Your HVAC system’s outdoor unit houses components that play key roles in cooling your living space: the condenser coil and the compressor. Since the outdoor unit is often located where it’s hidden from view, you may not notice when grass cuttings, fallen leaves, seed pods and other yard debris build up around or are blown inside the cabinet.
If the situation isn’t remedied, that collected debris can:
- Restrict airflow through the condenser coil and inhibit essential heat transfer.
- Increase the workload on the compressor, which can shorten its useful service life.
- Erode your cooling system’s efficiency and increase your energy bills.
How to Deal With Debris Like Fallen Leaves
There are various ways to avoid problems with your HVAC system caused by accumulated leaves and other yard debris:
- Use a custom-fitted cover. Buy a cover for the unit that’s customized for your particular equipment brand and model. This kind of cover has integrated air vents to keep rust from forming on the unit, and it’s specifically designed to keep out yard debris, dirt and dust.
- Winterize the unit. When it’s time to switch over to heating for the winter months, get the outdoor unit prepared by shutting down its power supply at the circuit breaker and the dedicated shutoff switch located outdoors. Clean up any dead vegetation and miscellaneous debris around the unit and inside the cabinet, and then put on the fitted cover. In the spring before the next cooling season begins, tidy up any debris that has accumulated around the unit, take off the cover and switch the power back on.
- Invest in an extra layer of year-round protection. If you’d like to keep debris buildup inside the unit to a minimum all year long, invest in a screen filter. These affordable, washable filters fit around the outside of the unit and they’re effective as keeping out all sorts of yard debris while allowing ample airflow through the condenser coil.
For more advice on how to protect your Coastal Bend home’s outdoor HVAC unit from the effects of yard debris like fallen leaves, contact us today at CCAC.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.
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