How Fallen Leaves Affect Your HVAC SystemAutumn can bring gorgeous colors to our trees here in Indiana, but fallen leaves can also create some problems for homeowners. Like other kinds of yard debris, leaves pose a hazard to your HVAC equipment. Here are the most common issues and how to prevent them:

Problems Fallen Leaves Can Cause

  • Obstructed furnace intake and exhaust pipes — Many furnaces now have PVC intake/exhaust pipes leading to the outside of the home. These should be fitted with screens to keep wildlife out. However, don’t count on a screen to prevent blockages. These pipes can still easily become blocked with fallen leaves or other yard debris.
  • Clogged compressor – When leaves enter the outdoor unit that houses the compressor, this can create problems later for your air conditioning system. Leaf debris reduces airflow, clogs condenser coils and invites mold and bacteria growth. If you use a heat pump for heating instead of a furnace, a clogged compressor will cause more immediate problems. It will mean colder indoor temperatures, higher heating costs and a lot of wear and tear on the system.

The Solution

  • Rake leaves at least once a week and discard them. Make sure you rake in the direction away from furnace intake or outtake pipes and the outdoor HVAC unit to prevent inadvertently spraying dirt and debris towards them.
  • Schedule professional HVAC cleaning as part of seasonal preventive maintenance for your heating and cooling system. HVAC technicians have the knowledge and experience to safely clean exterior and interior parts to keep things running safely and efficiently.
  • Avoid planting plants, trees, or shrubs too close to HVAC units or pipes. Try to keep at least a 3-foot cleared area around the compressor at all times.
  • If leaves fall directly on top of the outdoor unit, consider using a protective cover. Consult your HVAC technician for recommendations.

For more information about fallen leaves and your HVAC system, please contact us at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Kaz/Pixabay”