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.