When maintained properly, mini-split units are generally highly reliable temperature control systems. However, as with any type of appliance, technical difficulties can occur from time to time. If you notice your mini-split isn’t working properly, this guide on how to fix common problems with ductless mini-splits may help you solve your issue.
The Problem: Ice Formation on Coils
If your mini-split system is blowing out air but not heating your home, check the system’s coils to see if ice has built up on them. The coils on a mini-split are responsible for removing heat from the refrigerant. When the air around the mini-split system is colder, the warmth from the coil can cause condensation to form, and it may eventually freeze. When the coils freeze, they’re unable to effectively draw heat out of the surrounding air, and your system won’t work properly.
To remove ice buildup from the coils of your mini-split system, start by turning off the unit and disconnecting it from the power source. Then, allow the ice to melt or gently remove it. Wipe down the coils with a dry cloth. Make sure you’ve removed all the moisture from the system before reconnecting it to its power source.
Once you’ve removed the ice, it’s time to address the root cause of the problem. One of the main reasons why ice forms on the coils of a mini-split system is because the coils have become dirty and simply need a proper cleaning. Another common cause of ice formation is an insufficient refrigerant level. Most mini-split systems are prefilled with refrigerant; however, you may need to add additional refrigerant in some cases.
The Problem: The System Won’t Power On
Another problem a ductless AC and heat system can experience is an inability to turn on. This issue may occur for one of many potential reasons. If your mini-split system won’t power on, consider trying out the following solutions.
One possible reason why a mini-split won’t power on is due to operational error. Before deeming the system a lost cause, double-check that you have it set to “hot” or “cool” and that it is set to “on.” This solution may seem obvious, but many reported mini-split issues are simply the result of using incorrect settings.
If the settings on your system are correct and your mini-split still won’t turn on, check your home’s power. If other appliances in your home also aren’t working, there’s a good chance the problem lies with your home’s power supply rather than a malfunction in your mini-split.
The Problem: Communication Issues
In order for a mini-split system to function properly, proper communication is essential. If your system is experiencing communication issues such as poor signal, inconsistent operation, miscommunication between the remote and the system, or unresponsiveness to commands, one of the most common causes is improper wiring.
A potential way to fix this common problem with a ductless mini-split is to check your mini-split’s user manual and local electrical codes to ensure you’re using the correct communication wire. Most mini-splits require either an 18-gauge wire or a 14-gauge 4-conductor wire for proper operation. The wire should also be stranded rather than solid and rated for both indoor and outdoor use. If you’re unsure if you’re using the correct wire, consult a professional electrician. In addition, it’s also a good idea to inspect the system’s electrical terminals and tighten any loose connections if needed.