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How to Protect Your Air Conditioner From Cottonwood

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The transition from spring to summer brings about many things, one of which is cottonwood “snow,” or fibers from cottonwood trees that can damage your air conditioning system. In today’s post, residential heating repair contractor Shackelford Heating & Cooling shares a quick guide on how to protect your air conditioner from cottonwood.

How Can Cottonwood Damage Your Air Conditioner?

As cottonwood trees pollinate, they release small tufts of cotton that settle on the ground, which creates a couple of problems:

It triggers allergies — Cottonwood tufts contain pollen, which can trigger allergies in some people. Symptoms include sneezing, nasal congestion and itchy eyes. Pollen can also get into and circulate within homes that have inefficient air filtration systems.

It can get into the air conditioner coils — The air conditioner’s condenser coil is housed in the outdoor HVAC unit. It’s not a sealed enclosure, as the condenser coil requires vents to expel large amounts of heat. When bits of cotton get into the enclosure, they can latch onto the condenser coils and cooling fins, creating an unwelcome layer of insulation. This can result in increased wear on the HVAC system and lead to a breakdown.

Have the HVAC System Professionally Cleaned

If you notice tufts of cotton on the ground, call your heating and air conditioning service technician as soon as possible. Some people may recommend DIY cleaning — in fact, there are many videos online on how to do this — but cottonwood isn’t like dirt or grime. Cottonwood tufts also contain seeds that may end up driven deeper into the outdoor unit, or even the electrical components.

Cleaning your air conditioner yourself can result in irreversible damage. Also, DIY repairs can void your warranty. HVAC technicians, on the other hand, are trained to handle such problems, have the proper equipment to ensure thorough cleaning and will make sure that it won’t affect your warranty coverage.

Call Shackelford for Your Heating and Cooling Needs

Shackelford Heating & Cooling is your leading provider of HVAC services, including air conditioning repair services. Give us a call at (608) 530-0667 to learn more about our services. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.


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