Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Leaves and Your Home’s HVAC System

Leaves and Your Home's HVAC SystemJust because the condenser for the air conditioner sits outdoors exposed to weather, it doesn’t mean that this essential air conditioning component doesn’t need outdoor HVAC unit protection. The condenser performs two essential jobs to cool your home. It compresses the refrigerant that makes cooling possible and secondly, it cools the refrigerant after it’s done its job indoors.

Although anything that collects near the condenser or sits on top of it interferes with its performance, the most common culprits are the leaves that collect on top of, inside and around it. The leaves can interfere with the free flow of air through the condenser’s coils and fins, which drives up cooling costs. It’s especially important to keep the leaves and debris away if you use a heat pump, which works year-round for cooling and heating.

Solutions to Leaf Buildups

Remove any overhanging branches from trees or shrubs. Besides cutting down the amount of leaf litter around the condenser, you’ll be lowering the risk of damage to your home in the event of a strong wind.

Consider covering the condenser for the winter. You can find air conditioner covers online or through your HVAC professional. It will give you the best outdoor HVAC unit protection and might be a practical solution if you won’t turn the A/C on all winter. Keep an eye on the condenser during the winter to be sure mice don’t nest inside it.

Covering the condenser isn’t an option if you use a heat pump, since the condenser runs whenever you need heat. Learn to remove the outside panels for the condenser and manually clean it out. Use care around the coil and fins. Bent fins will slow the refrigerant cooling process and increase energy bills.

If you would like more information about outdoor HVAC unit protection, contact the experts at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We’ve provided trusted HVAC services for Yuma-area homeowners since 1950.

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 other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.