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An outdoor AC unit comes with a unique set of challenges to consider. Not only do you need to make sure you get your unit regularly checked for signs of damage, but you also must ensure that extra steps are taken to protect the device from the outside elements.

Unlike an internal unit, your external AC is constantly exposed to the harsh climate in Phoenix, where extreme heat waves are a common occurrence in the summer months. This can include everything from excessively high temperatures that damage wiring to large amounts of dust and sand that get into your filters. Additionally, an external AC unit can leave you wondering how you’re ever going to get your garden looking perfect when there are large pieces of machinery to worry about.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to protect your AC system, and keep your garden looking incredible at the same time.

Design Your Garden Around your AC

The first step in caring for your lawn and your outdoor AC units is to think about how you’re going to arrange your garden to support external equipment. For instance, it doesn’t make sense to plant large trees and bushes in front of your units as this will make gaining access to them very difficult when repair and maintenance is required.

Additionally, planting too many flowers and shrubs around your AC devices also increases your chances of leaves, debris, and even insects making their way into the inner workings of your machines. It’s often a much better idea to choose small, easy gardening plants like tufted evening primrose, that you can place a reasonable distance away from your air conditioning instead. Alternatively, you could consider just having a patch of gravel around your AC units, followed by some bigger plants a few feet away.

Be Careful When Maintaining Your Lawn


Planting flowers and other natural greenery can help your lawn to look more beautiful. However, the most crucial step in caring for your lawn is often making sure that you can mow it regularly. If you have outside air conditioners, then you’ll need to be particularly careful in cutting your grass, as the blades could easily throw dirt and mulch up into the air, and into your AC unit.

If you’re concerned that you need to mow the grass that’s closest to your AC units, it may be a good idea to temporarily turn your system off and cover the fans with something that will prevent debris from entering the framework while you work. If you do end up getting mulch on the conditioner, use a hose on light pressure to clean it away.

Look After Your Garden and Your Home

Ultimately, having external units doesn’t mean that you need to stop mowing your lawn or caring for your grass. Instead, it means that you need to be more cautious, choosing the plants that you place around the systems and the mowing strategies that you adhere to carefully.

The tips above will help you to keep both your garden and your AC equipment in good condition for years to come. Remember to check back often for our latest in home HVAC tips. And sign up for our email list!