Where Are the Coils on a Mini Split?

All ductless mini split systems have coils. You may have questions about what these coils are, what they do, and where they go. In this post, we’ll answer those questions so you can proceed with confidence and heat and cool your home with a ductless mini split system!

A ductless mini split system features an outdoor compressor or condenser as well as indoor air-handling units. The condenser is the component with the coils, which are located on the exterior of your ductless mini split system.   

The coils are bathed by refrigerant aka coolant. Refrigerant is a liquid that’s used in commercial and residential heat pumps and air conditioning systems. Your current HVAC systems are likely to rely on coolant or refrigerant in different ways.

When refrigerant passes along the outside coil of the mini split system, it sends heat to the area. Condensation brings down the temperature. Now, the refrigerant moves to the indoor mini split coil. The refrigerant is a lot cooler by now and will evaporate when it passes through the indoor air, which is usually warmer.

After several cycles of this, the air that exits the indoor air-handling unit is nice and cool. The cycle can continue to repeat to produce consistent cooling throughout the zones in your home according to the preferred temperature that you selected.

Due to the external positioning of the mini split coils near the condenser, you’re required to do occasional maintenance to keep the coils in optimal condition.

Debris and dirt can accumulate with time, so you should go out periodically to clean the coils. You can also remove contaminants and possibly mold.

Although a bit of mold or debris might not look like it’s stopping your ductless mini split coils from working their best, that’s actually exactly what can happen. If your mini split system is impeded in any way, this affects the efficiency of the entire system.

In other words, you might notice that your mini split isn’t running as cool as it usually does or that the hot air is blowing out only lukewarm.

How can you clean dirt and debris off the mini split coils? It’s easy. Since your condenser is located outside, usually in your backyard, you can turn on your gardening hose and spray away dirt and other contaminants.

If you’ve noticed stubborn grease, mold, or grime, then use a coil cleaner, as just the pressurized water from the hose won’t be enough. You can find coil cleaners at most home improvement stores as well as online.

Be sure to read the instructions for the coil cleaner before applying. Misusing the cleaning product could further degrade the quality of the coils, and you don’t want that!

While you’re at it, you should take the condensate pan out with the drain. The condensate pan, as the name implies, catches condensation that naturally accumulates as you run your ductless mini split system.

Dump the contents of the pan and wash it out using soap and water.