A ductless air conditioner is a great way to keep your home cool. Since no ducts are required, the unit can be installed anywhere in the home, which can help free up valuable space. Although ductless air conditioners generally don't require as much maintenance as central units, they can develop issues that require repair. Here are three you need to watch out for.
Ductless air conditioners sit flush against the wall and are installed so that water extracted from the air is drained safely away from the home. Unfortunately, sometimes a problem crops up inside the unit that causes water to drain between the air conditioner and the wall, rather than being dispensed outside. In addition to causing water to pool in the home, over time the wall can weaken or grow harmful mold.
This problem commonly occurs because of a clog in the condensate line that prevents water from draining correctly. If you haven't kept up on cleaning and maintaining the unit, the clog could be caused by mold or debris caught in the line. Damage to the condensate line caused by pests or direct impact can also result in leaks. Other things that can cause this problem include a condensate pump gone bad, a condensate pan that won't drain because of clogs, and lines that become disconnected.
To fix this issue, take the unit apart and clean the lines and condensate pan. Check for loose or damaged lines and tighten or replace as necessary. If you're still having problems with leaks afterwards, have a professional look at your condensate pump to determine is it's not functioning properly.
A ductless air conditioner uses several small motors to turn the fans that push cold air out into the home. Because this is one of the most used parts of the machine, it's not unusual for the motor to wear out over time and require replacement. However, there are things that can cause the motor to die before its time. One issue is the bearings that help move the air handler need to be lubricated at all times, otherwise they'll wear out early and cause the motor to burn out.
Motor burnout can also occur due to insufficient air flow (e.g. dirty air filter) causing it to work harder than necessary or icing of interior parts because of a refrigerant leak. Sometimes it's not the motor at all, but the capacitor powering it that goes bad.
If you notice your unit hard starting (i.e. turning on and shutting off almost immediately afterwards), this may indicate an issue with the capacitor. You can use a multimeter to test the capacitor's strength, which should read at within 6 percent of its voltage rating. If it's below that number, it should be replaced. If the capacitor is fine, then the motor should be replaced with a new one.
A third issue that can cause problems with your unit and result in higher energy usage is a malfunctioning thermostat. The thermostat tells the unit how warm or cold it is in the home and turns the air conditioner on or off accordingly. When the thermostat doesn't work right, it can result in the unit turning on at improper times, failing to turn on at all, or running longer than necessary. This can increase the amount of energy the unit uses—which can be problematic if you're using solar power—can cause the parts in the unit to wear out faster than normal.
The thermostat may malfunction if it was improperly installed, there's something blocking the device from taking the right temperature, isn't getting enough electricity, or has been damaged by pets, pests, or other things. There is usually a button on the air conditioner unit that lets you reset the thermostat. If that doesn't work, check the connections and replace if they appear worn out or damaged. If the thermostat still doesn't work, then replace it altogether.
For more information about these issues or help fixing your ductless air conditioner, contact a HVAC company for the best heating and air conditioning services.