How to Clean a Mini Split System

Posted In  Ductless Mini Splits


Mini split systems are a popular and efficient way to cool or heat your home. These systems consist of an outdoor compressor unit and one or multiple indoor units connected by refrigerant lines. Like any other HVAC system, mini splits require regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. In this article, we will guide you through the process of cleaning your mini split system effectively and safely.

Understanding Your Mini Split System

Before we delve into the cleaning process, it is crucial to understand the key components of a mini split system. This knowledge will help you identify the areas that require cleaning and maintenance. The main components of a mini split system include:

Key Components of a Mini Split System

  • Outdoor Compressor Unit: This unit houses the condenser and compressor responsible for the cooling process.
  • Indoor Units: These units are mounted inside the rooms you wish to cool or heat. They contain the evaporator and fan coil.
  • Refrigerant Lines: These lines connect the outdoor and indoor units, allowing for the transfer of refrigerant.

Understanding the functionality of each component is essential for proper maintenance. The outdoor compressor unit plays a crucial role in dissipating heat from the refrigerant, while the indoor units are responsible for distributing the conditioned air throughout the room. The refrigerant lines act as the conduit for the refrigerant, ensuring seamless heat exchange between the indoor and outdoor units.

Importance of Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning of your mini split system is essential for several reasons. First, it helps maintain the system's efficiency, ensuring it operates at its full potential. Second, it improves indoor air quality by removing dust, dirt, and other allergens that may accumulate in the filters and coils. Third, regular cleaning extends the system's lifespan and reduces the likelihood of breakdowns and costly repairs.

Proper maintenance enhances the performance of your mini split system and contributes to energy savings. A clean system operates more efficiently and consumes less energy.
to achieve the desired temperature levels. Investing time in regular cleaning and upkeep allows you to enjoy a comfortable indoor environment while keeping your energy bills in check.

Gathering the Necessary Cleaning Supplies

Gather the necessary cleaning supplies before you begin cleaning your mini split system. The specific tools and products you need will depend on whether you clean the exterior or interior components.

Proper maintenance of your mini split system is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. Regularly cleaning the interior and exterior components ensures that your system operates efficiently and provides clean, healthy air for your space.

Tools for Exterior Cleaning

  • Soft-bristle Brush: Use a soft-bristle brush to remove debris and dirt from the outdoor unit's exterior surfaces.
  • Garden Hose: A garden hose with a spray nozzle attachment can be used to rinse off the exterior surfaces and dislodge stubborn dirt.
  • Ladder: If your outdoor unit is located at a height, ensure you have a stable ladder to access it safely.

When cleaning the exterior components of your mini split system, pay close attention to the outdoor unit's fins and coils. These components are exposed to the elements and can accumulate dirt, dust, and debris over time, hindering the system's efficiency.

Products for Interior Cleaning

  • Mild Detergent: Use a mild detergent or soap solution to clean the filters and evaporator coils.
  • Water Spray Bottle: A spray bottle filled with water can be used to moisten the filters and coils before cleaning.
  • Microfiber Cloth: Use a soft microfiber cloth to gently wipe the filters and coils.

Regular cleaning of the interior components, such as the filters and evaporator coils, is essential for maintaining good indoor air quality. Dirty filters can harbor allergens and contaminants, circulating them back into your living space and potentially causing health issues.

Safety Precautions Before You Start

Ensuring your safety and the safety of your mini split system is paramount before starting the cleaning process. Take the following safety precautions:

Before cleaning, it is essential to inspect the area around the mini split system. Make sure there are no obstacles or clutter that could impede your movement or cause accidents. Clearing the space around the unit will ensure your safety and make the cleaning process more efficient.

Disconnecting Power Sources

Before cleaning any electrical components, turn off the power to the system. Locate the main electrical panel and switch off the circuit breaker that supplies power to the mini split system. Additionally, consider wearing insulated gloves to protect yourself from potential electrical shocks.

It is advisable to use a voltage tester to double-check that the power is indeed off before proceeding with the cleaning. This extra step adds another layer of safety and reduces the risk of accidental electric shock.

Handling Cleaning Solutions Safely

When using cleaning solutions, always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Wear gloves and protective eyewear to prevent any skin or eye irritation. In case of accidental ingestion or contact with eyes, seek medical attention immediately.

Ensure proper ventilation in the area where you are working with cleaning solutions. Adequate ventilation will help dissipate fumes and prevent inhalation of potentially harmful chemicals, creating a safer environment for you and your mini split system.

Daikin mini split air conditioner

Cleaning the Mini Split Exterior

Regular maintenance of the exterior surfaces of your mini-split outdoor unit is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure your system continues operating efficiently.

Removing and Cleaning the Outer Cover

To begin, delicately detach the outer cover of the outdoor unit. Take care not to force it or damage any components in the process. Once the cover is off, utilize a soft-bristle brush to gently eliminate any loose dirt or debris that may have accumulated over time. This step is essential in preventing blockages and maintaining proper airflow within the unit. After clearing away the loose dirt, rinse the surface with a gentle stream of water from a garden hose. Be mindful of the delicate fins and coils while rinsing, ensuring that no damage is caused. Avoid using a high-pressure setting on the hose, which could harm the unit's intricate components.

After rinsing, take a moment to appreciate the intricate design of the fins and coils that play a crucial role in the heat exchange process. These components work tirelessly to transfer heat effectively, allowing your system to cool or heat your space efficiently. By keeping them clean and free from obstructions, you are helping your mini-split unit perform at its best, ultimately saving energy and prolonging its lifespan.

Cleaning the Compressor Unit

Next, carefully examine the compressor unit for any indications of dirt or blockages that may hinder its operation. Using a soft-bristle brush or a vacuum cleaner with a gentle brush attachment, meticulously remove any debris that has accumulated on the surface. Pay close attention to the fins and coils, as any dirt buildup can impede airflow and diminish the system's overall efficiency. Consider using a mild detergent solution to effectively clean the affected areas if you encounter stubborn dirt or grime. Remember to rinse the compressor unit thoroughly with water after cleaning to ensure no residue is left behind.

As you clean the compressor unit, take a moment to acknowledge the intricate engineering that goes into its design. The compressor is the heart of your mini-split system, responsible for circulating refrigerant and facilitating the heat exchange process. By maintaining its cleanliness and ensuring unobstructed airflow, you are contributing to the smooth operation of your system and promoting energy efficiency.

Cleaning the Mini Split Interior

After cleaning the exterior, it's important to focus on the interior components of your mini split system. Neglecting the cleanliness of these parts can decrease performance and efficiency. So, let's dive into the details of how to clean the interior of your mini split system.

Cleaning the Air Filters

The air filters play a crucial role in trapping dust, allergens, and other particles in the air. Over time, these filters can become clogged, hindering the system's performance and reducing the quality of the air you breathe. To clean the air filters, start by turning off the power to the indoor unit. Gently remove the filters from their respective housing, noting their position for easy reinstallation later. Now, rinse the filters under running water to remove loose dirt. For stubborn stains, you can soak the filters in a mild detergent solution. Remember to be gentle while cleaning to avoid damaging the filters. Once cleaned, allow the filters to air dry completely before reinserting them into the unit.

Cleaning the Evaporator Coils

The evaporator coils within the indoor unit are responsible for absorbing heat from the air and cooling it down. Over time, these coils can accumulate dirt, dust, and other debris, which can hinder the heat exchange process and reduce the overall efficiency of your mini split system. To clean the evaporator coils, start by turning off the power to the indoor unit. Moisten the coils with a water spray bottle to loosen any dirt or debris that may have accumulated. Now, using a soft microfiber cloth, gently wipe the coils, making sure not to bend or damage them. For stubborn stains, you can use a mild detergent solution. However, it's important to rinse the coils thoroughly after using any cleaning solution. After cleaning, ensure that the coils are completely dry before restoring power to the unit.

Cleaning your mini split system on a regular basis is essential for maintaining its performance, energy efficiency, and prolonging its lifespan. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure that your mini split system operates at its best, providing you with comfortable and clean air all year round. Remember, a clean mini split system not only benefits your health but also helps you save on energy costs in the long run.

Now that you have all the knowledge you need to clean the interior of your mini split system, it's time to roll up your sleeves and give your unit the care it deserves.


Cleaning a mini split system is a simple but important maintenance task that should not be overlooked. By regularly cleaning the exterior and interior components of your mini split system, you can maintain its efficiency, improve indoor air quality, and extend its lifespan. Remember to follow the safety precautions and gather the necessary cleaning supplies before starting the cleaning process. With proper care and maintenance, your mini split system will continue to provide you with optimal cooling and heating performance for years to come.

Choosing Heat & Cool's top-quality mini split systems makes it possible for you to enjoy reliable performance and improved indoor air quality for years to come.

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