Why Yes, I Can Fix That

3 Little Known Mistakes People Make With Air Conditioning Units

If you're installing a new central air conditioning unit, you've probably heard the typical cautionary suggestions. Keep shrubs, bushes, flowers, and other plants at least two feet away. Inspect the filter at least once a year.

Those are good reminders and solid advice. However, there are three mistakes that people make before and after having a new unit installed, and you might not have heard of them before. But, you will have heard of them now.

Mistake #1 – Installing Units Near Ground Rods

For people that live in areas with a high amount of thunderstorms (or even those who don't), redirecting the massive amounts of energy that lightning disperses away from the home is essential to keeping the wires inside from frying.

Some houses accomplish this by attaching lightning poles/rods to the top of the houses that concentrate all of that electricity into a system of wires or metal that safely disperse it into the ground.

Normally, that's not a problem. However, if those ground rods feed into an area near your air conditioning unit, you could end up with a fried piece of scrap metal after a storm. This is true even if you build the unit on a piece of concrete as lightning as the ability to arc.

Mistake #2 – Placing Units In Flooding/Ponding Zones

Licensed contractors will evaluate the area before hand to ensure that they're placing your unit in a location that should remain relatively free from areas that pond or flood during storms. However, that's not where the mistake occurs. Usually, it happens when people decide to landscape.

Sometimes, people try to level out their property or add bushes and other plants along the sides of their houses. While aesthetically pleasing, these changes may also force water to pond or flow toward the air conditioning unit.

And sure, while the unit is built with water resistance capable of handling heavy rain, it's not designed to sit in a pool of water.

Mistake #3 – Unintentionally Clogging Filters With Grass Clippings and Pollens

As mentioned before, air conditioning units need at least two feet of space between them and plants. That's because these machines draw in air from the atmosphere. Their filters are designed to take in a hefty amount of dirt and pollens and grass while operating.

However, when you place heavily pollinating plants nearby or mow/trim the grass near the unit, those contaminants only clog the filter faster.

When mowing with an open mower (one that spits grass and clippings out of the side), make sure you aim the spout away from the unit, and plant heavy pollinators in different areas.


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