Short answer: A long time.
Homeowners may expect to buy exactly one system in their time in any one home, under normal circumstances. It is one of the reasons Mitsubishi are revered, not just as the pioneers in mini split technology and evolution, but as an ongoing symbol of one of the highest quality engineering in mini split hvac applications.
A big factor in any appliance purchase is the projected life expectancy. This is especially true when you’re deciding between a ductless mini split AC and a traditional HVAC system and what specific brand to invest in.Ductless systems are certainly more efficient, simpler and less costly.
A Mitsubishi mini split is known for being the industry's best when it comes to quality and reliability. It's not uncommon for Mitsubishi mini split life expectancy to exceed 20 or more years, assuming that it's been cared for and maintained properly. At HVACDirect.com, we talk to thousands of homeowners and contractors each month, and we hear it every day: Mitsubishi is respected and beloved. Though they are also among the more expensive options, superior engineering, performance and advanced features are worth the price tag.
How Often Should a Mini Split be Serviced?
When choosing between a mini split or central air system, think about the amount of servicing a ductless mini split tends to require compared to a conventional AC unit. While conventional ducted central air conditioning units are prone to frequent issues that require an HVAC specialist to service, many ductless system issues can be resolved by homeowners. These systems are truly “set it and forget it” with a minimum of simple, practical care required. Common sense is the best policy.
Some simple preventative maintenance can ensure that a mini split runs better for longer. It's suggested you schedule a professional deep cleaning of your mini split system at least once a year. Professional maintenance helps ensure your ductless air conditioner is running well, and they can typically notice minor issues before they become significant and costly.
How Do You Maintain a Mini Split System?
Aside from annual professional servicing, there are a number of mini split maintenance tasks homeowners should do to ensure the system is operating efficiently and effectively.
Regularly change or clean the filter
Refer to the manufacturer's guidelines on how often you'll need to address the filter. Some mini split filters need to be changed every few months, while others can be removed, cleaned, and then replaced. In addition to more energy efficiency, clean filters also help promote better indoor air quality.
Dust the indoor units regularly
However often you dust and vacuum your home, make sure you add the indoor mini split units to your cleaning list. Keeping these units clean will help ensure better performance.
Clean condenser coils on the outside compressor
This is likely something that a professional will do when you contact them for a deep cleaning, but it doesn't hurt to do it yourself throughout the year. Over time, dirt, mold, and other debris build up on the coils and can impact system performance. While you should follow manufacturer guidelines for coil cleaning, it’s often best to simply wipe them down with a dry cloth.
Clear the outdoor condenser
Any routine maintenance schedule should consist of ensuring the outdoor condenser is clear. Trim back any nearby bushes or trees so that there's no obstruction limiting its ability to intake air.
Clean the pipes
Mini split systems are connected from the outdoor condenser to the indoor units via a system of wires and piping. Hence cleaning the pipes inside of your ductless system helps ensure air can properly circulate throughout the room. Also, keep an eye out for any cracks developing in the pipe that may require further maintenance.
How Long do HVAC Systems Last?
A conventional HVAC system will last for about 15 years before replacement is necessary. Ducted homes are prone to far more complications, issues, and maintenance. When it comes to the total cost of ownership of such appliances, there are various other factors that should be considered when considering a mini split vs. a central air conditioner:
- Conventional AC units tend to require more maintenance, especially as systems age. Ductless mini split systems tend to be much easier to care for and maintain over time.
- Mini splits don't rely on expansive ductwork to transport hot or cool air from the unit to each room of the home. It's estimated that the average duct system can lose up to 40 percent of heating or cooling energy, causing the HVAC unit to work harder for longer. This places excessive wear and tear on such units, which can impact their lifespan.
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