When I woke up today, I didn’t think I would be writing a blog post about the ductless mini-split air conditioners down here in Mexico, but the opportunity presented itself when I noticed a large puddle of water forming on the floor underneath the one in our living room. So, here we are.
When we lived in the United States, I had only seen a few mini-split units like the one shown in the cover photo.
Most residences in the U.S. have central A/C units and the ones that don’t might have a window unit or two. But down here in Mexico, the split-level system is the most common type of A/C system that you’ll see. They are in apartments, condos, single family residences and even many businesses.
These units only cool one room, so it’s not uncommon to see multiple units in the same building. We have three separate units in our two bedroom condo. Some of our friends with larger homes have as many as six separate A/C units.
A Potential Money Pit
The cost of the units will depend on several factors including the size of the unit (BTUs), the brand and whether or not it’s an inverter unit.
The inverter units are more expensive, but they can save you quite a bit on your electric bill. Electricity is one of the few things that is expensive in Mexico, so personally, I think it’s worth the added expense up front to save even more down the road.
A small 12,000 BTU standard unit will cost around $450 USD, but a large 36,000 BTU inverter unit can be as much as $1,200 USD.
When we first moved to Mexico, I immediately identified these things as a potential money pit that would require constant maintenance and repair — and I wasn’t wrong. The situation today is a good example.
Fortunately, I decided to take a proactive approach and back in 2016, I took a free online air conditioner repair course offered through the Carlos Slim Foundation.
The course consisted of more than 30 lessons and 15 quizzes. After I successfully completed it, I was issued a certificate and the system offered to assist me with job placement — which I declined.
I really only took the course for two reasons: 1) to be able to perform routine maintenance and small repairs on my own, and 2) in the case of a major repair, I would know if I was being cheated or overcharged.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Over the last two years, I have had to perform several repairs on our split-level units. Today it took me about 25 minutes to take the unit apart, repair the problem and put it back together again. The best part is that it didn’t cost me a single peso and I didn’t have to waste my whole day waiting for a repairman to show up.
I was planning on ending the post after the previous paragraph, but then it occurred to me that some readers might want some information about the free training that I mentioned. So, in the interest of reducing the number of emails we receive each day, here’s the link to the site:
It currently has over 160 different courses and more are coming soon.
By the way, it’s in Spanish. That could be a good thing for you folks who either speak it already or are at least trying to learn it.