Performing regular and routine maintenance on your ductless heating and cooling system will save homeowners from major maintenance down the line. Mike Cappuccio, owner of N.E.T.R., Inc., talks about the importance of regular maintenance to ensure the ductless heating and cooling system is running properly all of the time.
John Maher: Hi, I'm John Maher. I'm here today with Mike Cappuccio, owner of N.E.T.R Inc., a heating and cooling company in Massachusetts for the focus on Mitsubishi Ductless Heating and Cooling products. Today, we're talking about maintenance on a ductless heating and cooling system. Welcome, Mike.
Mike Cappuccio: Good morning John, how are you?
John: Good, thanks. Mike, what kind of maintenance is needed for a ductless system?
Mike: Well, there's these two kinds of maintenances needed. But one is a minor maintenance and one is a major maintenance. The minor maintenance is basically on the indoor unit, take the filter out. Take it out, wash it, clean it, put it back in and it's as simple as that. The major maintenance that could be needed if you don't do that on a regular basis that you're now going to ... that the dirt is going to get beyond that filter and get into the blower wheel itself.
Then we have to come out and do what's called the major maintenance and actually remove the blower wheel, clean the blower wheel. You want to do your minor maintenance first. That can be done as very simple ... as the homeowner could be doing that themselves, just taking the filter out, washing it and cleaning it on a monthly basis.
John: That's not even something that you guys need to go in and do for a homeowner. They can mostly do it themselves?
Mike: Well, some homeowners want us to come out and do that because there is one enzyme filter in there that we do like to change once a year too. Some people do it themselves, some people want us to do it.
Mike: Depends on what the homeowners looking for at that point.
Filter Cleaning Frequency
John: Just taking out the filter, washing it, and you do that how often? Once every few --
Mike: -- I would say once every two to three months, depending on how much you're using the air conditioning system or heating system.
Replacing the Enzyme Filter
John: Then once a year, you replace that enzyme filter that you're talking about. What does the enzyme filter do?
Mike: The enzyme filter removes the bacteria on things that are in the home. It also reduces odors too.
Warranties for Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems
John: Do ductless heating and cooling systems come with a warranty?
Mike: When you install them, if you get the system from a Mitsubishi diamond lead contractor which we are, basically, we register that warranty when we install that system in your home. That system would come with a 12-year parts warranty, one-year labor warranty. You can buy an additional 12-year labor warranty for the whole system, so everything is covered over the 12 years that does not include the maintenance now.
The other thing is there's something for a homeowner to be very, very important with is that, if the contractor does not register the system with Mitsubishi Electric, their warranty reverts back to a five-year parts, seven-year compressor warranty. Very important that that system gets registered online and the homeowner should see an email at some point from Mitsubishi Electric saying, "Hey, your contract are registered this warranty online with us.” So, very important for them to know that that got done.
John: Make sure that you watch for that email.
Mike: Make sure you watch for that email. If you don't see that, you want to make sure you get that.
Regular Maintenance Schedule
John: Right. Should I schedule regular maintenance? Have you guys come in once a year and change that enzyme filter or if I want you to clean my filter, should I have that scheduled ahead of time, or do I just wait till something's not working and then give you a call?
Mike: No, I would not wait till something's not working. You want us to come in once a year when you're home, minimum. If you're just using the system for cooling, you come out there once a year because there was a little bit more additional than just taking out the filter. We should at least get outside, check the outdoor unit outside, wash the condenser coil outside. Make sure the system is full of refrigerant operating properly, the inverter compressor's speeding up, slowing down, outdoor fence are working et cetera, things like that. We should get out there at least once a year on a bare minimum.
Cost for Regular Ductless Heating and Cooling Maintenance
John: What would be the cost of doing that kind of regular maintenance on a ductless system?
Mike: That has a pretty wide range, it depends on how many indoor units you have in the home. If it's just one outdoor unit, one indoor unit, that's starts out around $99 to do something like that. Again, if now ... if that gets neglected in, you call me five years into it and you haven't done anything for five years, that now is not a minor maintenance. It's a major maintenance, that could be somewhere around probably $150 to $200 to remove the blower wheel due to cleaning, et cetera.
John: Right. Definitely important to make sure that you're doing that minor maintenance and cleaning those filters.
Mike: Yes. If you don't do the minors, it's going to lead to a major.
Maintenance Comparison: Ductless vs. Traditional
John: Right. How does a maintenance on a ductless system compare to traditional heating and cooling systems.
Mike: The biggest differences is our filters ... our main filter in the unit you can take out, wash and clean. You don't need to buy that filter every three months. Where the traditional system, you're going to beat your local big box to buying a filter putting, taking a filter in, taking a filter out, maybe going up into the attic to do that or down into the basement to do that. Whereas, you just really just open up a cover, pull it out, wash it, clean it, put it back in. Lot less cost involved in that if you want to do it yourself.
John: Right. Again, as a homeowner, make sure you're doing that every two or three months in cleaning that filter out so that you don't have to have you come out and fix a problem.
Mike: Yes. Then you don't want to get into the majors. When you get into the majors, all the dirt just gets beyond the filters that gets into the coils, gets into the blower wheels. It can get very costly and time consuming to do that maintenance at that point. I definitely recommend doing this on a regular basis.
John: All right. That's great advice and thanks again for speaking with me today, Mike.
Mike: Thanks John.
John: For more information, visit the NETR website at netrinc.com or call 781-933-NETR. That's 781-933-6387.