Could Your Gardening Affect Your HVAC Performance?

Could Your Gardening Affect Your HVAC Performance?As we enter the growing season, it’s a good time to be reminded that gardening affects HVAC performance and efficiency.

The outdoor half of your central air conditioner—known as the condenser—is typically located behind or next to the house. It comprises the condenser coil that disperses heat extracted inside your home, the condenser fan and the system compressor. Though this unit is designed to be weatherproof, plant growth as well as yard maintenance may impact functionality and make it less effective at cooling your house.

Here are some ways gardening affects HVAC operation at the condenser unit and how to prevent problems:

    • Give it space. Air circulates through the condenser coil while the A/C is running, so proper clearance around the unit is critical to cooling performance. Cut back any plant overgrowth to ensure at least two to three feet of open space on all sides of the unit. If a hedge or other vegetation surrounds the unit to hide it, trim it back regularly to preserve clearance. Overhead clearance also matters, as hot air released by the condenser coil is exhaust upwards by the fan. Make sure any overhanging tree limbs are cut back to create five feet of unobstructed space above the unit.
    • Mow carefully.  When mowing grass near the condenser unit, make sure the mower discharge is directed away from the unit. Grass clippings and dirt can infiltrate coil openings and accumulate, eventually inhibiting proper air circulation. Small stones kicked up by the mower may also dent coil fins.
    • Prevent water intrusion. Make sure the ground contour around the unit is graded so water flows away from the unit during heavy rain. Pooling ground water may pervade the condenser, leaving behind mud residue that affects performance. Installing a bed of crushed rock surrounding the mounting pad is another good way to ensure that water is absorbed by the ground and doesn’t affect the condenser.

Summer’s here, so ask Paitson Bros. for more information about how gardening affects HVAC performance and efficiency. We’re your year-round source for cooling and heating advice, sales and service since 1922.

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    By Jeff Paitson
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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

    Jeff’s belief is that the business belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore 10 percent of the company’s profits go toward the Maryland Community Church.

    Jeff is a Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce member and in his spare time, he enjoys photography.
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    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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