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When is Time to Replace A Ductless Mini Split?

CM Heating - When is Time to Replace A Ductless Mini Split

When you live in any area in Washington State, your home must be equipped with a heating and cooling system that will keep you comfortable all year long. Not all homes are built to accommodate central HVAC units, and sometimes they can’t even accommodate them. This is why the heating and cooling industry invented a more compact HVAC system commonly known as the mini split system.

If your home is equipped with one of these types of air conditioning units, you probably need to know some important details such as its longevity and maintenance care. In this blog, we will define what ductless mini-split systems are and discuss how long you should expect this system to last in your home.

How Long Does a Mini Split AC System Last

A ductless mini-split system is a type of air conditioning and heating system that is designed to be efficient, cost-effective, and versatile. Unlike the central HVAC units that we are all used to seeing, a mini-split is a small unit that provides heating and air conditioning to one room at a time. 

Do I Have a Mini Split System or a Central AC?

You know you have a ductless mini split when your air conditioning unit is on the side of the wall or window. These units work by using a compact outdoor unit that is connected to one indoor unit or more through a small hole in the wall. This allows for precise and energy-efficient temperature control in different parts of your home or office without the need for a bulky air duct system.

However, like any other HVAC system, ductless mini splits also have a limited lifespan and will eventually need to be replaced. Here are some key signs that indicate it’s time for a ductless mini-split replacement.

1. Age Of The Unit

The ductless mini split lifespan is on average a maximum of 10 to 15 years, depending on whether it was properly maintained. If your ductless HVAC is approaching or exceeding this age, it may be time to start considering a replacement. As with traditional HVAC systems, the older your mini-split system is the more problems it will begin to show. It won’t be as energy efficient or reliable in your home. It may also begin to break down frequently, as we will discuss further in this blog.

The best advice we can give you is to consult an experienced HVAC contractor about the condition of your HVAC system to see how long you have left before having to replace it. tt

2. Frequent Breakdowns

Frequent breakdowns are a signal of the same type of challenge with both ductless mini-split systems and traditional air conditioners. If your ductless, mini-split system is constantly breaking down or requiring repairs, it could be a sign that the HVAC unit is approaching the end of its service life.

Eventually, a ductless mini-split replacement will be more cost-effective than paying for another repair. Frequent repairs can be costly, so it is important to weigh out these costs and determine whether a replacement would be the better decision. In most cases, an experienced HVAC installer who comes out to repair your HVAC unit one too many times will advise you if your unit is at the end of its service life.

3. Increasing Energy Costs

Over time, ductless mini-splits can become less energy efficient due to wear and tear, or due to a lack of proper maintenance. If you notice that your system is not cooling or heating your home effectively, or your energy bills are gradually increasing, it may be time to consider a ductless mini-split replacement.

Here’s what may be causing high energy bills when our HVAC system is working:

  • Dirty evaporator coils
  • Malfunctioning HVAC equipment like the blower motor or fans
  • A leak in the refrigerant lines
  • An issue with the system’s compressor
  • Improper ductless mini-split sizing

Regardless of the issue, we recommend that you have an experienced HVAC installer assess the problem. If you want to make your mini splits last as long as possible and keep those energy bills at a minimum, consider keeping up with a regular maintenance routine as this will help tremendously in preventing an early replacement.

4. Unusual Noises 

A mini-split HVAC system is typically very quiet, so if you start to hear unusual noises coming from your unit such as rattling, grinding, or hissing, it could be a sign that the unit is damaged or worn out. Here’s why you may be hearing extra weird sounds coming from your heating and cooling systems:

  • Frozen or dirty evaporator coils
  • Leaks in the refrigerant lines
  • Loose parts in the indoor and outdoor units
  • Dirty air filters
  • Compressor overheating
  • Cheap materials in the HVAC system

Sometimes a repair will fix that excess noise, so we highly recommend contacting one of our certified technicians at CM Heating in your area. Our experienced HVAC contractor would be able to troubleshoot the underlying issue of the noise.

5. Frequent Leaks

If you notice that there is water leaking from your ductless systems, it could be a sign of a refrigerant line leak. This can be a potentially serious issue that will require immediate attention because it will wear out the system’s compressor. If your ductless HVAC is leaking, it may be cost-effective to replace it rather than attempt to repair it. 

Regardless of your decision, we highly recommend contacting one of our certified technicians who will be able to find the root cause of the leak and stop it from spreading or getting worse. Refrigerant fluid is very poisonous, and the excess moisture can also lead to the development of mold. Disregarding this problem will certainly shorten the HVAC lifespan.

6. Poor Indoor Air Quality 

Unlike a central AC, mini-split systems are not equipped with an air duct system. However, they do include air filters that work to remove impurities from the air. Over time, these air filters can become clogged, reducing their effectiveness. If you notice that the air quality in your home is poor even after you follow all the steps of preventative maintenance to replace and clean those filters. , it may be time to replace your mini-split. Consult a reputable HVAC contractor, such as the ones from CM Heating, about ductless HVAC longevity and if your ductless mini split lifespan is at its peak.

7. Inadequate Heating Or Cooling

If your ductless mini-split is no longer able to provide adequate heating or cooling to your home, it may be a sign that the system is too old or too small for your needs. A new, more powerful system may be necessary to meet your comfort needs. Plus, certain components of the unit wear out over time. As this unit approaches the end of its lifespan, it will begin to fail and its effectiveness will decrease with time.

Considering A Ductless Mini-Split System Replacement? 

Do you think your unit is at the end of its lifespan? Or perhaps it just needs a quick repair? Regardless of the challenge you’re facing, CM Heating are here to help.


Contact CM Heating to learn about the repair and replacement options for your AC unit. We are available around the clock to provide you with premium, high-quality services at a price you can afford.

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