How to Keep Leaves Out of a Central Air Conditioner

The cool air from your central air conditioning is pulled in from the ample supply outdoors.

Sweep leaves and debris away from your unit.Sweep leaves and debris away from your unit.
Occasionally, along with the fresh air, a few leaves, blades of grass, and other debris get sucked or blown into the unit. Accumulated debris of this kind can reduce your air conditioner's efficiency and raise your electricity bill. There are several steps that you can take to keep the leaves out of your air conditioner. All are cost effective and will take up just a few minutes of your time.

Turn off the power to the air conditioning unit.

Open the side panel in your air conditioner (look in your user manual for instructions if you're unsure how).

Sweep the leaves out of the interior of the outdoor unit.

Rake up the leaves and other debris around the air conditioning unit. Keep the leaves at least two feet away from the base of the unit at all times.

Place an air conditioner cover over the outdoor unit in the off-season. This will keep blowing leaves and other debris out of the unit in fall and winter. You must remove the cover before you turn the unit back on. This option is best for seasonal climates when temperatures drop far enough to allow you to turn the unit off.

Place a wrap-around air conditioning filter around the unit. This inexpensive cover will not only keep leaves out but also dirt, allergens, and other debris.

Things You Will Need

  • Broom
  • Air conditioner cover
  • Air conditioner filter

About the Author

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.