Ductless heating and cooling systems have been growing in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. They’re very versatile and energy efficient, and offer a number of benefits to homeowners.
Instead of functioning through a network of air ducts connected to an indoor air handler and evaporator unit, a ductless HVAC system breaks up the indoor unit and air handlers to distribute conditioned air throughout your home in the form of individual, mini air handlers—each of which is mounted up high on the wall in the rooms that need conditioning.
Of course, if you already have a ductless system in place, you’re already aware of this—but do you know what repair needs to look for?
Water Leaks behind the Air Handlers
Each wall-mounted air handler is equipped with a series of connections, routed through a hole in the wall behind it. This includes a power line, a refrigerant line, and a condensate line. The condensate line is tasked with removing water moisture from the cooling process so that moisture doesn’t enter your home instead.
While this won’t often happen so long as your ductless system is properly installed and maintained by a professional, those condensate lines can spring a leak. If this occurs, water started developing between the back of the air handler and the wall, until eventually the wall material weakens. This causes the air handler to rip away from the wall and fall off—damaging the wall and potentially even the air handler itself.
Broken Air Handler
So, what if one of your air handlers break? This is certainly a repair need that is unique to ductless systems, but it’s not necessarily a disadvantage. Why do we say that? Well, if a single air handler breaks—whether it be from a failed motor or some other isolated problem—the remaining air handlers throughout the home will still continue to run.
The only section of your home that will lose cooling or heating is the one with the broken air handler. While you’ll still want to call for professional repairs right away when this happens, the good news is you’ll still have the cooling or heating you need, just in another room of the house.
This one isn’t “unique” to ductless systems, as all central air conditioners require refrigerant to run, and can experience a problem with their refrigerant lines. But a refrigerant leak can be even more detrimental than normal when it happens with a ductless system. This is because there are more refrigerant lines running throughout the home and the leak can happen anywhere along the line—especially if your system wasn’t appropriately installed or maintained.
Signs of a refrigerant leak can include things such as a loss of cooling, or a hissing noise. Be sure to call for professional ductless system repairs right away if you suspect this might be your problem.
Being aware of the unique and specific repair needs of a ductless system should help you understand why it’s vital it be installed and serviced by a professional, such as any of the technicians on our team.