Everyone enjoys a beautifully landscaped yard; it can provide hours of enjoyment and relaxation. Did you know your landscaping affects your air conditioning system too? It’s common sense to clear away debris around your AC unit and vents, however, there are common mistakes homeowners make, such as restricting airflow of the HVAC vents and potentially overheating the system. You can avoid these landscaping mistakes and save yourself money on expensive repairs in the future.
Planting Too Close
The biggest mistake you can make is planting trees, shrubs and other vegetation too close to your AC unit. If you plant shrubs and herbaceous plants too close, the HVAC vents can’t move air properly. You will also experience more leaves, twigs and weeds blocking your unit, resulting in overheating. The recommended distance is 2-3 feet away from the AC unit, at minimum. Consider how the plants will grow and set them back farther if necessary. Consider surrounding the unit with gravel instead of mulch or grass. If you choose grass, mow when the unit isn’t running, so clippings aren’t sucked into the vents.Cleaning vents on a regular basis, by you or an HVAC professional, will reduce excess debris obstructing or damaging the fins.
Not Enough Shading
Providing shade for your AC unit allows for quicker dissipation of heat from the condenser, so having adequate shading improves your system’s performance on a hot day. AC units installed in direct sunlight, especially during the hottest times of the day, suffer from overheating and system failure.
The components housed inside your outdoor unit give off heat while it works to cool the inside of your home. As the unit heats up, any sun shining down on it adds to the already hot system. Your outdoor unit is built to withstand all types of weather and you can help boost its performance by providing additional shade from your landscaping.
Too Much Debris
Debris is common in your yard and it’s normal to deal with some minor twigs or leaves cluttering the area around your AC unit. What isn’t normal or healthy is uncontrolled branches, sticks and other debris compromising your air conditioner’s performance and airflow. If you have a strong thunderstorm, for example, make a point to walk around the unit to check it for damage or excessive debris. Contact Estes Service for preventative maintenance, which includes cleaning vents, air ducts and the components in your outdoor AC unit.
Prepare ahead of time for your landscaping this spring by cleaning vents of debris and ensuring proper shading on your outdoor AC unit. Contact Estes Services for HVAC maintenance before the heats hits. Our NATE-certified technicians will service your outdoor equipment, HVAC vents and inside components to keep your system healthy all summer long!