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Landscaping? Don’t Forget About Your External AC Unit!

Spring is upon us and because we live in a southern climate, you’ve probably been using your air conditioner a bit already. As you tackle your spring cleaning, be sure to keep your external air conditioner unit on your list. Why? Some reasons may be obvious, some may be less so.
Let’s start with the AC condenser – a big box (some are round) located outside and often loud and aesthetically troubling to the average homeowner. The purpose of the condenser is to cool down the refrigerant in the system and turn it from a hot vapor into a cool liquid. The more efficiently the condenser can complete this, the more reliable your system and the lower your utility bills.
There are three main threats to your system are:

  • Restricted air flow
  • Damage to the unit from trimmers or lawnmowers and
  • Dirt and debris.

You may have heard planting shade plants around a condenser can lower the temperature of the external air and benefit your air conditioner. Unfortunately, this is a myth and foliage around the condenser has been found to decrease efficiency by blocking air flow to the condenser.
It’s perfectly understandable to want to obstruct the view of the outdoor units with fences and shrubbery but resist the urge! If you must build a fence or hedge, keep it a minimum of two, ideally three feet, from the perimeter of the unit.
Keeping plants and twigs from storms away from the unit prevents most of your triggers. Additional precautions include choosing evergreen plants and avoiding trimming and cutting grass while the condenser isn’t running. If it is, it’s easy for grass clippings and leaves to get sucked into the air coils. Additionally, consider surrounding your unit with gravel instead of grass or mulch. During intense storms, mud or debris can bounce up from the rainfall and water runoff from the roof and clog your fins and coils. Some homeowners even opt to cover the outdoor unit during winter months to further prevent damage and contamination. You can read more about air conditioning unit care tips here.
At Energy Savers, we want to help you by taking care of you and your home. Improve your air quality, as well as assure your HVAC system is healthy and able to reliably serve you and your family for the long term by making a small investment in your HVAC’s maintenance. Contemplating a system upgrade or renovating? We can help you and your contractor too, with guidance on new technologies, products and system-sizing.
Energy Savers is proud to be a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, a distinction earned through rigorous business practices, ongoing technician training and industry dedication. We are locally and family-owned with four decades of experience to assist you with all your HVAC needs. Located in Columbus, Georgia and Opelika, Alabama, we serve the surrounding communities with the best in HVAC services including installations, repairs and maintenance.
Call us today – we want to bring our expertise and dedication to customer service to you.