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Five Disadvantages Of Leaving Your Central Air Conditioning Outdoor Unit On A Ground-Level Pad

It is common to find outdoor units for central air conditioning systems resting on a ground-level platform. However, you should consider having your outdoor unit moved to an elevated, wall-mounted bracket. These brackets are not difficult to install, and a qualified heating and air professional can quickly move the unit from its present location. But, if you don't get the unit off the ground, you may incur problems resulting in expensive repairs. Below are some of the disadvantages of leaving outdoor units on ground-level pads instead of elevating them:

Harder to keep the unit level

One of the most significant disadvantages of resting your outdoor unit on a pad is the difficulty in keeping it level. Uneven surfaces are problematic because soldered joints in copper tubing and wiring between the unit and connected components are stressed by shifting alignments. In addition, the compressor inside the outdoor unit contains moving parts that best operate when perfectly level. Over time, uneven wear is introduced within the compressor that sits on an incline and can lead to premature failure.

The pads used by some installers are often inadequate to maintain a level surface for the long-term, especially if the pads are made of lightweight plastic. However, even heavier concrete pads are prone to shifting as time progresses. As the soils underneath the pad settle and are eroded, the pad will inevitably begin to lean one direction or another.

Vulnerable to animal damage

While it may seem humorous to think of pets utilizing your outdoor unit as a convenient place for relieving themselves, the damage caused by animal urine is no laughing matter. The high levels of ammonia in urine can corrode the outer cabinet and even the condenser coils. In addition, urine odor can become a real problem and be embarrassing for homeowners, not to mention the fact that it also can attract unwelcome animal visitors.

Pets aren't the only source of trouble for ground-level outdoor units; wild animals may seek to shelter in these locations during the winter months. Rodents and other pests can build nesting places inside the cabinet and may chew on wiring or cause other mischief. Animal-caused damage can be expensive to repair and may even cause a fire if left undiscovered.

Makes lawn maintenance difficult

Air conditioning units placed on ground-level installations can make lawn maintenance, such as mowing and edging, challenging. For example, these installations require homeowners to use weed trimmers to reach the difficult areas behind the pad or between the unit and other obstructions.

In addition, the use of power lawn equipment around the delicate condenser coil fins and potentially vulnerable refrigerant lines can result in expensive damage to these components if a mishap occurs. The difficulty in controlling weeds and grass can lead to an unsightly landscape or allow growing plants to enter the unit itself and cause potential harm.

Tempting to thieves

In this day and age of high copper prices, it is not uncommon to hear of outdoor unit theft. A unit resting on a ground-based pad is more vulnerable to theft due to the ease at which thieves can simply pick it up and take it away. On the other hand, a unit installed in a wall-mounted unit is inherently more secure and requires more effort to steal. In addition, since wall-mounted units are also elevated, they are more visible to others who may be watching; this can deter would-be thieves.

Not protected against flooding

Another benefit found by moving the outdoor unit to a wall bracket is the protection it offers against flood damage. While outdoor units are designed to handle inclement weather, including water intrusion, it is harmful if they rest in standing water for any length of time. Drainage holes can clog and permit water to stand inside the cabinet. Corrosion then can become a problem and lead to rusting of the cabinet and expensive internal parts.

Contact professionals like Homeplace Furnace Duct & Fireplace Cleaning for more information.