When thinking about proper HVAC care, many people don’t consider outdoor hazards in their own backyard. Ignoring external HVAC threats could lead to dangerous malfunctions and frustrating breakdowns. Let’s help you take care of your heating and cooling equipment by listing the outdoor risks that are eagerly waiting to do a number on your system.


Storms pose a risk to your entire HVAC system. Lightning strikes can produce power surges, which can harm both the indoor and outdoor electrical parts of your system. When you know there’s a storm coming, turn off the system to help avoid damage.

Standing Water

Heavy rain can result in water pooling around your outdoor HVAC unit. Standing water can introduce foreign debris into the unit’s components as well as encourage mold growth. Your outdoor unit should be installed on a solid pad to elevate it a few inches above the ground. Additionally, make sure you provide adequate yard drainage around your unit.


Dirt can accumulate in the compressor and cover the AC coils. That could result in wear and tear as well as increased energy bills. Have an HVAC professional inspect and clean your compressor unit and coils periodically.

Local Wildlife

During the harsh Indianapolis winters, snakes, raccoons, squirrels, and other animals can choose to call your outdoor unit home. Their winter nests can lead to problems like damaged fan blades. Inspect your unit for pest infestations regularly — particularly when you’re planning to turn it on for the first time.

Schedule preventive maintenance during the spring and fall. That will facilitate the removal of nesting material and debris before the summer and help keep pests out of your unit in the winter.


Overgrowing plants near your outdoor unit can block airflow and even deposit plant debris, such as dead leaves, in the fan mechanism. Keep a 2- to 3-foot clearance between the unit and flowers, shrubs, and any other plant life.

Protect your heating and cooling equipment from these external HVAC threats to prevent significant repair bills and to help extend your system’s life span. If you need preventive maintenance or more advice on dealing with these threats in the Indianapolis area, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.