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Many homeowners in Greenville, North Carolina, take a lot of pride in their landscaping. A major consideration that often isn’t discussed is how landscaping can affect your HVAC system. Your exterior unit is the engine of your climate control system. Keeping it clear can make a big difference in your home’s comfort. Here are three ways that landscaping can affect your HVAC system and some ways to prevent them:

Improper Spacing

The exterior portion of your climate control unit requires a lot of air intake and output. That means that unrestricted airflow is vital for the proper function of the unit.

It’s important to keep the space around your outdoor HVAC unit clear of plants or other debris to ensure it doesn’t get blocked or clogged with biological matter. Otherwise, it’ll impair its ability to do its job and affect its energy efficiency. You’ll want to make sure there are at least two to three feet clear around your unit. If you have trees near the unit, trim the branches to approximately five feet away.

A great way to keep proper space around your unit is to create a perimeter. This is also a clever way make your unit blend in with its surroundings, which is excellent for homes that have an obviously placed unit. Good material choices include trellises or some other fencing. This not only hides the metal exterior of the unit but also makes sure that it has plenty of airflow while keeping plants from getting inside.

Falling Debris

Falling debris, like branches, fruit or other biological matter, can get stuck inside the unit and cause problems. If you notice that your system isn’t working properly and you have lots of debris in the area, you’ll want an expert to come out and check the unit for a blockage.

Falling debris can be tricky to prevent because wind or animals can easily transport them toward your unit. There’s very little you can do about that. Keep a solid perimeter around your unit. Trim your trees to help prevent falling leaves and the like from getting into it.

You can also consider an evergreen shrub barrier. These don’t lose their leaves and are easy to maintain. They’re also great at blocking clutter from blowing into your unit.

Exterior Damage

Exterior damage is the worst-case scenario as far as landscaping affecting your HVAC unit. North Carolina can get some serious storms, and falling tree branches are a common problem when the wind picks up. Tree branches can easily dent or otherwise damage the exterior of your unit and, if that damage is serious enough, it can cause issues with its overall functioning.

Another related issue is standing water building up around your unit. This can damage the electrical components or cause corrosive damage, like rust. If you notice standing water around your unit, turn off the electricity to it and contact an HVAC expert as quickly as possible. He or she will assess any possible damage and hopefully approve it to run again.

Consider getting your HVAC unit elevated if you regularly deal with standing water. You can use cement blocks to raise it off the ground and prevent standing water from collecting around the unit.

Fixing external damage can be tricky, but there are steps you can take to prevent issues like this. Trimming your trees is, again, one of the best options. If you have dead branches or low-growing trees, these will need special attention to ensure that the branches won’t end up crashing into your unit during inclement weather.

If you’re concerned about your landscaping damaging your HVAC unit, give the experts at J & J Mechanical a call. Contact us at 888-716-0052 to set up a consultation today!

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