Here in Gainesville, Florida we have a lot of plants that stay green year round. With that comes lots of leaves in our environment but at this time of the year when the temperatures fluctuate several times, that also means lots of fallen leaves. It's hard to believe something so benign as leaves could cause your HVAC system harm, but if you aren't diligent about protecting your unit from outdoor factors it can cause issues over time.
The Trouble With Fallen Leaves
The outdoor component of your HVAC system is tasked with expelling latent heat that has been collected from inside your home. In order for it to do this, that cabinet has a powerful fan that draws cool air from the bottom and sides of the unit and then uses that air to disperse the heat through the top of the cabinet.
With that visual in mind, think about how piled leaves could effect how that component works. Piles of leaves at the bottom of the unit can choke off crucial airflow causing that unit to have a difficult time dispersing the latent heat from indoors. Blockages like that will cause a noticeable drop in the efficiency of your HVAC system. This in turn will cause more energy usage and declining performance.
Something else to consider is that your outdoor component is home to some of the most valuable components to the system such as the condenser coil and the compressor. They are large components and very costly to replace. Blockages caused by fallen leaves can over time cause damage to these components and cause you to have very expensive repair work.
What You Can Do
Protecting your outdoor HVAC unit is essential for keeping your system running efficiently throughout the year. Fortunately there are several simple and proactive things you can do yourself to keep your unit safe from leaf buildup.
Regularly rake your yard of fallen leaves and other debris.
Keep raked leaves bagged up to prevent the wind from blowing them everywhere.
Thoroughly inspect and clean your outdoor HVAC cabinet.
Use compressed air to blow out any leaves and debris found within.
Trim back overhanging limbs to keep leaves from falling through the fan vent.
Use an HVAC cover to protect your unit when it’s not in use.
Many of these steps can also be performed by a technician through our Dayton Cool Maintenance Program. Having a local expert perform regular maintenance has the added benefit of not only ensuring leaf build up is managed but also having experienced eyes look over your system for any wear and tear to components within the system. Call Dayton Heating and Air today to speak to an expert about our maintenance programs for Gainesville and the surrounding areas at 352-474-COOL.