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Keeping Your Outdoor HVAC Unit Safe During Yard Maintenance

Keeping Your Outdoor HVAC Unit Safe During Yard MaintenanceWhether you do your own landscaping or hire a yard maintenance company to do it for you, accidents can happen, from a severed garden hose, to a shattered bird bath, to a broken irrigation valve — and even, sometimes, damage to your outdoor compressor/condenser. Keep reading for some advice on outdoor unit safety for your HVAC system.

Hazards of Yard Maintenance

Your air conditioner condenser is designed to be tough. Under most circumstances, it can withstand storm damage from wind and even hail, and can usually survive a couple of inches of flooding. But flying missiles from a lawnmower or weed whacker could be harmful if they make contact with the aluminum fins and coils that help the unit exhaust heat as part of the cooling process. Bent fins can usually be straightened out with a fin comb, but it’s best to avoid any situation where rocks or pebbles might be hurled at the unit.

In Arizona, our xeriscaped yards can provide a lawnmower or weed eater with plenty of missiles that, if hurled in just the right direction, could do considerable damage. That said, a bed of crushed stone under and around the unit is much better than grass — the clippings of which can end up clogging the coils.

For best results, tell the landscaper to aim the mower so the clippings are distributed away from the unit.

Plants Around the Condenser

Avoid planting any prickly plants like cactus, rose bushes or holly around the unit so technicians can work around it.

Keep bushes trimmed back at least 2 feet from the unit. Cut back any overhanging trees or limbs so they don’t fall on the condenser in a storm.

For more on HVAC outdoor unit safety, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company of Yuma.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 928-723-3183.