Avoiding HVAC Damage While Caring For Your Lawn

a lawn mower cutting grass

Most homeowners conduct the majority of their landscaping duties during the spring and summer seasons. However, in the midst of working on your lawn, it’s important that you avoid damaging the outdoor components of your HVAC unit. This will help to ensure that your system continues to function efficiently during the summer months. In this post, we list some things to be aware of to avoid inadvertently damaging your HVAC unit as you work on your lawn.

1) Keeping Things Clear

Weeds, dust, debris and other lawn garbage can interfere with the unit’s ability to cool your home, as a buildup of debris on or around the outdoor condenser can reduce air flow. This is why it’s important that you keep the outdoor component free from greenery which can affect its performance. By clearing all debris within close proximity of your unit, you will help to reduce wear and tear on the unit. It’s also worth noting that, when items obstruct a unit’s airflow, it will need to work harder and lead to higher utility bills. So, bear this in mind as you work on your lawn.

2 ) Lawn Mowing & Weed Trimming

When it comes time to bring out the heavy equipment and start work on your lawn, there are few things you need to consider to make sure that you avoid damaging your HVAC unit. As you cut the grass with your lawn mower, always be sure to use a bag so that it can catch loose clippings. By using the mower without a bag, you raise the chances that small clips could go flying into the condenser, creating a “grass blanket” that will block air flow and decrease efficiency.

Likewise, when it comes to trimming weeds, try to avoid using a weed eater too close to the outdoor component. Not only can the weed eater damage the condenser’s fins and wires if you accidentally make contact, but it can also throw grass clippings at the unit and cause the same problems we mentioned above. After you’re finished, avoid leaving clippings and leaves lying around, as the wind can blow them back into the unit. The best way to avoid leaving an abundance of weed leaves and clippings is to hand-pull weeds or use an herbicide.

3) Leaf Blowing Safety Tips

Depending on the strength of your leaf blower, it could be strong enough to send twigs and sticks flying into the unit’s condenser coils. Therefore, you should make sure that you point the leaf blower away from the unit when you use it or use a rake when it comes to removing leaves that are within close proximity of the unit.

4) Irrigation

Watering your lawn won’t directly damage your condenser unit, but if you overspray your lawn the water will make contact with the condenser and cause several issues. For starters, tap water is filled with minerals such as fluoride. Over time as you continuously hit the condenser, it can lead to the development of mineral deposits on the coils and fins of the condenser. With enough buildup, mineral deposits and water exposure can cause the condenser to rust. While this may seem minor, it’s worth noting that an HVAC condenser can be an expensive component to replace.

5) Ant Mounds

As you conduct yard work, keep an eye out for ant mounds around the condenser. Ants are attracted to electrical circuits, so they often make their way into components like AC condensers as they’re foraging for food to bring back to the nest. This can spell significant trouble for your HVAC system, as the condenser can stop working altogether if too many dead ants build up in electrical components. If you notice any ant mounds around the component, address the issue as soon as you can by applying boric acid or other ant prevention measures.

6) Protecting Your Condenser Unit

If you don’t like the idea of having to continuously watch your unit as you work on your lawn, you should get a tarp. As you work on your lawn, you can throw a tarp over the condenser. This is definitely helpful when it comes to ensuring that no debris lodges itself into the fins or coils of the condenser. Just be sure to turn the HVAC system off before using a tarp to prevent air flow problems.