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It’s Raining Cotton: Michigan HVAC Maintenance Tips


If you’re a Michigan native, chances are you’ve seen your fair share of cottonwood trees in the area. While pretty to look at, these trees are riddled with white, fuzzy seeds that can easily find themselves trapped in the coils of your outdoor AC unit.

This can cause serious efficiency issues for your system, leading to increased cooling costs for your home. These pesky seeds can even find their way into your indoor ductwork, worsening allergies and decreasing cleanliness.

Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do on your own to prevent cottonwood seeds from damaging your HVAC equipment. Read on to learn how you can control the effects of cottonwood on your heating and AC systems!

Cottonwood Trees & Your Outdoor HVAC Equipment

One of the most common places where cottonwood tree debris collects is in your outdoor AC unit’s coils. These fuzzy seeds gather together, essentially suffocating your air conditioner, making it work harder than normal to satisfy your comfort demands. This reduced system efficiency leads to sudden spikes in your cooling bills.

Preventing this problem is as easy as taking a garden hose to your outdoor unit. Using a spray nozzle attachment, hold the water at a 30º angle from the outside to allow the water to slide easily off the coils. By spraying at an angle, the coils will get cleaner more quickly.

Indoor Air Quality & Cottonwood Tree Debris

While outdoor unit care is essential for preventing decreased efficiency, cottonwood tree debris can also find its way into your indoor ductwork. Most homeowners don’t realize the air inside their homes can be up to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. That’s because allergens — such as cottonwood seeds — can get trapped inside your system.

If you suffer from allergies, there could be cottonwood remnants in your ductwork.

Improving your indoor air quality can be as simple as remembering to change your air filter. It’s important to note that because your air conditioner uses the airflow from your furnace to operate, you should always replace your furnace air filter in the summer months, just as you would during the winter.

If you live in an area with a particularly large population of cottonwood trees, you may wish to invest in a whole-home air purification solution, such as a HEPA purifier system.

Michigan HVAC Contractors for Your Cottonwood Clearing Needs

If you’re struggling to keep the cottonwood debris from impacting your Michigan home’s HVAC equipment, Ehlers Heating & Air Conditioning can help.

Our HVAC technicians have proudly served the region for over 50 years, making us uniquely capable of resolving issues specific to the cottonwood tree population and your heating and cooling equipment.

Ensure your equipment is clear of unwanted debris by scheduling HVAC service with us. Call (248) 579-2362 today!

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Properly maintained systems use 10%-15% less energy.
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