The outdoor unit of your air conditioner condenser/compressor is designed to be tough. In general, there’s not much reason to worry about it, particularly if you have your air conditioner maintenance performed annually before the cooling season starts. Your HVAC tech should have given it a thorough once-over and cleaning, replacing anything that is showing wear and fixing any other problems.
But tough as it is, the condenser can be damaged. It’s good to know a bit about what constitutes good outdoor unit safety for your condenser. Taking some precautions while doing yard work and other chores can help you avoid hefty repair bills.
Tips for Keeping Your Condenser Safe
1. Keep grass, weeds and shrubbery cleared away from the unit so that good air flow is assured. Maintain at least a 2-foot clearing.
2. Trim back limbs that might fall on the unit in a storm. Keep shrubs and trees trimmed back if they regularly shed leaves that get inside the unit.
3. Aim mowers away from the unit so that grass clippings are not thrown against fins. Grass clumps can clog fins and coils and prevent the unit from exhausting hot air. This could in turn lead to a compressor breakdown. You can brush fins and wash coils with a hose or soft brush if they get caked in grass clippings or dirt.
4. The best material to place around your compressor is a layer of crushed rock or pebbles, eliminating the need to mow around the unit. However, make sure if weeds start to grow out of the rock or pebbles, you avoid using a weed whacker to clear them. You don’t want to throw rocks and pebbles against the fins. These appliances can throw missiles hard enough to make a hole through the metal housing of the condenser.
5. Avoid covering the unit for winter. Covers encourage mold and the nesting of small creatures looking for a winter haven.
To learn more about HVAC outdoor unit safety, contact Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing of Indianapolis. Call to schedule repairs, maintenance or new equipment installations.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).