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How To Protect Your Outdoor AC Unit

March 21, 2022 | Blog

When most homeowners think about AC maintenance, the main focus revolves around the indoor components. Don’t forget – your home’s AC system consists of a series of indoor ductwork and an outdoor unit, too.

It is important to understand how the elements and other factors can affect the outdoor unit of your AC system. Do you know how to keep your unit safe from weather, debris, animals, theft and more? Follow this guide from Southern Air South Louisiana to learn how you can best protect your outdoor AC unit.

Location, Location, Location

Summers in Louisiana can reach near triple digits. Therefore, it is best practice to place your outdoor unit on the northern side of your house, where the sunlight is the weakest. Placing it on the cool side of your house ensures the system isn’t working harder than it should to cool your home.

If you aren’t able to install your outdoor unit on the northern side of your house, consider placing it under a shaded area. Make sure to leave five feet of headspace above the unit to allow adequate airflow. Also, two feet of space on all sides allows an HVAC technician to service your unit.

Shielded from the Elements

Again, remember that providing shade for your outdoor AC unit in the summer is a good idea. But summertime isn’t the only time to pay attention to your air conditioning system. Winter weather can also impact your unit. Consider securing a piece of plywood to the top of your unit during winter.

This simple solution can help to keep freezing rain and debris off during inclement weather. While it isn’t recommended to seal the unit airtight with plastic, you can opt for a breathable air conditioning cover for the winter months. Avoid unnecessary spring repairs by taking care of your AC unit in the off-season.

Keep it Clean

Debris, dead leaves and dirt can easily enter your outdoor unit year-round. This build-up can cause your coils to stop working properly and result in the need for repairs. It is possible to clean your own outdoor unit if you feel comfortable doing so. If not, a trained professional can clean your unit as part of an annual maintenance routine.

At the very least, make sure to trim any shrubs and trees from around your unit to a distance of two feet away. Don’t let shrubbery grow too close–your air conditioner needs free-flowing air to work efficiently.

Safety First

Be careful when mowing and edging near your outdoor unit. While maintaining your lawn, cut and blow debris away from the case. If you’re not careful, sticks and stones can become lodged in the unit’s fins. These are delicate and become damaged easily.

Consider an air conditioner fence to keep the area around your unit safe and tidy. In addition to safety, establishing a clear barrier around your unit can help you recognize when the area needs maintenance. It also ensures that technicians have enough space to work while servicing your unit.

Routine Maintenance

In addition to keeping the area around your outdoor AC unit clean, you should schedule regular tune-ups. HVAC professionals recommend you schedule a tune-up twice a year – once in spring and once in fall. Breathe easier knowing your unit is running efficiently and avoid unwanted replacements.

AC Care with Southern Air

You rely heavily on your air conditioner throughout the summer – don’t let off-season neglect set you up for a costly breakdown. Avoid unnecessary repairs and replacements by practicing routine maintenance. Keep the area around your outdoor unit clear of debris and protect the case from damage throughout the seasons.

Schedule a professional tune-up twice a year and rest assured your AC will run for years to come. Time for a tune-up? Contact the professionals at Southern Air South Louisiana – where quality service is our top priority.

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What Our Customers Are Saying

Prompt Service

Arrived promptly. Clearly discussed with me the issue with my unit. Compressor is going bad. Was able to give me quotes for work to be done, when and finance options available including 0% interest for 3 years of I were to replace entire outdoor unit.

Kira R.

Highly Recommended

Service is 1st rate as always. I’ve always been satisfied with Southern Air Heating and Cooling South Louisiana. From installing a new heating and cooling system to routine maintenance, this is the company to choose. Highly recommended for all your heating and cooling needs.

Stacie L.

Very Efficient

Very efficient. I called at 245pm on a Friday, was told the tech would be at my residence at 4, he was here by 3! He quickly identified and thoroughly explained the issue. Will have to make an appointment for the repairs, however I am confident the job will be done well

Crystal M.