The recent Woolsey and Hill fires have impacted thousands of residents all across the Simi Valley area. If your home hasn’t suffered damage as a result of the blaze, there’s still a pretty strong chance you could be feeling some effects of the tragedy in ways you may not be thinking of. In addition to causing immense destruction, the wildfire released tons of smoke, ash, soot, and dust into the air, blanketing the area and causing a large amount of extra burden for your heating and cooling equipment.
Your HVAC system is capable of filtering out dust and debris from the air, however high concentrations of large particles (conditions which a wildfire can cause) can result in inefficient operation, bad indoor air quality, and even a permanent impact on various components you otherwise depend on. And that can lead to consequences that nobody wants to have to deal with.
Clogged Air Filter
A clogged air filter is probably the least severe of the effects that a wildfire can have on your HVAC system. Even if you keep your doors and windows shut while the ash, soot, smoke, dust, and other airborne debris swirls outside, it’s possible for small amounts to find their way inside when you open your door to enter or exit, on your shoes, in your hair, or even riding on your clothing. Air leaks can also allow this air to find its way in.
Your HVAC air filter can strain this debris out, but it will contribute to your air filter filling up faster and needing changed more frequently. An air filter that’s too dirty is both ineffective at removing the debris and inefficient, preventing your blower motors from pulling the necessary air through to properly heat or cool your home.
Your ductwork can feel the impact of a fire as well. Debris which is pulled through your air filter can become stuck in your air ducts, resulting in reduced air quality. To make matters worse, if it becomes stuck in an area where moisture is present, the organic nature of this material makes it a feasting ground for the spread of mold. Believe it or not, mold is a common sight after a major fire, especially when the carbon-loaded debris mixes with moisture from rain.
Your outdoor unit of your air conditioner or heat pump also feels the impact from the debris as well. Being left outside means it’s likely going to be exposed to a deluge of ash and soot falling from the sky, which can then get caught in your compressor unit and cause some issues. Notably, the debris can get stuck in your outdoor unit’s cooling fins, preventing air from passing through, which prevents the fan from being able to cool your refrigerant. It can also interfere with heat collection, which could prevent you from staying warm when the weather cools off.
Cleaning Out Your HVAC System
At RR Electric, Heating and Air, we understand how the community has been impacted, and we’re doing our part to help life get back to normal for everyone. We strongly encourage you to give us a call and have us clean out your ducts and your HVAC equipment in order to ensure that it’s running smoothly and efficiently again. It doesn’t take much for a catastrophe like these wildfires to have a lasting impact on your HVAC system, and the last thing you want to do is shorten its lifespan or cause a major problem to develop because of the high amount of ash that has found its way inside.
We offer everything from furnace and air conditioning maintenance services to duct cleaning, which can remove the debris from your system, keep important elements clean and working properly, and even help your system run more efficiently!
Schedule your appointment by calling RR Electric, Heating & Air at (805) 900-0123 and speaking with our Thousand Oaks HVAC repairs company today!