We hope that you’ve never been in a situation where you learned the hard way what a poor HVAC system installation can lead to. It is important, though, to be aware that ductless cooling and heating systems have unique needs that aren’t concerns for other types of more traditional HVAC systems. Therefore, if your ductless system isn’t installed just right, and followed up with regular professional maintenance, the system can suffer—as can your heating and cooling bills.
Ductless systems are a leading choice for more and more homeowners, due to their excellent efficiency. They enable homeowners to have zone-controlled cooling and offer a number of other tangible benefits. They’re fantastic for homes that don’t have a space for a ducted system, or even households that experience indoor air quality problems from a ducted HVAC system. But, as we said, ductless systems do have unique needs—what happens if yours isn’t installed the right way?
You Could Have Water Leaks from the Air Handlers
Each air handler of a ductless system is wall-mounted, and connected to the outdoor unit of the system through a conduit routed through a hole in the wall, behind the air handler. This conduit includes a power line, refrigerant line, and a condensate line. The condensate line is what removes water moisture from the cooling process so that it doesn’t enter your home.
But what if you have a condensate line leak? This can happen if the air handler wasn’t installed correctly, and what will happen is that water will begin collecting between the back of the air handler and your wall. Eventually, what happens is the wall material weakens and the air handler separates from the wall it’s attached too, likely falling. This fall will damage the wall, of course, and very likely will damage the air handler itself, which brings us to the next point.
You Could Have a Broken Air Handler
Whether it’s due to falling off the wall or due to a problem with a component due to old age, you might have a broken air handler at some point. Fortunately, there is actually a little bit of a benefit associated with this. If a single air handler breaks down due to something like a failed motor or some other problem, the rest of the air handlers in your household will still function.
The only part of your home that loses cooling or heating in this case is the one with the broken air handler. While you should still certainly call for a professional to come repair the unit ASAP, when just one unit ceases to work you can at least go into another room of your home to cool off.
Refrigerant Lines Can Leak
Remember how we mentioned there’s a refrigerant line in the conduits connected to each air handler? Well just like improper installation can lead to water leaks, it can also lead to refrigerant line damage, and subsequent leaks. A refrigerant leak isn’t necessarily unique to ductless systems—it can happen with any refrigerant based system.
But what makes it different is the refrigerant lines run through your walls, and therefore could create a lot of potentially hazardous property damage if they leak. If you don’t see the refrigerant leak, you can usually detect its occurrence by a loss of cooling or heating power, a hissing noise, and/or ice development anywhere on the system. Be sure to call our pros right away if you suspect a problem.