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Should I Mow Around My AC?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mowing around your compressor or outdoor unit is an essential part of AC maintenance. However, it's not as simple as powering up the mower and whizzing around the unit with an open throttle. Grass clippings, dead leaves and overgrown weeds or bushes can severely compromise air conditioner efficiency and lead to unnecessary repairs. These items frequently block outdoor components, including the condenser and evaporator coil. Without adequate air movement, the cooling cycle will be disrupted, and the compressor may overheat.

How to Protect Your Air Conditioner

Equipment manufacturers recommend that you service your central air conditioner or heat pump at least once a year, but there are other things that you can do. To get the most from your heating and cooling system, follow these air conditioner upkeep recommendations.

  • Change indoor filters regularly to promote air conditioner efficiency.
  • Direct all grass clippings away from the unit when mowing.
  • If clippings are a problem, trim the area with hand shears.
  • Remove weeds, and trim all nearby shrubs.
  • Maintain a 3-foot clear zone around and above the unit.
  • Apply gravel around the unit to minimize plant growth.
  • Inspect the drain to be sure that condensation is removed.

AC Maintenance Tips

If you notice that grass clippings or debris have accumulated on the fins inside your unit, they can be cleaned with a garden hose. Turn off the unit, and spray the fins with a precise up and down motion. If you aren't comfortable completing this task or have excessive dirt accumulations, have a professional cleanse the system using a degreaser and special coil cleaner. This service is included in most seasonal tune-ups.

Blocked air conditioners are a leading cause of emergency service calls. Before you experience a problem, trim all plants and grass in the immediate area around the unit. At Texas Air Comfort, we represent factory-authorized Carrier and Bryant dealers across the state. If your air conditioner isn't performing optimally, find an HVAC contractor in your area.

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