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Why Isn’t One of the Units in My Ductless System Working?

ductless-mini-split-unitThe ductless mini split has many terrific advantages for both homes and businesses: high energy efficiency, zone control, less dust and dirt blown out from ductwork, and flexibility for buildings both new and old.

One advantage that doesn’t often get brought up: because there are multiple air handlers—the small units placed in different rooms around the house—rather than the single one used in standard central air conditioning, if one of the air handlers fails to work, it won’t affect the others. A house or commercial building doesn’t have to lose all its heating or cooling; only one zone is affected.

Of course, there’s still a problem—a failed air handler! If you have an air handler that isn’t sending out heated/cooled air or isn’t turning on at all, you’ll definitely want that fixed. Here are some of the possible reasons for one of your ductless mini split indoor units to stop working:

It’s actually working fine: the batteries in the remote that are the problem

This is a common mistake. If you can’t get the wall unit to turn on, or to changed temperature, the first thing to check is the remote you use to operate it. Put in fresh batteries and see if that gives you back control.

A broken blower fan

Each of the wall units is a mini air handler containing its own blower fan and refrigerant coil. Stress on the blower fan motor can eventually cause the motor to burn out, or it may suffer from an electrical fault. You’ll need professionals to fix this. In some cases, it’s less expensive to have a new unit put in. (There’s another advantage of a ductless system: they’re modular!)

Broken conduits

The wall unit connects to the outdoor cabinet through a set of conduits that pass through a hole in the back of the wall. These consist of refrigerant, power, and condensate lines. If a leak or break develops in any of these lines, the wall unit may either lose power or lose the ability to condition the air.

Frozen coil

Like the coil in a standard central air conditioner, the coil in a ductless mini split unit can freeze over for a number of different reasons, such as a loss of refrigerant or too much dust across the coils. This is less frequent in ductless mini splits (they don’t have as much dust getting into them) but it can happen. If you check on the unit and see a frozen coil, call for HVAC professionals. Don’t try to scrape the ice off, since that won’t fix the problem and may damage the coil.

If you have multiple units failing at the same time, then you probably have problems with the outdoor unit. Don’t hesitate to call for HVAC experts to look into this and fix it. (Since you’ll start losing comfort all over your home, we think you’ll realize how urgent it is to have the system repaired.)

If you need service for your ductless heating in Eugene, OR, reach out to us. We have 24-hour emergency service available.

Comfort Flow Heating is the HVAC industry leader in Lane Country and serves all of Oregon.

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