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Are Your Bushes and Shrubs Hurting the AC Unit?

I got a question from a friend yesterday asking about a few extra tips to help the air conditioner cool all day! If you recall, I wrote the article about 7 Ways to Cool a Hot Spot in your home earlier this week, but I didn't really cover what to do if the whole house gets hot in the afternoon!

After a few quick questions… one of the things we uncovered is that her shrubs may be overgrown like those in the picture to the left, and blocking airflow around the air conditioner condensing unit.

This air conditioner maintenance article will help you increase performance from your central air conditioner or heat pump system, by cleaning the area around it, which lets air flow freely around the outdoor condenser, and work more efficiently!

HVAC Systems Rely on Unobstructed Airflow

Regardless of whether you have a window unit, portable or central air conditioner, or a heat pump… you MUST have adequate clearance around the outdoor condenser to allow for ventilation!

That means:

  • No Bushes, Shrubs or Overgrowth within 18-24 Inches of the Unit on Any Side with an open Grill!
  • Make Sure Your Condenser is not Too Close to the House (At least 18-24 inches)
  • Don't Build the Deck Directly On Top of It, or Obstruct the Condenser Fan! (Don't laugh)
  • If you have (2) Units, Don't Push them Close Together to Save Space! (18-24 inches remember?)

Just like the radiator in your car… the condenser needs a clear area for the air to get in and pass across the coils.

What Other Things May Crowd the Condenser Unit?

Share your tips below… and add to this article!

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2 thoughts on “Are Your Bushes and Shrubs Hurting the AC Unit?

  • June 12, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Excellent information! My bushes were very overgrown and inches from our unit. I didn’t realize the importance of keeping the bushes away from them before reading this. Unfortunately, the unit was placed pretty close to the wall of our house, so there’s nothing I can do about that, but I CAN keep the bushes away from it. Thank you!

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