Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

How Fallen Leaves Affect Your Home’s HVAC

How Fallen Leaves Affect Your Home's HVACYour outdoor HVAC unit contains two components, the indoor unit and outdoor condenser that are essential for cooling your home. The condensing unit is typically situated where it’s the least visible outside, so when fallen leaves, grass clippings and other vegetation debris collect around it or get blown inside, you may not notice right away.

Any amount of debris buildup can block airflow through the condenser and slow heat transfer. This forces the compressor to work harder, which lowers its efficiency, increases your cooling costs and can shorten its lifespan.

You can remedy the problem by taking the following steps to keep your outdoor unit debris-free:

Protect Your Outdoor Unit During the Winter Months

How to best protect your outdoor unit throughout the year depends on whether your home has a split-system central air conditioner, or a heat pump:

  • Air conditioner. Since your A/C isn’t used in the winter, you can cut power to the outdoor unit via its shut off switch and also at the breaker in your main electrical panel. Then, clear away any dead leaves and yard debris from around the unit, lift off the top or side panel and vacuum or blow out any accumulations inside. Just remember to restore power next spring before cooling season begins.
  • Heat pump. If you own a heat pump, the outdoor unit works year round to both heat and cool your home. This makes it vital to perform periodic checks for fallen leaves and other yard debris and clean up any that accumulate, both inside and outside the unit. For safety, shut the unit down at the breaker before you vacuum or use your blower to tidy up inside the cabinet.

Take Extra Care With Your Landscaping

If there are tall trees near the outdoor unit, trim back any overhanging branches so fewer leaves fall nearby. When you mow, always direct the discharge away from the unit so that grass cuttings don’t get blown inside.

For more tips on how to protect the HVAC unit outside your Yuma home from fallen leaves and other debris, contact us today at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about fall maintenance and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Kaz/Pixabay”