5 Common Threats to Your HVAC Unit

The outdoor portion of your HVAC system is usually the compressor or the condenser. This is the heart of your central air system. Protecting this crucial piece of equipment from the most common outdoor hazards can extend the life of your system and prevent major repair bills. Here are some of the biggest threats to your outdoor condenser or compressor unit in the Central Tennessee area.


Although normal rain is unlikely to cause issues, pools of standing water around your outdoor unit can cause serious damage to your HVAC system. These situations can occur after heavy localized rainfall or flooding in your area. Calling your local heating and air conditioning company will help you to resolve these issues and to minimize the effects of water on the function of your condenser or compressor.


Severe weather in our area can produce hail, high winds, and lightning. Each of these elements presents its own risks to your outdoor HVAC unit:

  • Hail can create dents or damage to the outside casing of your condenser that could prevent the fan blades from spinning freely.

  • High winds alone are unlikely to do much damage to your outdoor unit. If these winds bring down branches and trees or scatter debris on your property, however, they could cause serious damage to your unit that must be repaired before it can be used safely.

  • Lightning can sometimes produce dangerous power surges that could affect the electrical components of your HVAC system both indoors and out.

After a major storm, it is always a good idea to schedule an inspection with a reputable and established local HVAC company before turning on your air conditioning unit. This can often spare you some significant repair bills for your outdoor equipment.

Local Wildlife

During the winter months, your outdoor unit could be an attractive home for a variety of animals:

  • Snakes may seek out the relative warmth and quiet of the condenser or compressor to survive the winter in the Middle Tennessee area.

  • In some cases, birds may make nests inside the compressor. This is especially likely if there are large holes or gaps in the outside case of the unit.

  • Squirrels, raccoons and other small furry creatures may also build nests in the outdoor HVAC unit during the winter months.

Scheduling preventive maintenance in the fall and spring will typically provide added help in keeping animals out of your HVAC unit during the winter and in removing any debris or nesting material before warm temperatures arrive in the summer.


Most HVAC experts recommend maintaining a two-foot perimeter around your outdoor unit. Plants that grow too close to the compressor or condenser can block airflow, which will reduce the efficiency of your system. In extreme cases, they could actually grow into the unit or deposit dead leaves and other plant debris into the fan mechanism, which could end up costing you plenty in repair bills.

Lack of Maintenance

The experts at the U.S. Department of Energy recommend regular maintenance for all components of your air conditioning system to keep it running at peak efficiency and to prevent unexpected breakdowns. Scheduling maintenance visits from your Dickson County heating and cooling company will help you spot any developing problems with your HVAC system before they add up to major expenses for you and your family.


At Griffin Mechanical, we offer proven heating and cooling solutions that include repairs, replacement and new installations for your indoor or outdoor HVAC unit. Our team will work with you to determine the best and most practical solutions for dealing with damage caused by weather events, encroaching vegetation or invasive little creatures. We can even provide you with recommendations that could ensure the best solutions for your Middle Tennessee home. Give us a call today at (615) 502-3030 to request a free estimate for services or to discuss your situation with us. We are here to serve you.