Summer is here, which means more time outside spent managing your lawn while sweltering in the heat. No one wants to go in their home after being out in the heat and not feeling cool. There are common landscaping mistakes many homeowners make which may negatively affect their HVAC systems in the summer.
Apollo Home wants to help you achieve the perfect lawn while relaxing indoors after working so hard. Smart landscaping tips will help you achieve it all and more!
Many people make mistakes when it comes to managing their lawn, which can cause unexpected problems with their outdoor HVAC unit. These mistakes can not only force your cooling unit to work harder, they can lead to overheating and higher energy bills during the summer. Avoid these common landscaping mistakes and save yourself headaches in the future:
- Fast-Growing Vegetation: Any vegetation around your outdoor unit can grow quickly and out of control if it’s not checked regularly. Shrubs, trees and other plants grow fast during the summer when the sun is shining after the heavy rains of spring weather. Keep the vegetation trimmed back to prevent restricted airflow around your HVAC unit, promoting healthy operation during the hottest times of the day.
- Tall Grass: Not cutting your grass often can result in overgrowth around your outdoor unit. Tall grass compromises the airflow in your exterior unit, reducing your HVAC’s cooling efficiency and performance.
- Grass Debris and Leaves: If you are keeping up with cutting your grass on a regular basis then you probably aren’t worried about tall grass restricting the airflow around your outdoor unit. However, leaving leaves and grass clippings around your exterior HVAC unit can cause clogs to form at the bottom and obstruct the airflow.
- Random Debris: Aside from tall grass, leaves, grass trimmings and overgrowth from nearby plants, other debris can cause a problem with your exterior HVAC unit. Branches and twigs from nearby bushes and trees can fall on the outside component or be blown across the yard and strike it. Random hits from debris on the condensing unit can damage the fan, fins or blades housed inside. Check your outdoor unit whenever you mow or after a big storm to ensure nothing has damaged it.
Smart Landscaping Tips for Your Outdoor HVAC Unit
Once you know what to avoid with lawn care management, you can begin to make smart landscaping choices to increase cooling efficiency and lengthen the life of your HVAC system. A healthier HVAC unit provides cooler temperatures indoors without raising your energy bill and lowers the risk of unexpected malfunctions during the summer months. Consider these smart landscaping tips the next time you do yard work:
- Control Grass Clippings: Whenever you mow your lawn, control the direction of grass clippings and debris by mowing away from the outdoor HVAC unit. Using a bag attachment to catch the clippings is another option if directing the discharge isn’t an option. Controlling where the mower discharges will reduce the amount of debris blown into the exterior unit.
- Manual Labor: Instead of using a weed eater, consider pulling weeds by hand or spraying an herbicide on them. Yard equipment, when not used carefully, can damage the coil fins, tubing, refrigerant lines or wires in the outdoor unit. Damaged components will need to be replaced immediately by a professional to prevent overheating or complete failure of your cooling system.
- Remove Excess Debris: The exterior HVAC unit is bound to experience some debris floating onto it. You can use a hose to gently wash off any debris laying on the coils, which can restrict airflow if it continues to build up.
- Know the Rule of Two Feet: Trimming vegetation around your outdoor unit is important so remember the rule of two feet. There should be two feet free of any vegetation on every side of your exterior HVAC unit.
Be smart about your landscaping this summer and increase your unit’s cooling efficiency indoors! Contact Apollo Home for maintenance, service and HVAC repairs. We offer first-rate service for whatever issue you experience with your HVAC system this summer.
For ease of homeownership, invest in an Apollo Care Plan. This comprehensive maintenance plan from Apollo Home includes many benefits including an annual tune-up of your heating unit, an annual tune-up of your cooling unit, annual evaluation of your plumbing/sewer system and an annual evaluation of your home’s electrical system. Membership also includes a VIP dedicated phone number, priority scheduling and no overtime charges on 24/7 emergency services. Call Apollo Home today!
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"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
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