It’s no secret that your air conditioning unit isn’t the most attractive appliance around, and what’s worse is that is has to be outside in plain sight. That doesn’t mean it has to be an eyesore on your property, though. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to make sure your unit looks good and functions properly.

First, it’s important that you put your AC unit in an inconspicuous place. If you put your unit right in front of your house, of course people are going to see it. Keep it on the side or back of the house so it’s less likely to be noticed. If it’s too close to a high-traffic area, like your back deck, people will not only see it, but hear it as well, so make sure it’s tucked away properly.

If you’re still not happy with the visibility of the unit, you can try to block it from sight with bushes or a fence. What’s most important with this option is placement and spacing: you must leave 18-24 inches around all sides of your AC unit. If you put your fence or shrubs too close, it will restrict airflow, which makes the air conditioner work harder and less efficiently. If the unit isn’t able to reject heat from the house, your utility bills will increase and the life of your AC can shorten by up to 10 years.

When the cooler weather starts, many people think they can just cover up their AC entirely, but that’s a big mistake. Some places will sell you an AC cover, or tell you to wrap it in plastic, saying it will protect the unit from weather. What it really does, though, is hold in moisture and create rust, which is another way to damage your unit.

In order to make sure your air conditioning is in top working order each summer, you should get the coils cleaned every year. While spraying it off with a hose yourself helps to some extent, it’s much more effective to have it professionally cleaned with nonacidic coil cleaner. This is a specially developed formula that ensures all the dirt and dust is removed from the coils, and doesn’t damage either the aluminum or copper components of the unit.

No matter what season it is, there’s always something that you can do (or not do) to make sure your air conditioning unit is looking good and working well. Make sure you keep it clean and leave enough space around it to allow proper airflow. Never put anything directly on the unit and get the coils cleaned annually.



The average life span for air conditioners is 12–15 years; well-maintained machines, however, can last up to 25 years, and those that get ignored may only make it four. Follow our five tips to ensure a long, healthy AC life:


  1. Change your air filters. It’s a simple step, but one that gets ignored all too often. For the best results, they should be changed every 30-60 days. Otherwise, the capacity of the unit decreases, meaning your cooling won’t be as effective, and operating costs can skyrocket.
  1. Maintain your outdoor unit. Just like air filters, keeping your outdoor unit in good shape can lower your costs and keep your unit’s cooling capacity at a high level. All it takes is making sure your air conditioner has no debris of any kind around it.
  1. Check your Freon levels. Freon is the refrigerant that travels back and forth between the evaporator coil and the condenser. This allows your AC unit to remove the heat from your house, send it to the outdoor unit, and disperse it. If either of the coils is dirty, the heat and humidity can’t properly be removed. It’s also important to note that there are new Freon regulations that require units to switch to a special, ozone-safe Freon. It’s likely that you will have to switch this spring.
  1. Open and clear your vents. After the house has been closed up all winter long, it’s important to open things up. Duct cleaning – a relatively new service at McAtee – is a way to ensure cleaner air in your house. Those with allergies, sensitivity to pet dander, or any bronchial problems should pay particular attention to this step. Indoor air quality is 10 times dirtier than the outside air, but duct cleaning can improve your air quality by 30%!
  1. Don’t abuse your thermostat. It sometimes sounds like an attractive option to turn your thermostat off for the day, so it won’t be running while you’re gone. When you turn it back on in the evening, though, it makes it a tough task to cool the house down. Instead of turning your unit all the way off, raise the temperature by five degrees. Doing this means your unit only has to lower the temperature by five degrees when you return at the end of the day. It will be a quicker process, and much easier on your AC unit.


When your air conditioner receives regular maintenance, it performs more efficiently and lasts much longer. If any of the steps above are ignored, your operation costs increase exponentially and the lifespan of your equipment deteriorates. One easy way to stay on top of the maintenance hassle-free is through a service agreement. Through this system, McAtee comes to your home twice a year – once in the fall to check on your heating and once in the spring for your air conditioning. A quick, one-hour maintenance call can save you a host of headaches in the long run.




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