When you are cleaning the leaves out of an AC unit, you need to clean the outside and surrounding area, as well as inside the unit.
Installing a larger AC unit, like a central air or HVAC system in your house has many drawbacks and benefits to consider.
One of the drawbacks is that you will have to clean the leaves from the outside and inside of your air conditioner unit and take other steps to prevent leaves from accumulating.
The pros and cons of outdoor AC units
Although central air and HVAC air conditioning (AC) systems can be expensive and complicated to install, they are powerful enough to cool down all of the rooms in your home and may be more energy-efficient than smaller units.
Unlike portable and window air conditioning units, these bigger systems are often split between an indoor and an outdoor unit.
This makes their ventilation and drainage automatic, but it also means that issues and errors may occur in a number of places or components throughout the system.
Cleaning leaves out of an AC unit
One of the other drawbacks of one of these larger AC systems is that once the seasons start changing and the leaves begin falling, there is quite a lot of debris and leaves that will accumulate in your AC unit.
In order to clean these leaves, sticks, and other kinds of debris out of an outdoor AC unit, you need to ensure that the power supply to your AC unit is turned off.
The safest way to do this is to ensure that the breaker switch is turned off and that the outdoor power switch is turned off.
After the power has been switched off, you can clean any large leaves and dirt sticking out on the outside of the unit. You can also clear away any foliage that may be growing too close to your AC and clear away a space around the unit.
Once the outside has been cleaned, you can unscrew the top or sides of your outdoor AC unit, spray it down and scoop out any leaves that may have managed to get through the gaps in the unit into the inside of the outdoor AC unit.
There are steps that you can take to ensure that your outdoor AC stays clean of leaves in the future, so that you will not have to clean out the leaves as often.
Cleaning leaves out of the outside and surrounds of your AC unit
The first step in cleaning leaves out of your AC unit is to inspect the sides and the top of the unit for any large leaves, sticks, mud, or other debris that may be stuck on the outside of the unit and remove them.
Many AC units have plastic grates and filters to prevent debris from falling into the unit, which means that the larger leaves often get stuck here.
While you are moving around your AC unit, you can trim back any foliage or branches that are growing too close to your unit. You can also rake up any leaves that are lying on the ground near the unit, to prevent them from being blown into the unit at a later stage.
For this step you need:
- Gardening gloves to protect your hands
- Heavy duty bags to dispose of the leaves and debris
- Gardening shears for trimming and pruning foliage
- A rake to gather the leaves surrounding the unit
Cleaning leaves out of the inside of your AC unit
In order to get the leaves that accumulate at the bottom on the inside of your outdoor AC unit out, you need to remove the bolts that hold the top panel or side panel of the unit in place using a wrench of the appropriate size.
Then you can spray down the inside of your unit using a garden hose and a spray nozzle attachment, which has a low-pressure spray function, like this Zoflaro 100ft Expandable Garden Hose with 10 Function Spray Nozzle.
If any of the leaves and debris was not flushed out, you can scoop it out using your hands or with a leaf scoop.
How to prevent leaves from getting into your AC unit
The best way to ensure that leaves do not get into your outdoor air conditioning unit, and that you will not have to clean these leaves, is by ensuring that there is at least two feet of clear space around the unit at all times.
You can also purchase an outdoor AC unit leaf cover, like this Modern Wave one, which will ensure that leaves cannot fall into the inside of the external AC unit.
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