Monthly Archives: September 2012

Drought Conditions and Sinking Ground Affect Outdoor Air Conditioning Units

Have you checked your outdoor air conditioning unit lately? It’s easy to forget about if you don’t go outside a lot. And with the recent scorching weather, you probably haven’t been outside very much. Drought conditions, however, like the ones we’ve experienced across the country in the last few months, can cause serious problems. Mainly, when the ground is deprived of water, it shrinks. Not only will it pull away from the foundation, but it will sink lower as well. That’s where problems with your outdoor unit can start. Some homeowners noticed that the ground has sunken so far that the concrete pad the unit was sitting on no longer even had contact with the unit. That’s what happened to the air conditioner in the photo. Wooden blocks had to be inserted under the unit to support it. If you look at the paint on the foundation, you can see that the ground has dropped by several inches. Obviously, this is bad because it puts stress on other parts of the unit especially the line set coming out of the foundation of the home. With enough pressure, it could snap and break the Freon line.
 
Hopefully, your unit is fine, but it’s best to keep an eye on it in these severe drought conditions. Check to make sure your unit is level as well. The compressor and fan motors will wear out faster if the unit is not level. Also, making sure it is level ensures that the water will drain from it properly. If it is not level, you can use a wood or metal shim to level it until you can have a professional air conditioner repairman take a look at it.
 
Another way to make sure your system is running at peak efficiency is to make sure it is clean. Remove any plants or weeds that are too close and brush off any leaves, grass, or debris that has attached itself. You may also squirt it off with a garden hose to remove dust and dirt. Make sure you turn the unit off at the breaker before you wet it down. Squirt from the top down to make sure the dirt flows away.
 
Of course, if you don’t want to hassle with checking and cleaning it yourself, you can always call us for a tune-up. We recommend having annual tune-ups on both your furnace and air conditioner to make sure they are running at top efficiency, which not only prolongs the life of the unit, but saves you on energy bills as well. Call us today for a G-Force Precision Tune-up.