Mechanical Insights

Protecting Your HVAC Systems from the 2024 Cicada Swarm in Maryland

Apr 21, 2021 11:17:04 AM / by Tate Engineering

Protecting Your HVAC Systems from the 2024 Cicada Swarm-blog

As the cicadas prepare to emerge in the Mid-Atlantic states, homes and businesses are bracing for the onslaught of these loud, chirping insects. However, the challenges go beyond just the noise—they can wreak havoc on your HVAC systems, making it essential to take preventive measures now to ensure your comfort and system efficiency during their invasion.

Prepare for the Pests

Cicadas are a threat to your HVAC systems, and during the season when you need it most, you can’t have a bunch of bugs clogging it up. Some preventative maintenance, and preparation now, can help you to ensure that you stay cool and away from the nasty bugs. The following equipment (all parts of your HVAC system) will be the most in need of attention.

Cooling Towers

Your HVAC system’s cooling towers, which are exposed to the open air, are at serious risk of getting clogged with bugs (and yes, there will be large clumps of the dead ones). What does this mean for your system? Lower efficiency, less air flow (and the air that gets in will have gone through dead bugs) and clogged water strainers. In fact, they can actually clog the system up enough to cause issues in only one day - so be ready to clear them out on a frequent basis.

Evaporative Condensers

The condensers are a big part of modern HVAC systems, and extremely helpful in reducing the needed power of, and improving the efficiency of, your overall system. A cicada swarm, especially in large numbers, will block the airflow, clog water strainers and cause major issues with the compressors and motors, which will wear your system down. Not only will the system need more power, it’ll go under more and more strain due to the bugs clogging up essential components.

On top of that, get ready to see clogged heat exchangers - which will mean a tougher time staying cool in the first place. Your system, due to these bugs, will have to strain more and more to properly transfer heat (and you don’t want that in the middle of the hot summer, with all of the equipment at your facility on).

Air Handling Units

Of course these units are one of the most important parts of your HVAC system, especially when you need that fresh, cool air during the summer. If these units get clogged by the cicadas,and the internal filters get filled up with bug parts, you’re looking at IAQ problems - which could be hazardous to the health of occupants.

Cooling Tower Maintenance: The Ins and Outs to Gear Up for Spring

What to Do

We can’t stop the cicadas from coming (as much as we’d all like to), but we can prepare our HVAC systems now in several ways.

  • Setting up protective screens around your outside equipment, especially the intake units and cooling towers, can help prevent insects from entering.
  • Consider setting up an additional late spring PM inspection inspections to address any potential issues before the cicada swarm hits.
  • Clean water strainers frequently and change filters regularly to prevent buildup of dead bugs and ensure system efficiency.

Related: Do You Know How to Clean Air Filters

Don't Let the Cicadas Bug You:

Don’t get bugged by the cicadas this summer - stay cool and stay in control with help from Tate Engineering. Give us a call today for assistance in safeguarding your HVAC system against the worst that the cicada invasion can bring. Let us help you stay comfortable and worry-free during this natural phenomenon.

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Tags: HVAC, Seasonal, Maintenance

Written by Tate Engineering