Fall in Ohio means cooler weather, and leaves are changing - then falling. But you don’t want the fall fun to become a headache come winter. Here are tips on why you should keep leaves out of your HVAC system.
How Leaves Are A Nuisance
While, typically, brown leaves collecting on the ground is a sign of fall, it’s also a sign of potential damage to your outdoor HVAC unit. You’ve likely noticed that the unit has large openings on top to manage airflow, which are perfect for fallen leaves to nest.
When that happens, the leaves will block or get tangled in different elements of the HVAC unit, like the compressor or condenser coil. When they collect in large amounts, it only amplifies the problem.
When leaves are in the way, they block the free flow of air through your system. Imagine trying to use a fan at home and covering half of it - you’d get a lower performance and would likely not be happy.
Not only does blocked airflow means less air, but it means higher bills for you. The blockage causes the system to run harder and use more energy, costing you more money for weaker performance.
As your unit uses more energy and has leaves weighing down its parts, there is a significant amount of wear-and-tear added than there would normally be. It could also damage the components, giving you unnecessary repairs to take care of.
How to Keep Leaves Away
The best option is to prevent leaves from getting in your unit in the first place. Keep bushes or trees at least two feet away, and keep up with their trimmings.
Also, keep your eyes on the unit periodically to make sure leaves haven’t blown inside. It’s nearly impossible to keep 100% of leaves out, but the sooner you catch them, the sooner it can be cleaned and brought back to normal. And regular maintenance on your system will detect any problems that may come around, including pesky leaves.