Inland Empire homeowners take pride in their lawns and landscaping, and what better time than summer to show off their hard work! While we all subscribe to different practices when it comes to lawn management, certain practices should be universal – such as HVAC landscaping tips that ensure your sensitive cooling equipment is protected.

While you work on the lawn this season, put into place these summer HVAC landscaping tips that help your cooling system maintain strong performance so your home is nice and cool when you’re ready to take a break from the outdoor heat.

Eliminate Condenser Debris

Your cooling system’s performance can be notably impacted for the worse if your exterior condensing unit is burdened by lawn debris. Debris gathers along the unit’s exterior fins, blocking off the path heat takes as it is released from the unit. When heat cannot effectively move out of the condenser and into the atmosphere, cooling in your home is diminished – not to mention the outdoor unit could sustain damage due to debris impacts and lack of airflow. The following HVAC landscaping tips help keep condenser units clean.

  • Be conscious of your direction when mowing. Keep grass clippings blowing away from the condenser. Bag grass clippings to avoid their eventual collection along the condenser fins as the breeze moves them about your property. If some do collect around the unit due to wind and weather, regularly remove grass clippings with a gentle brush.
  • When landscaping the area immediately surrounding the condenser, don’t use fine mulch that could be blown up against the fins. Even larger mulch chips could be problematic. Instead, opt for groundcover such as landscaping rocks.

Keep Appropriate Clearance

Proper airflow is extremely important to the strong performance and energy efficiency of your cooling system. When the condenser unit becomes crowded, whether by natural or man-made materials, air movement through the AC unit is restricted and performance diminishes. The unit may also sustain damage through heightened wear and tear. These landscaping tips create clearance around your outdoor AC unit.

  • Clear away any vegetation growing immediately around the outdoor air conditioner. Remove weeds and treat with spray to prevent regrowth.
  • Landscape around the condenser by trimming back shrubs, bushes and other plants growing close to the unit.
  • Avoid planting anything within two feet of the condenser unit. 
  • If you wish to disguise the unit with a surrounding structure, choose a material that permits plenty of air to pass through, such as lattice.
  • Instead of constructing a surrounding structure, consider planting one at the appropriate distance. Small evergreens can be used to fashion a windbreak that will shield the air conditioning unit from inclement weather while avoiding airflow restrictions.

Protect the Condenser

The outdoor condenser unit is vulnerable to damage during inclement summer weather. Use these HVAC landscaping tips that eliminate clutter on your property with the added benefit of AC protection.

  • Remove dead limbs from all nearby trees to avoid them falling and striking the condenser in a storm or during high winds.
  • Patio furniture, grills and other outdoor items located nearby should be secured to prevent them from becoming a projectile in a storm which could strike the condenser.

Best HVAC Landscaping Tips from the Pros

Sanborn’s Air Conditioning & Heating aims to help area homeowners protect valuable outdoor air conditioning equipment and avoid simple mistakes that could cause damage when working in the yard. For more information on how to protect your air conditioner or if air conditioning unit repairs are needed due to landscaping mishaps, give us a call.