Are you using one of the most popular and highly efficient HVAC systems on the market today? That is, are you utilizing a ductless heat pump?
Instead of operating through a system of ductwork connected to an indoor air handler and evaporator unit, ductless systems essentially break up the indoor unit and blower fans to distribute conditioned air throughout the living space via mini air handlers mounted on the walls.
If you already have a ductless system in place, then you know this. If you’re considering purchasing one, great! We do want you to make an educated choice, however, and this means looking at all aspect of ductless units, including their unique service requirements. Just like any other type of HVAC system, ductless systems can experience problems. But sometimes their repair needs can be a bit different than a traditional air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace.
They Can Have Water Leaks Behind Air Handlers
Each air handler is mounted up on a wall in the room it’s being used in, and has a series of connections routed through a hold behind it—a power line, a refrigerant line, and condensate line. This last one removes water moisture form the cooling process so that the moisture doesn’t enter your living space.
These lines can leak, however. If this happens, water starts to accumulate between the back of the air handler and the wall. What eventually happens is the wall material weakens and can cause the air handler to rip away and fall off, damaging the wall and almost certainly breaking the air handler in the process. If you notice any signs of water damage around one of your air handlers, please be sure to call for repairs right away.
You Can Have an Air Handler Break
This doesn’t sound like a good thing, but it’s actually a bit of a benefit. Hear us out!
If a single air handler breaks due to something like a failed motor or some other malfunction, the rest of the air handlers throughout the home will continue to run. The only part of a home that loses cooling/heating is the one with the broken air handler.
So when one of the units stops working, be sure to call for repairs, but don’t worry about not having cooling (or heating) since you can simply go to another room or area of the house to get it.
You May Have a Refrigerant Line Leak
Loss of refrigerant isn’t necessarily a unique problem, since it can happen with any central air conditioning system. However, there is a higher likelihood of it happening with a ductless system since there are more refrigerant lines running to the various air handlers.
Be sure to keep a close eye out for the warning signs of refrigerant loss, which can include a drop in heating or cooling power from the system, or the coils icing over in the air handlers. Refrigerant loss must be repaired professionally ASAP, since it threatens a complete system breakdown.