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How To Protect Your AC Unit From Leaves

Dirty Air Conditioning Unit Covered In Leaves During Autumn

The chilly winter feels, chirping birds, and falling leaves are signs of the beautiful fall season. As charming as it may seem, it is not an ideal season for your outdoor AC unit.

Many falling leaves inside your outdoor unit can cause blockage in airflow, overheat your compressor and affect the efficiency of your appliance.

You must be tired of finding a bundle of fallen leaves daily in your unit and wondering how to prevent this mess.


It is possible to protect your outdoor AC unit from falling leaves by following easy tips:

  • Use an AC cover.
  • Place a piece of plywood.
  • Regular Maintenance.

If you dread the fall season, read further to learn DIY tips to protect your outdoor AC unit from falling leaves.

4 Ways To Protect Your AC From Falling Leaves

As mentioned earlier, falling leaves are hazardous for your AC unit. It can block the airflow and result in poor performance. On top of that, it can also overheat the compressor and cause severe damage.

If you want to prevent the accumulation of leaves in your unit, follow the tips below:

1. Build a Shed

An Outdoor Air Conditioner Ac Unit Placed On The Ground At A Garden Within A Small Protective Utility Shed

Building a shed is one of the easiest ways to prevent leaves from falling into your AC unit. It will protect your outdoor unit from rain, UV sun rays, and falling leaves.

A covered shed also accumulates lesser dirt and performs efficiently for longer. Just keep in mind to maintain an ample distance between the AC vents and the shed to maintain optimal airflow.

2. Use an AC Cover

House Air Conditioning Unit With Protective Cover During Fall Season

Covering your AC when not in use is also a great option to protect it from snow, rain, and leaves.

However, always use a breathable cover made of mesh to avoid moisture buildup, causing rust and mold growth.

Keeping your AC covered from all sides is never a good idea, as rodents and squirrels can also start living in warm, secure places during winters causing your unit more harm than falling leaves.

It is better to use a cover only to protect the top grille of the unit and keep the side vents open.

3. Place a Piece of Plywood

Air Conditioning Unit Mounted To A Piece Of Plywood

If you don’t want to spend a dime on getting an AC cover, place a piece of plywood at the top grille of the unit to prevent falling leaves from entering.

It is a time and cost-effective option that can yield the same results.

Remove the plywood piece and examine the AC outdoors occasionally to check the accumulation of debris or dirt inside.

4. Regular Maintenance

Young Male Engineer Or Mechanic Repair Conditioner With Screwdriver

Regular maintenance is the best way to prevent leaves from entering your unit. Occasionally calling an expert to clean the appliance is a great idea.

You can also remove the side panels and clean leaves and debris accumulating inside. Use compressed air to blow out debris, place the panels back, and you are good to go.


Falling leaves accumulate in your outdoor unit and become a nuisance. They can block the airflow and result in overheating and low performance.

If you want to keep your unit away from leaves, use a cover to protect it. Regular maintenance and cleaning are also great ideas.

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