As the seasons change, so do the threats to your HVAC system. One such threat is the accumulation of fallen leaves. It’s difficult to believe that fallen foliage could cause so much trouble for your HVAC system, but it can happen if you’re not vigilant about outdoor HVAC unit protection.
The Issue of Fallen Foliage
The outdoor cabinet of your HVAC system, which houses the condenser coil and compressor, is in charge of expelling latent heat collected from inside your home. To accomplish this, your outdoor cabinet employs a powerful fan to draw cool air from the unit’s bottom and sides, which it then uses to disperse warm air through the cabinet’s top.
With this configuration, it’s easy to see how falling leaves can affect your HVAC system. Leaves accumulating at the bottom of the unit can obstruct vital airflow, making it difficult for your HVAC system to dissipate latent heat. Such obstructions can also result in a noticeable decrease in HVAC system efficiency, causing your unit to use more energy for declining levels of performance.
Airflow obstructions caused by fallen leaves can even cause damage to parts of your HVAC system, such as the condenser coil and A/C compressor.
How to Safeguard Your HVAC System
Outdoor HVAC unit protection is critical for keeping your heating and cooling system in good working order this fall. Fortunately, there are numerous preventative measures you can take to keep your unit safe:
- Rake your yard on a regular basis to remove fallen leaves and other debris. Bag up raked leaves to keep them from blowing around in the wind.
- Inspect and clean your outdoor HVAC cabinet thoroughly. Blow out any leaves and debris found within with compressed air.
- To prevent leaves from falling through the fan vent, trim back overhanging limbs.
- When your HVAC unit is not in use, use an HVAC cover to protect it.