Do you want to maintain maximum comfort all year round but your trusty ductless mini-split just won’t deliver? Few things are more frustrating than having your ductless mini-split play a game of on-and-off during the scorching summers and brutal winters of Fort Wayne, Indiana. While mini-splits are fantastic when they’re functioning properly, troubleshooting mysterious shutdowns (known as short cycling) can be a pain for the average homeowner.
So, what causes this issue? And what can be done to prevent your ductless mini-split unit from constantly shutting off at the worst times?
Doc Dancer Heating & Cooling will answer these questions and more in the following blog. Here are some of the most common reasons your mini-split air conditioner and heat pump are shutting off at random.
How Do Ductless Mini-Splits Work?
Before we get too into the weeds of your short-cycling woes, let’s review how ductless mini-splits function. A Mini-split is basically a heat pump – different from a central indoor unit that is connected by ductwork for blowing hot air and cold air throughout multiple spaces, a mini-split system is located in a single room.
The system consists of an outdoor unit that connects to your indoor unit via a small conduit that runs through your wall. One outdoor unit can support up to 8 indoor units at a time. Your mini split can run in heat mode or cool mode depending on the time of year.
The heart of your mini-split system, the compressor unit, is in charge of maintaining refrigerant pressure throughout the system. Occasionally, a compressor overheats, leading to a complete shutdown of your ductless mini-split air conditioner and heater. Often, this happens due to the compressor’s age, signaling the need for replacement. Compressor issues can also result in refrigerant leaks, exacerbating your mini-split short-cycling issues. Upgrading the compressor can significantly extend the lifespan of your entire mini-split system.
Low Refrigerant Levels
If your ductless mini-split frequently short-cycles, it may be running low on refrigerant or experiencing a refrigerant leak. When refrigerant levels drop below the system’s specified threshold, your mini-split struggles to maintain cooling. Regular maintenance appointments can help identify and address refrigerant leaks before they lead to persistent short cycling.
When your mini-split shuts down while in cooling mode, it might be due to frozen evaporator coils. This issue arises when your system lacks proper servicing, exacerbated by dirty air filters. Routine maintenance, along with regular air filter cleaning, can prevent ice buildup and ensure your rooms stay comfortably cool. Cleaning the coils should also be part of your routine maintenance appointments, where an HVAC technician evaluates the entire mini-split system’s condition.
A malfunctioning thermostat can also contribute to short cycling. Any thermostat issue with your ductless mini-split system should be promptly addressed. Common thermostat warning signs include incorrect temperature readings, displaying the wrong temperature, or a frozen display. In the worst cases, severe thermostat damage can result in frequent shutdowns.
Condensate Pump Issues
Besides creating noise and decreasing efficiency, a faulty condensate pump can trigger short cycling in your ductless mini-split. If your condensate pump has seen better days, it’s a clear indication that a repair is needed.
Recognizing the Signs for Mini-Split Replacement
If you’ve exhausted numerous repairs and your ductless mini-split continues to misbehave, it might be time to consider an upgrade. Here are some unmistakable signs that your old mini-split deserves retirement:
- Your ductless mini-split is over a decade old.
- Noticeable decline in overall efficiency, even after regular maintenance and repairs.
- Unusual noises during operation after recent repairs.
- Decreased indoor air quality after regular maintenance and cleaning.
- Persistent heating and cooling issues after regular maintenance has been performed.
Tired of all the Hot Air? Call Doc Dancer for All of Your Ductless Mini-Split Needs
Doc Dancer is here to ensure your ductless mini-split system is blowing cold air in the summer and providing cozy warm air in the winter! From routine maintenance and installations to repairs and replacements, our skilled team is here to keep everything working correctly no matter what is causing your short-cycling issue.
Schedule your ductless mini-split repair today and say hello to maximum comfort no matter the season!