Depending on where you live in the DC area, your neighborhood may currently be overrun with Brood II cicadas – the red-eyed insects that emerge out of the ground in large numbers for around six weeks every 13 or 17 years to mate, lay eggs, and die. While they are harmless (if perhaps a little annoying to some, and gross to others), cicadas can cause some problems to the outdoor elements of your HVAC system if you’re not vigilant.
What kind of HVAC damage can these little critters cause? First and foremost, it is believed that cicadas are attracted to the noise that cooling towers make – perhaps they are confusing it for their telltale mating call? As a result, they can clog cooling tower air intakes and internal filters, which in turn leads to decreased airflow. This can have a direct affect on your air quality.
In addition, your energy costs may increase, because your HVAC equipment has to work harder to accommodate for the decreased airflow.
There are a few steps you can take to prevent HVAC damage due to cicadas. Be on the lookout for clogs in and around cooling towers, and change your filters more frequently.
Of course, you should contact a qualified HVAC contractor if you feel like you need extra help managing the influx of cicadas. A professional can help clear your HVAC systems by flushing cooling tower strainers, removing debris from internal filters, and more. SSI’s contractors are standing by, ready to assist you in ensuring that the cicadas are no more than a minor nuisance. Give us a call today!