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Why you should not put your trash can next to your A/C unit

As an HOA and Condo association management company, we execute community compliance inspections for our communities. We’ve noticed a trend over our many years of doing HOA community inspections. Many owners like to put their trash and recycle bins right next to their outdoor A/C unit. Now although it may seem like a great place to put them, there are a few great reasons why you should find a new location for your outdoor trash and recycle bins.  

That’s some bad flow

Believe it or not, your air conditioning unit needs a lot of breathing room to function properly. It’s recommended that your A/c unit get approximately 3 to 5 feet on at least two sides, if not all sides. A lot of our homeowners tend to think their A/C units are loud and ugly, and try to hide them with bushes and small trees, and in this case, trash cans. This is only making it more difficult for the air conditioner to do its job. Without the proper amount of breathing room, your  A/C unit can’t do its job and your house will begin to shoot up in temperature. On top of all that, an over-worked air conditioner has a much shorter life.  Placing your trash can right up against your A/C will block necessary air from getting to the coil, reducing the unit’s ability to cool down your house. The evaporator coil is trying to remove hot air from the house and needs proper airflow to disperse the heat. Blocking your A/C with your trash can only makes your A/C work harder and longer to maintain your desired temperature, which ultimately means highly utility bills.

Eewww ….. what’s that smell?

We all know that garbage and recycle bins tend to not exactly smell great, especially leading up to trash day. Some leftover chicken or old potato salad can start to smell pretty bad after a day or two. Did you know though, that your air conditioning units actually pull in air from their nearby surroundings. Think about it……. That’s right, your A/C can actually pulls in nasty trash can smell from the outside the house and distribute it all throughout your house. It’s bad enough taking the stinky trash out to the dumpster the first time, there’s no reason to get a big ol’ whiff of it again two days later.

I seeeeeee you!

Many people that live in an HOA community must be aware of the rules regarding trash can and recycle bins. Most HOA rules call for the bins not to be visible from the street. I know some people think this type of rule is annoying but there are reasons for the madness. (read more here: The Truth about HOA Trash Cans) Many people attempt to hide their trash cans by hiding them behind their outside A/C condenser, which unfortunately doesn’t really work. You can typically still see the trash or recycle bins peeping out from behind the units, which usually means that you are still not fully compliant with the community rules despite playing hide and seek.   So if I shouldn’t put my trash can behind my A/C unit, where should I put it? The best places that we suggest to our HOA community homeowners is right behind your fence on the gate side, or inside your garage. This helps insure that your not getting any bad side effects from putting it near your A/C unit, and if your HOA community has trash can compliance rules, you are good to go there too.

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