Yard Debris and Your HVAC System
Well, October has slipped into November and most of the beautiful autumn leaves have fallen from the trees. Like other kinds of yard debris, this can create some issues for your HVAC equipment:
Obstructed furnace intake and exhaust pipes.
Many furnaces now have PVC intake and/or exhaust pipes leading to the outside of the home which can be easily blocked with leaves or other debris. While it’s easy enough to rake up the leaves from the grass, leaves that come to rest in the corners of your yard can start to build up around your outdoor AC condenser unit. Make sure to keep the unit and the vents clear.
Clogged outdoor compressor.
Leaves inside the outdoor unit that houses the compressor may cause problems later for your air conditioning system. Leaf debris reduces airflow, clogs condenser coils, and invites mold and bacteria growth.
If you use a heat pump for heating in the shoulder seasons, a clogged compressor will cause more immediate problems. If you notice higher heating costs, call your local contractor today for a safety check and cleaning.
What you can do.
- Make sure you stay on top of leaf removal and rake away from the furnace intake or outtake pipes and/or the outdoor HVAC unit.
- Avoid planting plants, trees, and shrubs closer than 3 feet to your HVAC unit or pipes. Keep your shrubs trimmed and shaped to grow away from your unit.
- Schedule a professional safety check and cleaning of your heating and cooling system by your local HVAC contractor. These factory-trained HVAC companies have the knowledge and experience to clean and maintain your HVAC system (inside and out!) and ensure safe and efficient operation.
- If leaves fall directly on top of the outdoor unit, consider using a protective cover. Consult your local HVAC technician for sizing and recommendations.
Be sure to contact your local dealer if you have any questions or notice problems with any of your HVAC units.
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