Fall and winter can be particularly dangerous times for debris collection around your Apple Valley or Victorville HVAC units. Why does this matter? Let’s take a look and see what you can do about it.
Why is Debris Dangerous?
Debris – including dust, leaves, grass clippings, needles, and more – can pose several dangers to your HVAC system. First, if you have an outdoor unit, then your coils need to be exposed to outside air to help exchange heat. This occurs thanks to the smooth metal surfaces of the coils and fins in your unit, but those surfaces need to stay clear and clean. As dust and dirt build up, the heat exchange process is compromised. What’s the result? A much slower heating/cooling process that impedes efficient operation and causes you more money.
Debris can cause other problems around the HVAC system, too. Airflow is very important to HVAC systems. Even grass and shrubs around the base of the unit can prevent proper airflow, eventually leading to lower efficiency. Also, keep in mind that the fan inside your unit will pull more dust and leaves into the ducts as it works, which can create even more serious clogs. You can see how a lack of airflow in your ducts would mean that your house isn’t heated or cooled as easily – or at all.
If you let debris pile up inside or outside the unit, it can also cause more permanent damage. This damage will not be covered by your warranty, so it can lead to some pricey repairs.
Cleaning Out Debris and Maintenance
Fortunately, cleaning out debris is a pretty simple job and usually a DIY project that doesn’t take too long. Keep an eye on your outdoor unit and clear away any piled-up debris on the sides and top of the unit. If performance seems to be low, take a look inside the unit for smaller debris that may have piled up and started trouble. Carefully remove blockages or piles.
That will take care of most issues with debris. It’s smart to do this basic maintenance more often in the fall and winter, especially after storms, since this is when leaves and trash tend to pile up. Remember, even snow can act as debris and block your unit!
If you have shrubs or grass that grows close to your unit, remove or cut it back and keep at least a couple feet between it and the unit for protection.
Bird nests may be a problem if you have exhaust hoods – often found on the roof if you own attic units – and should also be cleared out.
Be careful when cutting grass with something like a weed whacker – it can actually fling particles into the coils and fan as it works.
For careful work inside the unit, always remember to turn it off first. If you are uneasy working on your own coils or are not sure what to look for, contact us at Elite Climate Control by giving us a call.