While most HVAC systems are designed to be placed outdoors, they’re not impervious to external threats. In today’s post, local heating service provider Modern Air Solutions discusses common external threats to your HVAC system’s health.
Most types of HVAC systems with outdoor units are water resistant, which means they can withstand rain and a light dusting of snow. However, they aren’t waterproof, and therefore aren’t designed to be submerged. Water damage to electrical components can result in an electrical short that affects the rest of the house.
One of the reasons why you should leave installation work to a certified air conditioning installation technician is that they would already have thought of having a raised pad or platform installed prior to HVAC installation. If you didn’t know about the flooding problem until after the fact, it’s best to address the causes—leaky or overflowing gutters and improper drainage—as soon as possible. This is beneficial not only to your HVAC system but also to the areas surrounding your house, particularly the foundation.
A falling tree limb or an inexpertly thrown baseball can land on the outdoor unit and hit the HVAC unit’s outer housing. Standard outdoor units have upper fans oriented at the top—which helps vent warm air more efficiently—and the grilles or fan blades could be damaged if hit by a large enough object. Trimming the trees surrounding your house is a three-in-one solution: it helps reduce the risk of damage to your HVAC system, prevent damage to the roof caused by sharp branches and stop small animals from accessing your roof.
Speaking of small animals, outdoor HVAC units can be attractive to nesting animals like birds, possums and raccoons. Open vent pipes are usually warm enough to attract birds that build nests on or near it. This can result in pipe blockage that can cause carbon monoxide to build up in your living spaces.
Regular inspections can help prevent animals from building nests in the first place. If you find a nest that’s already occupied, leave it alone and consult a professional. Some animal species are protected by law, and some may be carrying pathogens that are dangerous to humans.