With our long growing season in the Coastal Bend, keeping your landscaping and lawn looking good is a year-round task. What you may not realize is that yard work can cause unintentional harm to the most costly part of your HVAC system – the outdoor unit.
Your landscape plantings, lawn care equipment and general yard debris can damage or negatively affect the proper operation of your cooling system’s condenser and compressor. Here are some helpful tips on how to avoid such problems:
- Shut the unit down at the breaker, then take off the outer metal cover so you can clean out any accumulated debris like clumps of cut grass, leaves, twigs and cobwebs. If this isn’t done periodically, collected debris around the coil can restrict airflow and impede heat transfer, which reduces the A/C’s cooling efficiency.
- When you mow around the HVAC unit, make sure that the mower discharge is facing away so grass cuttings aren’t being blown right onto the coil fins.
- When you finish mowing, give the unit a gentle rinse off with the garden hose to clear away stray grass clippings from around the outside.
- If you have any shrubs, bushes, flowering plants or tall vegetation planted around the outdoor unit, trim them back so there’s always two feet of clearance around the cabinet to provide ample airflow. Clean up and dispose of the clippings too, so they can’t blow right back onto the unit.
- If you routinely use a power trimmer around the condenser, take extra care not to let the string or blade hit the cabinet or coil fins to prevent accidental damage.
- If the unit is surrounded by bare soil, lay down landscape fabric in a two-foot radius and top it with mulch or decorative stones to keep dirt and dust from splashing onto the coil when it rains.
- Buy a wrap-around filter for the unit that’s specifically designed to keep debris off the condenser fan and coil without causing airflow restrictions.
To learn more about how yard work can affect the HVAC system in your Coastal Bend home, contact us today at CCAC.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.