If you want to ensure that your home’s air conditioning helps you cartwheel into the fall, there are some actions you need to take to avoid any disruptions. With fall right around the corner, many people are jumping for joy and excitement about the changing colors and temperatures, but unfortunately, the falling leaves can cause issues for your HVAC system. Should you clean the outside portion of your HVAC system this fall and throughout the year? Let’s review.
What is the Outside Portion of Your HVAC System?
If you have central cooling and HVAC, odds are you can’t really miss the outside portion of your system. The outdoor unit consists of the compressor, refrigerant lines, condenser coils, and fan. The indoor unit's evaporator coil absorbs excess heat from the home's air. That heat is then transferred to the condenser coils, which release it outside. After the heat is released, the cooled refrigerant flows back to absorb more. This part of your HVAC system is key to your home’s comfort.
Regular cleaning of the outdoor unit is essential to prolong the air conditioner's life and to ensure your unit functions as it should. Keeping the outside of your AC unit clean is super important, because good airflow is the key factor that enables the outdoor unit to release the heat, and it can even help reduce the amount you pay each month for air conditioning.
Should you Clean the Outside Portion of Your HVAC System?
We have already given the answer to this question away, yes, you should clean the outside portion of your HVAC system, but the truth is, many people don’t think about this until it is too late. The fall and spring are two of the most important times in the year to check and clear around your unit. With spring comes new growth and with fall there is more debris and leaves flying through the air. Homeowners should ensure periodic cleaning of the outdoor unit and take precautions to keep the area around it free from any debris.
As leaves and other items fall off trees and blow through the air, they can build up on your AC condenser and that can cause issues. A dirty condenser can cause your air conditioning to blow warm air and shorten the life of your AC unit. Airflow blockages to your condenser can damage portions of your HVAC system, including the condenser coil and AC compressor.
Below we review some things you can do to protect the outside portion of your HVAC system from a potentially costly repair and ensure that it continues to function as it should.
- Keep your yard and area around your unit clear of overgrown greenery and plants, fallen leaves, and other debris. Trim branches of trees, bushes, shrubs, and grass on a regular basis to prevent them from overtaking or from dropping items in or on the condenser. Also, rake regularly to reduce the number of leaves in the area and the potential for them to blow onto or in your unit.
- During the spring and fall particularly, you should regularly check your HVAC unit for leaves and other overgrown or blown debris. Items can easily find their way to your unit and may need cleaned off. It’s a good practice to check your outside unit weekly to ensure no nest have been built there or other obstructions may be blocking the airflow.
- If you find overgrown greenery, leaves, and/or other debris on or in your unit, you should clean them off/out. One way to do so is to use compressed air to blow out the debris found within your unit. WikiHow has provided some tips for cleaning the outside of an AC unit.
- Scheduling regular HVAC maintenance can help you avoid any unwanted or unexpected breakdowns due to blockages or other issues with the outside portion of your HVAC. It is always recommended to have a professional HVAC technician review and clean your unit to ensure it is done properly and no damage is caused to your HVAC system.
When it comes to if you should clean the outside portion of your HVAC system, the answer is, “Yes”. This part of your unit is essential to your home’s comfort and your air conditioning working as it should.
If you find yourself with heating or cooling problems in Marin, Sonoma, or Napa County, Bragg Cooling, Heating & Plumbing can help. When it comes to your comfort, you deserve the best solutions at the best value. All of our technicians and installers are Bragg employees dedicated to providing you with personalized solutions that meet your goals and budget. Contact us today.