Cottonwood – The Scourge of Indianapolis Area Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps

By: Brian Schutt  |  June 18, 2014

Last week my 2 year old son was looking out the window, and exclaimed “Snow”! Given the winter we just had and his limited vocabulary, I can’t blame the guy. Especially with the way the cottonwood has been falling this year, we’ve almost had accumulation on the ground like it was snow (see picture).


Far worse than confusing a toddler, cottonwood seems to be swallowed up by air conditioners and heat pumps that channel air through the outside of the systems.

Because it blows around so easily, it can also get entangled very easily. The condenser coils run on the exterior of your air conditioner, and the cottonwood limits air flow across those coils. The primary issue will be a drop in efficiency and cooling capacity of the system. The far worse issue is that it can lead to the mechanical components like the compressor to overheat, and cause the system to fail. You don’t want that to happen, and we don’t want to take that call.

To illustrate the issue, below you’ll see a system that Homesense installed only three weeks ago, and Cottonwood in Carrier air conditioner Carmel Indianait’s already becoming stopped up with Cottonwood.

If your system looks anything like this, the process is fairly simple to fix.

1) Shut your system off

2) Get regular hose (not power washer).

3) Spray system exterior from top to bottom, washing the cottonwood to the bottom of system.

4) Turn system on.




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