Autumn is a beautiful time of year in part because of the changing colors of the leaves that eventually fall to the ground. But these beautiful fall leaves can wreak havoc on your outdoor HVAC unit if the leaves infiltrate the system.
In order to avoid HVAC repairs later, take time this fall to maintain your unit with important seasonal HVAC maintenance.
Leaves Can Damage Your Outdoor HVAC Unit
For those who own a heater that uses an electric heat pump, cleaning out the outdoor compressor is a very important task to complete before winter. This is because with an electric heat pump the outdoor compressor is used to generate heat for your indoor air. Some people may mistake this as the AC running in winter, but rest assured your outdoor HVAC unit should run while cooling and heating your home when using an electric heat pump.
If leaves and other debris clutter the compressor then your HVAC unit will not run efficiently. This can lead to uncomfortable indoor temperatures, HVAC wear and tear, and high energy-costs.
Preventing Damage to Your HVAC System
By cleaning your outdoor HVAC unit you’ll be able to prevent future damage that could occur due to leaves and debris in the system. Before you do anything in terms of maintenance make sure to turn off the power to your AC. Do this by turning off the power in the breaker box inside your home and by turning off power on the outside switch near the compressor/condenser.
Once power is off you can begin maintenance on your unit:
- Remove Debris. Once you’ve turned off the power and opened up the outdoor unit you should be able to easily access the floor of the compressor/condenser. You’ll probably find a lot of leaves and debris there. Take time to clean this area out by hand or with a wet/dry vacuum.
- Clean the Walls. The walls of your outdoor unit serve as a filter. You’ll see that the walls are made up of thin fins that prevent debris from entering the system. Over time these fins can get covered in dirt and grime. Use a water hose or a fin cleaning spray to clean this area.
- Clear the Surrounding Area. Upon cleaning the interior of the system, clear the surrounding area of any foliage or debris that might hinder the efficiency of your HVAC system. Leave about 2-feet of clearance around the outdoor unit to give it plenty of room to work effectively.
For more information about cleaning out leaves from your HVAC system, contact an experienced local HVAC service company like Richmond’s Air in Houston, TX.