How to Protect Your Outdoor AC Unit from Damage
Tips to conceal and protect outdoor air conditioner units.
Central air conditioning systems require both an indoor and an outdoor unit in order to generate cooled air for your home. While the indoor unit can be safely hidden away in a utility closet, the outdoor unit doesn’t enjoy this kind of protection. It’s going to be outside, exposed to the elements and the eyes of your neighbors.
Here are some tips that will help you protect your outdoor unit from damage while also preventing it from being an eyesore in your yard.
Leave Space Around the Unit
It can be tempting to try to squeeze your outdoor unit into some small, inconspicuous nook in your yard. However, it is actually very important to leave adequate space around the unit. First of all, this is needed so that your HVAC technician can easily access the space to install, service, and repair the unit. Secondly, space is necessary for giving the unit space to breathe. Aim for 2 to 3 feet of horizontal clearance between the unit and your home or any plantings, and 5 feet of vertical clearance between the unit and any overhanging tree branches.
Give It Some Shade
Placing the outdoor unit in a shady spot will help it run more efficiently, because it will save the coils from having to work overtime to generate cooled air. If shade is not available, at least try to put the unit on the north side of the property where it will experience less solar heat gain.
Tend Your Plants
Planting a hedge or building a trellis can be an excellent way of helping your outdoor air conditioner unit blend into your landscaping. Just be sure to leave adequate clearance between the unit and any plantings, and keep leaves and branches trimmed back. One way to prevent weeds from springing up too close to the unit is to make a ring of gravel around the unit.
Careful Where You Mow
Mower and weedeater mishaps can cause a need for air conditioner repairs. For example, you might accidentally nick a coolant supply line, kick up a rock that could damage your coil fins, or throw up mud and wet grass clippings that could mess up air flow to the coils. So stay well back from the unit when mowing and be very careful when trimming branches or weeds.
Watch Where Your Dog Goes
If your dog urinates on the outdoor unit, it could cause corrosion and potentially even lead to a coolant leak in the coils, in which case you may need a whole new air conditioner. Keep an eye on your pooch for a few weeks to make sure he isn’t marking the unit, and if he is, train him not to.
Need a New Outdoor Unit?
If you have not taken good care of your outdoor unit and you need a new one, call US Comfort. We can send a tech to verify that you need a new air conditioner and recommend appropriate models for your needs.