Have Mold in Your Mini Split?

infographic on mold in ductless mini split

How to Fix (and Prevent) a Dirty Ductless Problem

A ductless mini split is a great home comfort option for providing both the heating AND cooling you need. They are convenient modern systems that provide a great way to heat and cool spaces with temperature problems, such as a home addition, an office, or an apartment. But you need to be aware of how mold can grow in a mini split unit.

They are excellent HVAC units, especially when there is no existing ductwork and installing new ducts is not feasible.

Just as a traditional air conditioner needs regular maintenance, a ductless system requires maintenance. And when those necessary little maintenance tasks aren’t handled, problems can happen.

Tiger Heating & Air are ductless mini-split systems installers here in the Corpus Christi area. We also provide repair and maintenance services for these units. While these units do not require much maintenance, some cleaning and tune-ups are required.

One common problem is with mold growing inside a mini split. A dirty unit, especially one with mold, can hurt the air quality inside your home.

Mold in mini split system

Do You Have Mold in Your Mini Split?

Finding that you have mold in your ductless mini split unit can be rather unpleasant. Unfortunately, this is a relatively common issue. Ductless mini split systems can be filled with dirt, debris, and mold if regular maintenance is ignored or not being operated properly.

When mold grows inside a unit, it can expand rather quickly. A mini split with mold growing inside means it is putting mold spores out into the air you breathe. As you can imagine, that creates problems for your home and your family’s health.

4 signs of a Mold Problem

While opening up your mini split may be the best way to identify whether or not it has mold, there are other signs you may notice in your home that could indicate you have this problem.

  1. You smell a foul odor, perhaps like a dirty sock or something cheesy
  2. There are black or odd-colored splotches on the mini-split unit (seen when you lift the cover on the air handler)
  3. You find standing water or a lot of moisture below your ductless unit
  4. You are suffering from increased respiratory problems or are having more allergy symptoms inside your home
4 signs you have mold in your mini split infographic

DIY: Cleaning Mold from Mini Split

Cleaning a mini split is pretty easy! It’s a relatively simple process that just about any homeowner can do themselves.

Mold in ductless mini split unit
  1. Turn your system off
  2. Flip up the top cover
  3. Remove the 2 filters that are right at the top by pulling them out
  4. Clean filters by rinsing them off with water
  5. Let filters completely dry (wait at least 20 minutes)
  6. Reinsert filters into mini split and put the cover back on

Special Note: Some of these ductless units include an additional antimicrobial & anti-allergy filter. If you have this, remove it before washing the other filters. This special filter cannot be cleaned.

Following these basic steps, you can clean out dust, debris, and a small amount of mold. If your mini split has a significant mold problem, this simple cleaning may not be enough. If you have a great deal of mold in your mini split (or mold is in parts you cannot reach and remove), call for professional maintenance.

Call Tiger Heating & Air for professional maintenance service on your ductless system. Call us at (361) 852-4450, or you can contact us by requesting service online.

Preventing Mold from Growing

The best way to keep mold from developing and growing is simply by keeping it always turned on.

You do NOT want to be turning your mini-split unit on and off. It should remain on at all times, even when you don’t need it. Unlike a traditional air conditioning system, mini splits do not cycle on and off.

When they are not needed to cool the air, they will run in a low-power mode. It is important to keep a mini split turned on because it works to do more than just maintain the desired temperature. These units are also working to drain moisture. So, when you turn the unit off, that moisture can stay in the system and build up. And that’s where you can get a mold problem.

For ductless mini split system installment, repair, or maintenance in and around Corpus Christi, call the HVAC experts at Tiger Heating & Air at (361) 852-4450.

DIY Ductless Mini Split AC Installation

Is it Easy to Install a Ductless Air Conditioner Yourself?

Ductless Mini Split unit installed on a wall

Have you seen the fantastic do-it-yourself claims by companies selling DIY ductless mini split systems to homeowners? They say it is “so easy you can do it in 4 hours!”

Are these DIY systems really as easy to install as the companies claim? Or will you end up with problems that will cost you more money in the long run?

At Tiger Heating & Air, our team provides the heating and cooling needs for Corpus Christi. You can call on Tiger for any kind of AC installation, including a ductless air conditioning system. Hybrid heating and cooling systems have become popular in America in recent years, and for good reason. Ductless mini splits are excellent home comfort AC systems that provide the heating and cooling a space needs without invasive ductwork. They often are a perfect opportunity to get the comfort you need in an area that doesn’t have proper temperature control, like a renovated attic that can’t ever get cool enough during the hottest months of our Texas summers.


Common Problems Installing a DIY Mini Split

Installing a DIY ductless mini split air conditioner involves complicated tasks including electrical work. Some work may be challenging to do without another person or a HVAC technician or electrician to help.

How difficult of work this is depends on the skill and capabilities of the person installing the mini split system. People who have tried installing one themselves have had mixed reactions.

Some problems you might run into:

  • If you make a mistake in installing the refrigerant line, you will need a licensed HVAC technician to reset it
  • You may find required parts were missing in the kit you received
  • Getting an instruction manual that isn’t for the model you purchased
  • Untwisting the lineset was difficult for some people
  • The instructions on how to match the electrical wires are unclear
  • You may be surprised at the cost of additional items that aren’t provided in the kit, such as electrical wires.
if you make a mistake with the refrigerant line, you’ll need an hvac technician to fix it. DIY ductless mini split is not easy to install

Can I Install a DIY Ductless Mini Split Myself?

You may be quite handy but installing a ductless HVAC system is more complicated than many other DIY home projects.

Ask yourself these questions before purchasing a DIY kit:

  • Do you have experience doing electrical work?
  • Do you know how to pour a concrete pad?
  • Do you know how to find out precisely what size of a system is needed for your space? Do you know what SEER or BTU the area requires?

YouTube DIY Videos vs. Reality

If you Google for information on how easy it is to install a DIY ductless mini split system yourself, you will find videos from people who have installed these systems. You may see people putting these systems together and ending the day with a space now heated or cooled by their new system.

However, many of these people are not your average homeowner. Some are even professional techs. Many have helpers with their install, including professional HVAC technicians or electricians.

Also, you will find some of these online videos and blogs are sponsored by MRCOOL DIY.

AC installation will include electrical work and knowing how to calculate for correct BTU

DIY Mini Splits vs. Traditional Ductless Systems

When it comes to purchasing a ductless mini split to install yourself, there’s one first thing you need to know. Just because it’s a ductless system does not mean it’s a DIY one.

Components of a ductless mini split system

There are different kinds of DIY ductless mini split units available today, but not all are designed to be installed by a non-professional, not even a handy one.

For example, MrCool DIY Ductless is designed differently than the ductless systems Tiger (and most other professional HVAC companies) install. A DIY version comes with a pre-charged line set which should eliminate having to deal with refrigerant. Working with refrigerants is something a person who is not trained and licensed in HVAC systems and installation should never do themselves.

Traditional ductless system installation requires soldering work and specific tools. These systems have more complicated wiring and controls than refrigerators do. If you purchase a DIY mini split that was not sold as a DIY version, you will probably face work you are not capable of nor have the tools to handle.

Considerations Before a DIY Ductless Installation

You need to know the size of the system your space needs before purchasing a DIY mini split kit. This is not about determining the unit’s actual size but knowing the BTU amount necessary for the space you are trying to heat and cool.

Determining the correct size depends on factors including:

  • Climate range you live in
  • Square footage of the room or space
  • Amount of sun exposure to the area
  • Level of insulation

What is Not Included in DIY Ductless Mini Split Kits?

While most DIY systems come with the components you need for installation, there are some things you will need that are not included, including:

  • A dedicated 208/220 circuit in your electrical panel
  • Wiring to a junction box
  • An AC shut-off switch at the junction box

In addition, if electrical work is not something you are not able to handle yourself, you will have to pay for an electrician to help with some of the ductless installation.

The cost for professional electrical work needed likely ranges from about $500 – $1000. But prices vary from area to area and also can increase depending on what issues or complications they run into in the job.

Your DIY system may not be under warranty. Be aware that many DIY Ductless systems come with a warranty that is only good if a licensed HVAC technician installed it. That means if you installed it yourself, it would not be under warranty.

if you install it yourself, the system will probably not be under warranty

Cost for Installing a DIY Ductless Mini Split System

Costs of the system itself vary from brand to brand and from type to type. Depending on the size you get, including various specifics like SEER rating, you can find several options costing between $1,000.00 to $3,000.00.

The other cost is your time. These systems are advertised to take about 3-4 hours of work, not including the shopping time to purchase additional electrical components. And if you need help in installing it (like most do), will you have to pay someone for that?

It will not save you money if you cannot install it yourself. You are not going to save on the cost of an HVAC professional if you have to end up calling one out to finish the job.

If you cannot install it yourself, you will likely need to call on experienced HVAC technicians like those here at Tiger Heating & Air. We have been called to help a homeowner who has run into problems beyond their ability to install a ductless mini split.

MONEY SAVING TIP: Do NOT buy a DIY ductless system with the intention of hiring a professional company to install it. This will not save you money. You may even discover the HVAC company will not install a ductless system that you purchased.

it may cost you more money if you end up needing an hvac technician to install it

When is a Ductless Mini Split NOT the Best Choice?

Ductless Mini Splits are excellent heating and cooling systems. However, they are not always the right solution to a room’s temperature needs. There are a variety of other HVAC options that may solve the problem you are having.

There may be a cheaper solution than a ductless mini split. Trust an experienced HVAC company to help you find out precisely the right solution to your home’s comfort needs.

Trust Tiger to Solve your Heating & Cooling Needs

Tiger Heating & Air installs AC systems in Corpus Christi, TX

Please check with us or whatever HVAC company you plan to hire BEFORE purchasing any system. A good local company will give you a free estimate of the temperature solution your space needs. Contact Tiger today for a free installation quote.

Tiger Heating & Air has handled thousands of quality HVAC installations across the Corpus Christi area. We can provide your home with exactly the right cooling system your home needs at about or even below the cost you will pay for a DIY version.

Call Tiger Heating and Air Conditioning at 361-852-4450 in Corpus Christi, TX.

Get emergency air conditioning repair with Tiger HVAC in Corpus Christi

corpus christi hvac team of technicians at Tiger Heating & AirTiger Heating and Air has been a trusted name in Corpus Christi since 1984. Whether it’s a repair, installation or maintenance, trust our team of experienced HVAC technicians to be ready to deliver the services you need. We are trained and experienced to service whatever type of heating or cooling system is in your home. We also provide professional indoor air quality services.

We are located off of TX-358, just a few miles from the exit toward Saratoga Blvd from 286 South. Call us for service any time of day or night at (361) 852-4450.

Get a free quote and see why we are the Corpus Christi company homeowners and businesses trust for honest and fair pricing. 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed!

We are located just off of TX-358. Heading south, take the exit toward Saratoga Blvd from 286 South. Turn left onto Saratoga Blvd, then 3 miles down the road, turn right onto Weber Rd and another right onto Wow Rd just across the street from the post office.