Preventative Maintenance

How Do Fallen Leaves Affect Your HVAC?

How Do Fallen Leaves Affect Your HVAC?

The outdoor half of your home's HVAC system contains critically-important cooling components: the compressor and condenser coil. Because this unit is typically situated somewhere out of sight, it's easy for yard debris to accumulate outside and even inside the unit's housing if you're not paying attention. A buildup of broken branches, fallen leaves, seed pods and grass trimmings can cause various problems you want to avoid, like:

  • Airflow restrictions through the coil that interfere with proper heat transfer.

  • Added strain on the compressor that can cause a premature failure of your system's most costly component.

  • A decline in the HVAC system's efficiency that results in higher energy bills.

How to Prevent Adverse Effects from Fallen Leaves

Taking the following steps can help you avoid any adverse effects on your cooling system from leaves and other kinds of yard debris:

  • Invest in a custom cover. A custom cover is designed to fit just right, and it has ventilation built in to prevent rust-causing condensation while keeping out debris and dirt. Your HVAC contractor can advise you on the right cover to buy for your brand and model of equipment.

  • Prepare the unit for the off season. When cooling season is over, prepare the unit for winter by flipping the outdoor shut-off switch, and shutting off its breaker in your home's circuit breaker panel. Then, remove any debris and dead vegetation from outside and inside the housing, and install its fitted cover. Before you turn on the cooling system next spring, do another cleanup around the unit, remove and store the cover and switch the power supply back on.

  • Give the unit a year-round extra layer of debris protection.Another way to minimize any debris accumulation inside the unit throughout the year is to install a screen filter. These washable filters that wrap around the unit's fins aren't expensive, and they're quite effective for keeping yard debris out without restricting airflow through the coil.

To learn more ways to protect your Broken Arrow home's outdoor HVAC unit from the effects of yard debris like fallen leaves, contact us today at Air Assurance.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about fall maintenance and other HVAC topics, call us at 918-217-8273. Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Kaz/Pixabay”