Keeping your outdoor air conditioning equipment clean and free from all organic debris that might block air flow means your system will perform more efficiently and last longer. You can do a lot to slow down the migration of leaves, stems, and sticks into your air conditioner by following the tips below.
The problem with plants
They need to keep their distance
Plants are a great way to provide beauty, shade, and camouflage an air conditioner. However, you should plant or keep them trimmed at least two feet back, so they won’t interfere with air flow. Beyond that, having plants too close means you’re going to have leaves and other organic debris from the plants getting into the equipment.
They can be really shady
While having shaded air seems like a good idea for helping your air conditioner perform better, research shows that the benefits are likely offset by the amount of debris that is dropped regularly from those shade-producing trees. It’s a good thing to consider, especially if the shade trees drop a lot of debris, like locus trees.
Mowing your grass
If you have grass around your air conditioner, make sure you mow so that the grass clippings are either mulched into the ground or blown away from the equipment. Wayward grass clippings are one of the most common causes of blockage in outdoor air conditioners.
Put a lid on it
Just make sure the lid is a screen made of PVC-coated polyester mesh – because that can keep leaves out of your compressor even while the system is running. There are also screen-like filters that wrap around the unit to help keep out debris.
The big cover up
During the off seasons, cover the whole air conditioner up with a specially designed fabric cover that has a water repellant undercoating. This will protect it during the winter months and keeps things from blowing inside.
No matter what you do, there will be some debris that makes its way into your outdoor air conditioner over time. You can keep it to a minimum with good yard planning and the occasional spot check, brushing away any obvious layers of dust or clumps of debris with a broom. That said, your air conditioner is a sizeable home investment, so it’s a good idea to schedule a tune-up appointment each spring with a trusted Portland area HVAC company.