After spending time in the hot summer sun, the absolute last thing you want to do is walk into a hot house. To keep your air conditioner running as efficiently as possible, it’s important you make sure not to crowd the condensing unit. The outdoor part of your air conditioner should have plenty of room to pull in air to cool and return the hot air from your home.

What Happens When Plants Crowd Your Air Conditioner

All too often, shrubbery and plants are used as the landscape in your yard. Most homeowners don’t like the appearance of a bulky, gray air conditioner in the yard, so it makes sense that you might plant greenery around it to cover up the outstanding object. The trouble is that more shrubs planted around the condenser will restrict the air flow across the condensing coil, making it more difficult for your air conditioning unit to properly cool your home.

The condensing coil is where all of the heat that has been picked up and cleared out of your home is dumped outside. Your air conditioner is designed to remove the heat by distributing a certain amount of airflow over the condensing coil. If less air flows through the coil, then less heat is removed from your home, leaving you hot and uncomfortable.

When your air conditioner works harder to keep your home cool, it could end up costing you a lot more money in a handful of different areas. More work means more energy. Anytime your air conditioner works overtime to provide the intended airflow, you will pay for it on your monthly utility bill.

In addition to monthly energy costs, outdoor plants that cause your air conditioner to work harder than it was developed to will significantly shorten the lifespan of your equipment. When your equipment does not last as long, you’ll end up paying money for repairs, and replacements much sooner than you would with an air conditioner that is freely processing your home’s airflow without plants in the way.

Airflow that is conducted through condensing units can get blocked by a variety of things. The most common problem is plants growing too close to the unit, and dirt or leaves that pile up around the condenser. You can control the effectiveness of your air conditioner by trimming the plants near the unit and clearing away any excess dirt and debris.