Having Vegetation Near Your AC Unit

Vegetation Near AC

Keeping your AC well maintained involves changing the filter regularly and making sure you get regular professional maintenance, such as coil cleaning, refrigerant checks and recharging, and a thorough inspection. But another important maintenance task to consider is keeping the area around your outdoor condensing unit clear. By being mindful of the vegetation around your AC unit, you may be able to avoid frequent air-conditioning repair in Gainesville, GA. Here’s what you need to know.

Level Ground

One aspect of your landscaping around your AC that you may not have even considered is the ground the unit sits on. The AC needs to sit on level ground, so make sure there aren’t trees or shrubs with large roots nearby that will cause the ground to heave and upset the balance of the unit. It’s also best to make sure the area can drain well to help prevent excess settling. Loose sand or dirt around the unit also makes it more likely that it will be sucked into the system when it runs. To avoid changing your filters as often and to avoid potential damage from the excess dirt, make sure the ground is covered. Grass around the unit is ideal as long as it’s cleaned up after mowing, but other ground covers, such as weed barrier, mulch, or gravel can also help keep the ground level and prevent debris from entering the HVAC system. 

Clearance around Unit

The amount of clearance around the AC is another important consideration. The system relies on a good amount of airflow to keep the system running effectively and efficiently. Ideally, you should be able to leave two or three feet around the unit so that it can pull in and release air effectively. Weeds, flowers, shrubs, and other vegetation that are too close to the unit can be pulled into the system and cause damage to the unit and issues with air quality. Make sure that any vegetation near the unit is removed or pruned regularly to keep the minimum recommended clearance.

Plants to Avoid

There are some plants that you should avoid having near your AC at all times. Plants that spread easily or any creeping vegetation should be avoided on the side of your home where the AC is installed. This includes ivy since it can quickly spread into the AC and be difficult to keep at bay. You should also avoid planting short, dense shrubs near the AC because they can drastically reduce airflow and make your system work harder. Consider the number of leaves and twigs that are shed by different plants as well when choosing landscaping. This type of debris can reduce airflow because it easily blows onto and around the AC and builds up quickly. In addition, make sure you never place potted plants on the unit because the vibration will often tip the plant over and spill dirt into the unit.

Where to Plant Trees

It’s not a bad idea to plant trees on the west side of the unit because shading can help improve efficiency, which can help you save money on energy bills and AC repairs. Just make sure the limbs are kept trimmed and that the tree variety won’t shed debris during the summer. To learn more about what plants can be used near your AC in Northern Georgia, contact Gainesville Mechanical today. We can also provide needed AC repair near Gainesville, GA.

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