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How Your Backyard Can Affect Your Air Conditioning

How Your Backyard Can Affect Your Air Conditioning

An air conditioning system works by drawing heat from inside your home into its refrigerant fluid. This heat is expelled from the fluid via the condenser unit located outside your house. Anything that interferes with efficient running of the condenser also interferes with your AC system's ability to cool your home. Unfortunately, there are many things in your backyard that adversely affect the condenser's function. Here are six of them:

  • Dryer Lint. If your dryer's discharge vent is next to the condenser unit, lint can build up on the unit's aluminum fins. This buildup is like a covering of insulation that impedes the flow of heat out of the condenser.
  • Dogs. If you've noticed areas of corrosion on the condenser's fins, it's possible that a dog is using the condenser unit as a fire hydrant — if you get our drift. Corroded or crumbled aluminum doesn't conduct heat well, which reduces the heat transfer out of the fins. Erecting a fence around the condenser unit that is spaced about three or four feet away should solve the problem.
  • Plants. Plants next to the condenser restrict airflow. They are also a source of debris that fill the unit with dead leaves and branches. Never allow vine growth to take hold since they will quickly cover up the condenser unit. Maintain an area free of plant growth (except for grass) of at least three feet around the unit.
  • Trees. Trees with branches that overhang the condenser unit will drop dead leaves or pine needles on it. Keep the space above the unit clear of branches. Prune dead branches from all nearby trees.
  • Dirt. With time, the condenser fins will get dirty and there's no way to prevent this. Airborne dust and dirt driven by the wind will always collect on the unit's fins. Inspect the condenser during the spring and fall and keep it clean.
  • Pooled Water. Water pooling caused by landscape issues or a nearby rain gutter spout allows floating debris to collect on the condenser. The water will also contain suspended dirt and soil, which again, collects on the condenser. The constant wetness is also a prime condition for mold growth.

Check all of these conditions in your backyard and if you need AC service, call today (254) 624-4917

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