Depending on where your family lives in the United States, it can still be warm enough during the fall to use your cooling system. Although the season is warm, it can still produce windy conditions. Wind can blow leaves inside your outdoor condenser unit and clog it up. A clogged condenser unit can overheat and potentially fail. Here's how simple leaves can cause problems with your condenser unit and how you can prevent these issues.
How Can Leaves Affect Your Condenser Unit?
During the fall, many trees drop or shed their leaves in preparation for the cold season. Leaves can blow all over your property when the weather becomes windy. Along with dirt and dead insects, some of these leaves can blow inside your condenser unit and block it.
The condenser coil is covered with small openings called fins. In order for hot air to pass through the openings, they must be clean and free of debris. Leaves die once they fall from trees. The decaying leaves and other debris can clog up the fins, which causes heated air to back up inside the condenser unit.
The heat inside the unit doesn't just go away or cool down over time. Instead, the heat cycles back to the compressor unit sitting at the bottom of the unit. The compressor can become hot enough to overheat and shut down.
How Do You Keep Leaves Out of the Unit?
One of the easiest things you can do to keep leaves out of your condenser unit is rake them up as soon as they fall from your trees. Try to avoid using anything that could potentially blow leaves toward your condenser unit, including a leaf blower. Also, don't allow piles of leaves to sit on your property. Discard the piles of leaves in a sealed trash can or bag instead.
If your condenser unit does clog up with debris and overheats, contact an air conditioning or HVAC contractor for help. Even if you clean the unit yourself, you still want to ensure that it works properly. A contractor can inspect the unit and its parts to see if they sustained any type of internal damage from the overheating or blockages.
After a contractor checks your unit, monitor it carefully. Remove any leaves from the coil or around the base of the condenser unit as soon as you notice them.
If you have questions about your condenser unit or how to keep it safe during the season, contact an HVAC specialist right away.