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Oct 13, 2023 1:28:24 PM by Lauren Mangano

The Negative Effects of Neglecting Ductless Air Handler Cleaning

Ductless air conditioning or heat pump systems, also known as ductless mini-split systems, have become increasingly popular for their efficiency and versatility. They offer a convenient way to control the temperature in individual rooms or zones without the need for ductwork. However, like any HVAC system, ductless units require regular maintenance to function efficiently and provide clean, healthy air. In this article, we'll discuss six negative effects of neglecting the cleaning of your ductless AC air handlers.
Dirty blower wheel in ductless system - before and afterBlower wheel before cleaning vs after our comprehensive tune-up

Reduced Efficiency

One of the most noticeable effects of not cleaning your ductless AC air handlers is reduced efficiency. Over time, dust, dirt, and debris accumulate on the unit's components, including the evaporator and condenser coils. This buildup interferes with the system's ability to transfer heat and air conditioning effectively. As a result, your ductless system will have to work harder to achieve the desired temperature, which can lead to increased energy consumption and higher electricity bills.

Decreased Cooling or Heating Capacity

Dirty air handlers can lead to decreased cooling capacity. When the evaporator coils are clogged with dirt and dust, they cannot absorb or distribute heat as efficiently as they should. This means that your ductless air handlers will struggle to cool or heat the room, leaving you feeling less comfortable on hot days and chilly on cold days. In severe cases, it might not be able to maintain the desired temperature at all.

Poor Indoor Air Quality

Another significant consequence of neglecting air handler cleaning is poor indoor air quality. When the air handlers are dirty, they can circulate airborne contaminants throughout your home. Dust, pollen, pet dander, and even mold spores may be dispersed by the unit, leading to respiratory problems, allergies, and other health issues, especially for those with sensitivities or pre-existing conditions.Before and after of a dirty component in a ductless air handler
 Ductless component before cleaning vs after our comprehensive tune-up

Risk of Mold and Mildew Growth

Moisture and organic matter, such as dust and pollen, create an ideal environment for mold and mildew growth. The indoor evaporator coil, often exposed to condensation, can become a breeding ground for these fungi. Mold and mildew not only negatively affect air quality but can also damage your ductless system and even lead to foul odors in your living space.

Unpleasant Odors

Speaking of odors, dirty air handlers can produce unpleasant smells in your home. Accumulated debris and mold growth can create musty smells that waft through your living space. These odors can be difficult to eliminate and may persist even after cleaning the unit if left unaddressed for an extended period.

Shortened Lifespan

As with any HVAC system, failure to clean your ductless air handlers can significantly shorten the system's lifespan. The strain placed on the system due to reduced efficiency and increased workload can lead to premature wear and tear. This, in turn, may require costly repairs or even a complete replacement of the unit.


Regular maintenance, including cleaning your ductless air handlers, is essential to keep your system running efficiently and to maintain a healthy indoor environment. Neglecting this crucial aspect of HVAC care can result in reduced efficiency, decreased cooling capacity, poor indoor air quality, mold and mildew growth, unpleasant odors, and a shorter system lifespan. To avoid these negative effects, it's recommended to schedule routine maintenance with a professional technician or perform regular cleaning of your ductless AC air handlers as part of your home maintenance routine. Contact ECI Comfort

If you live in the Delaware Valley/Greater Philadelphia area and would like to find comfort within your home, visit our website or give us a call at 215 - 245 - 3200 to learn more.

This entry was posted in Comfort Tips, Preventative Maintenance, Ductless, Indoor Air Quality

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