Cottonwood Trees in Michigan: How to Keep Your Air Conditioning Unit Clear of Those Little White Wisps

It’s always evident that beautiful summer months are ahead once sunshine arrives and the temperature increases. Another tell-tale sign is the annual shedding of cottonwood trees in the Wolverine state. The small, white wispy cotton balls fall to the earth in a beautiful pattern, with cottonwood tree blooms blanketing the ground.

Unfortunately, nature’s beauty is also known to hurt the efficiency of air conditioning units and can even cause some damage.
Vredevoogd Heating & Cooling has compiled a few easy tips to keep your AC functioning properly, so you can enjoy the changing seasons without the expense of costly repairs.

What problems do cottonwood trees cause air conditioning units?

Before we discuss how to prevent damage to your outdoor unit, let’s discuss how exactly damage is caused.

Cottonwood trees cause problems, mainly to air conditioner condenser coils. The lightweight, fuzzy cotton balls fall from the tree and wind directs them toward your unit where they latch onto your coil and reduce the air flow. If this happens, the following can occur:

  • The efficiency of your AC unit can vastly diminish, wasting energy and hurting the environment.
  • Restricted airflow may overheat your compressor, causing damage.
  • Cottonwood tree buds or seeds could be deeply embedded into your unit, resulting in further issues.

During the summer months, make sure to check your unit and ensure it is clear and clean of cottonwood wisps so you stay cool and comfortable.

How do I clear cottonwood tree blooms from my AC unit?

If your AC has cottonwood surrounding the coil, you’ll need to have the unit cleaned. Depending on the severity of the issue, you might be able to clean the exterior grating of the unit yourself.

First, turn the unit off. Then, using a regular garden hose and nozzle, gently spray the cottonwood from the grating at an angle that removes the fluff and pushes it to the bottom of the unit. If you choose this method, you do run the risk of causing further damage by embedding buds or seeds, which is why you should only use gentle spray.

Never use a power washer to try and remove the cottonwood, as this will most certainly cause damage.

It is recommended that you contact an AC repair specialist for a professional cleaning of your unit, to avoid any unintended consequences of cleaning it yourself.

Highly trained specialists know the ins and outs of AC units and can save you more money in the long run than if you were to damage your unit or leave it uncleared, after cottonwood attaches.

Can I prevent cottonwood tree problems?

If you can take preventative measures to avoid unit damage, it’s best to do so, but sometimes it won’t be an option. If you have a cottonwood tree on your property that is the source of annual shedding, you may consider removing it or having a professional arborist treat the tree to reduce the bloom.

If a tree is not on your property, you may need to budget for an annual cleaning. Talk with our team about cottonwood tree problems when you receive your AC tune-up. We may be able to offer you some advice.

Who do I call for professional air conditioning repair and replacement?

From cottonwood tree issues to maintenance and even AC replacement, turn to the experts at Vredevoogd Heating & Cooling. Our professional service technicians have experience working with all kinds of air conditioning units, including those from major manufacturers. We are fully equipped when we visit and get the job done right the first time. Contact us today for a free service estimate or call us at 844-HVAC-365 for more information.

Contact Us

Call Vredevoogd Heating & Cooling for all your plumbing, heating, & cooling needs. In the greater Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Lakeshore, and surrounding areas call: 844-HVAC-365