unit of Your Mini-Split
To clean the outdoor unit of your mini-split, start by removing any debris such as twigs, leaves, or grass that’s in, on, or around the unit. Then, use a garden hose or coil cleaning tool to spray down the exterior of the outdoor unit. Upon doing so, use a cloth to remove any dirt or grime that has accumulated on the unit’s housing. When you’re done cleaning the housing, make sure to dry it with a cloth.
Next, use your hose and a cloth or cleaning brush to spray and scrub the grille as well as the fan cage of the outdoor unit. Once the grille is clean, remove it if you can, and use a damp cloth and soap to carefully clean the fan blades. The metal blades are fragile, so exercise caution to avoid bending or otherwise damaging them. Upon cleaning the blades, rinse them with water and wipe them dry with a clean cloth to prevent rusting.
To clean the interior of the unit, use a dry cloth to wipe down the surface, and use a vacuum with an attachment to easily suck up any dust or other debris. To clean the coils of the exterior unit, use a coil cleaner and a hose.
Once the interior is clean, check the condensate pan like you did when you cleaned the indoor unit. If you notice any mold growth, consider using a bleach solution to remove it, and then rinse the pan with water. Lastly, wash the drain hose with soap and water to remove dirt or other debris that may prevent water from flowing freely through it.
The Pioneer Mini Split Store offers a wide range of mini-split system configurations—from single-zone wall-mounted splits to multi-zone floor-mount mini-split units. All our systems come with full installation kits, and they’re simple to install. To enjoy the energy-efficiency and sleek aesthetic of a mini-split system, shop our extensive collection of high-quality products today.