Can Fall Leaves Affect Your Ducts?

Can Fall Leaves Affect Your Ducts?

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Ah, fall, that magical season when the trees treat us to a spectacular display of colour before shedding their leaves. Whether you embrace the beauty, or cringe at the thought of the great fall rake-up, every homeowner should take note of how the falling leaves can impact your ductwork and HVAC system.

We’re covering everything you need to know about what challenges leaves can pose to your home, and sharing some tips on how you can prevent damage to your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system this fall.

Leaves and Your Ducts

Those pretty leaves have a knack of finding their way into all the nooks and crannies around your home, and your outdoor HVAC unit and ductwork are no exception. Leaves can accumulate in and around your system, potentially causing a range of issues.

One of the most immediate concerns is the potential for leaves to block airflow. When leaves accumulate in your outdoor unit’s grille, they restrict the intake of air. This reduced airflow can affect your system’s efficiency and performance.

If leaves clog your system, your HVAC unit will have to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. You’ll wind up with reduced efficiency and higher bills, and may even see additional wear and tear on your system that contributes to performance issues.

Leaves that become wet due to rain or dew can also lead to moisture accumulation in your ducts…which can in turn contribute to other problems, like mold. Wet leaves are an ideal environment for mold and mildew growth, so it’s essential to keep them away from the components of your HVAC system, where they can negatively impact your indoor air quality.

Dry leaves are also a concern, though, especially if they get drawn directly into the system. When this happens, they can come into contact with electrical components and pose a serious fire hazard if there are any sparks present.

Avoiding Trouble

Want to avoid these or other problems around your home? It’s important to be proactive about dealing with falling leaves. Make it a routine to inspect your outdoor HVAC unit and ductwork for leaf accumulation, especially during the fall season. Regularly remove leaves and debris to ensure proper airflow and prevent moisture from building up.

If you have a mature yard or a neighbourhood filled with trees that are dropping leaves, you might want to consider installing a protective grille guard or cover over your outdoor unit. This can provide an effective barrier against leaves and other debris, ensuring continuous airflow.

Keep your trees and shrubs pruned to reduce the amount of leaves that fall directly onto your system. This includes trimming overhanging branches so they’re maintained at a safe distance to prevent leaves from getting too close.

If leaves clog your gutters, they can lead to water overflow that carries leaves and debris into your system. Take preventive action by ensuring that your gutters are cleaned regularly to allow for effective water removal without the risk of depositing leaves near or on your HVAC system.

Moving indoors, it’s also essential to properly seal and insulate your ducts so you minimize the chances of leaves infiltrating your system. This can also improve energy efficiency—and reduce your energy costs—by preventing heated or cooled air from escaping.

Lastly, make sure you enlist the services of a professional technician who can conduct regular maintenance and inspections, as well as check for leaf accumulation or other issues associated with seasonal changes.

Get a Jump on Those Fall Leaves

While there’s a lot to love about this season, it does require homeowners to be vigilant about maintaining outdoor spaces. Get a jump on it by raking up those leaves early, or better yet, inspire your kids to rake them for you and have a good jump in them.

By staying on top of leaf collection, you won’t have to worry about your HVAC system or connected ductwork when you’re ready to turn on your heat. Our proactive measures will help to keep your system leaf-free. And the best part? By maintaining its efficiency, you’ll also extend its lifespan and help keep your home comfortable with reduced energy costs.

Get set to fully embrace fall without worry by scheduling an annual duct cleaning appointment today, and feel confident that your family will enjoy excellent indoor air quality all winter.