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Mowing the Lawn Around Your Air Conditioner: Yep, We Need to Talk about This

ac units

What would the summer be like, even a lazy late August summer day, without the smell of grass clippings hovering in the air? Well, for one thing it would be a lot easier on some folks’ allergies! (My pals here at Russell & Abbott have great quality air filters that can help with allergies!) For most people and dogs, however, the smell of freshly mowed lawns is just the scent of summer.

If you could ask your air conditioner what it feels about mowing the lawn, it might have a few unpleasant things to say—because the outdoor air conditioner is sorta “allergic” to grass clippings as well!

Be Cautious when Mowing the Lawn Near the AC Unit

I’ll have to be honest: I don’t usually watch people mowing lawns. You ever notice how dogs freak out when you start to vacuum the house? Well, we’re that way with lawnmowers as well. I like to stay inside when it’s mowing time, and that’s actually safer anyway, since mowers sometimes fling small pebbles that can be harmful to pets and children. But I have done my research on lawnmowers vs. air conditioners, and here’s what you need to know.

When you mow the lawn, the blades and the fan throw up a lot of dirt, mulch, and grass into the air—and this can get inside the air conditioner’s condenser unit. I’ve written before about how important it is to keep the outdoor unit of an AC clean, since this allows it to properly vent out hot air from your house. Mulch and grass are also enemies of the condenser coil: even a thin layer along the coil can mean serious efficiency trouble for the air conditioner.

What I recommend you do is watch how your mower blows out grass as it runs, and then angle the mower so it doesn’t send any of that the way of the AC unit. Turn off the air conditioner during moving so the fan won’t come on and create the risk drawing grass and dirt down into it. Don’t use a weed trimmer near the unit, because this is more likely to send up debris that will go into the unit.

What do you do if you do get any grass and mulch on the air conditioner? It’s probably going to happen at some point, even if you’re a samurai when it comes to lawn care. When this happens, use a hose on light pressure to clean off the unit. (Please don’t use a powerful nozzle and blast water into the AC! You might bend something.)

What If I Got Grass and Dirty in the AC and It Isn’t Working Right?

If you worried about the performance of your AC because of caking of dirt and mulch inside the unit, the thing to do is to contact us for air conditioner repair in Knoxville, TN. Sometimes it needs professionals to clean off the condenser coil using special chemical treatments. You may not be lawn-mowing samurai, but we’re air conditioning cleaning ninjas! (Which means I’m an HVAC Blogging Ninja Dog–there’s a nice ring to that name, don’t you agree?)