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4 Reasons to Trim Vegetation Back Around Your AC Unit

Posted On: March 7, 2019

Like any other home appliance, your air conditioning unit requires regular care. It needs not only professional maintenance, ideally once per year, but also care from you, the owner.

One of the things you need to do to keep your air conditioning functioning well is to trim grass and weeds down around the perimeter of the unit. You should have at least 2 – 3 feet of clearance for best results. Here are four reasons why.

1. AC Condesing Coil Function

The way the outdoor AC unit works is by collecting heat from inside your home and moving the heat to the outside. A condensing coil in the outside unit puts the heat into the air.

Once the condenser pushes some heat into the nearby air, the condenser needs fresher, cooler air to come in. This is what the fan on the top of your AC unit is for. However, if the air inside the unit can’t flow out and away from the condensing coil because too many weeds or bushes are nearby, even the AC fan will be unable to produce good airflow.

Without good airflow, the condenser works harder, wears out faster, and may require more repairs and earlier replacement. Weed blockages can also contribute to frozen coils. Sometimes the freeze travels up the line, causing the compressor — one of the most expensive components — to fail.

2. Pest Infestations

Trimming plants down around your AC unit is the same reason why you trim your lawn. Overgrowth doesn’t just look good, and trimming vegetation back reduces the chances of harboring pests such as mice and even hazardous snakes. Pests may feel safer in long grass, which shields them from sight so they can creep about unobserved.

This is relevant to your AC unit because these pests may try to make their homes inside. Whether they make nests in inconvenient spots or simply gnaw through the wires, these rodents often lead to expensive repairs.

You need to be especially careful about pests in fall and wintertime. Cold weather drives pests to seek out sheltered spots, and when your AC unit doesn’t run in the cold weather, the pests may make nests in its moving parts so that the AC fails when you try to turn it on in spring.

3. Ease of Access

If your AC unit does have issues this summer, you probably don’t want to fight through bushes and weeds to get to it. And you won’t want to delay your emergency repairs because you had to trim away the bushes to see what went wrong. Keeping the area around the unit clear can help any maintenance and repairs take place more quickly and efficiently.

4. Efficiency

Decreased efficiency can cost you money and even prevent your unit from keeping you as cool as you’d like. When the airflow around your unit is restricted, the condenser coil has to work harder to put the excess heat into the outdoor air. This means it uses more electricity to do the same job. With better airflow, the same job takes less energy.

In addition, you also need to be careful in the fall because dried leaves may build up on the ground or even form a drift against your AC unit. In addition, leaves and twigs can fall onto the unit from nearby trees, which can sometimes jam the fan or diminish airflow.

These four points show why your AC should have cleared space around it with no vegetation intruding on its space. Whether you need professional maintenance or repairs on your AC unit or whether you want an installation of a whole new unit, C.B. Lucas Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Give us a call today to discuss your needs and schedule a visit for inspection or maintenance.

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