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Five of Your Air Conditioner's Worst Enemies

Your air conditioner may be your best friend during the sweltering summer days of high humidity and triple-digit temperatures. However, while you may depend on your air conditioner, it also has a number of enemies that are determined to make its job harder, wear it out, or even cause it to break down and stop working completely. If you ignore these threats to your system’s health, you could find yourself making the call for a major repair far sooner than you’d like.

Here are five of your air conditioner’s worst enemies and what you can do to prevent them from wreaking havoc on your system.

Plants & Flowers

Plants and flowers may make your yard look beautiful and enjoyable all year long, but near your air conditioner they’re quite the bully. Your air conditioner’s outdoor unit has a giant fan that draws air in through its sides in order to cool refrigerant that flows out of your compressor, and that means it needs clean, uninhibited airflow. Plants and flowers have leaves that can die, break off, or become lodged in your outdoor unit’s cooling fans, restricting this much-needed airflow. If your outdoor unit becomes too bogged down or the airflow becomes too restricted, your air conditioner won’t work all that well inside your home and you’ll be stuck to sweat it out with an ineffective system.

Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting is rapidly becoming a popular design choice among homeowners. Not only do they offer a clean, low-profile look that can open up and brighten nearly any space, but they’re fairly inexpensive to install. That is, unless you want to install them well. Recessed lighting is one of the single largest sources of unwanted heat transfer in your home, often because the lights are installed and not properly insulated to shield the inside of your home from the hot and sticky conditions in your attic. Have your West Palm Beach air conditioning team check your attic for air leaks to make sure your lights are properly protected against this heat loss.


Are we saying that your four-legged best friend shouldn’t be welcome in your home when you have an air conditioner? Absolutely not! Dogs and air conditioners are perfectly compatible, but you need to exercise a little bit of extra caution. For starters, dog hair (or any pet hair for that matter) is one of the leading factors behind air filters clogging up quickly. If you have a pet, check your air filter at least once per month, and be prepared to change it often (particularly during coat-blowing season). Likewise, particularly with male dogs, be sure they don’t urinate on any exposed refrigerant lines. Dog urine is highly-corrosive and could create cracks or even gaping holes over time. Be sure to train your dog to do his business elsewhere, or shield your lines with protective insulation.

Copper Thieves

Who would steal an air conditioner? Honestly. Well, turns out, a lot of people. Your air conditioner is full of refrigerant lines that are made from copper, a metal that’s growing increasingly more rare and valuable. We depend on copper for so many different purposes that the price tends to fluctuate wildly based on the supply and discoveries of any new mines. When copper prices are high, thieves have been known to break into homes and steal air conditioner coils and refrigerant lines because of the price they can get for selling off the metal tubing. Be sure your outdoor unit is kept behind a fence that passers-by can’t clearly see into and also cover your lines with insulation so thieves have reason to doubt that what’s underneath might be the prize they’re seeking.

Poor Maintenance

When it comes to the real threats against your air conditioner, there may not be a bigger one than trying to run the system without having it regularly maintained. A poorly-kept system is inefficient, slow, and prone to breaking down and falling apart, costing you thousands in repairs and replacement.

If you haven’t scheduled your annual maintenance service for your air conditioner yet, pick up the phone and call our Palm Beach County air conditioning team at Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC! Dial (888) 660-4337 to schedule your service.