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Protect Your AC Compressor this Summer

Many things can interfere with AC compressor performance and efficiency during the summer months. Flying rocks from lawnmowers, damaging wind or hail during storms or overgrown plant life near the exterior unit are just a few examples of what can harm your cooling system. Some problems might be small, which means they can be repaired quickly at an affordable price.

However, the AC compressor housed in your outdoor unit is vital to the performance of your entire system. If the AC compressor overheats or fails, it’s an expensive HVAC repair or component to replace. Douglas Cooling & Heating wants you to know the basics of caring for your outdoor unit so you can protect the AC compressor against expensive damage.

Outdoor HVAC Equipment Can Help or Hinder Your Comfort

The exterior unit of your HVAC system is responsible for pulling warm air in and cooling it off, using refrigerant and evaporator coils. The AC compressor works to compress the refrigerant and deliver it throughout the unit. All outdoor units are designed to withstand Mother Nature’s temperamental weather, but it doesn’t mean it’s invincible. Protect your AC compressor and the other components in your exterior system by:

  • Keeping It Clean:

When you mow, grass clippings spray out across your yard and, most times, the clippings get lodged inside your exterior unit. Grass clippings combined with dirt, dust, leaves and other debris accumulate on and around your outdoor HVAC unit. Debris restricts airflow around the unit.

The AC compressor needs proper ventilation around the exterior unit to cool off between cycles. When an outdoor unit can’t cool off, it overheats and shuts off. Frequent overheating results in the AC unit failing, and the only option is to replace the component. Prevent overheating by clearing away any debris. Call Douglas Cooling & Heating if you notice the outdoor unit working hard but not able to cool down.

Your outdoor unit needs to have room to breathe, which means two feet of space around the unit at all times. Trees, bushes and shrubs grow quickly during the summer, especially when the rain hits. They can quickly overrun your exterior unit and restrict proper airflow for the AC compressor. Trim any vegetation back to at least two feet away from the outdoor equipment.

If your home’s exterior unit was already installed when you moved into the house, make sure there are two feet of space between the HVAC equipment and the side of your house. If it looks like the system is too close to the house, call Douglas Cooling & Heating quickly! Our NATE-certified technicians offer suggestions to improve airflow and prevent the system from overheating.

  • Creating Protective Shade:

Always install your outdoor unit in shade or indirect sun. Any time your outdoor equipment is shaded against the hot sun, the AC compressor can cool off before restarting to deliver cool temperatures throughout your home. If you don’t have tall trees or shrubs near your exterior unit, consider planting something to provide additional protection against direct sunlight.

The best sort of foliage is deciduous, meaning it loses its leaves each winter and blooms in the spring. Trees with big leaves provide adequate shade during the hottest times of the day, and when the weather changes, the leaves fall, letting direct sunlight shine on the exterior unit when it’s cold outside. The right landscaping can boost your AC compressor performance and keep it healthy longer.

Concerned about Your AC Compressor? Contact Douglas Cooling & Heating in Birmingham

Take steps to protect your exterior HVAC unit and you will notice improved performance and more energy efficiency from your AC compressor. The compressor is durable but needs to be serviced at least twice a year during routine maintenance. Contact Douglas Cooling & Heating to schedule service for your AC compressor before the heat waves start rolling.

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