Air Conditioning units outside

Enhance Landscaping Around the AC with These Seven Tips

Most homeowners prefer central air conditioning these days, but the air conditioner isn’t exactly the visual highlight people like having in their backyard. Are you looking for a cool, comfortable interior without spoiling the backyard with a big metal box? Proper landscaping should do the trick.

With the right visual barriers, you can conceal your AC unit and boost your yard’s curb appeal. Just be aware that there’s a right way and a wrong way to tackle AC unit landscaping. Knowing the distinction is crucial to maintain optimal AC performance.

1. Space Plants Properly

The first rule is to keep enough distance from the unit itself. Moving the plants at least 2 to 3 feet away from the AC is particularly important. Remember, plants continue to grow each year, so you should position shrubs 2 to 3 feet away as soon as they are fully grown.

Keeping plants 2 to 3 feet away ensures your air conditioner has enough clearance for air circulation, a requirement for efficient heat exchange and efficient operation. Adequate spacing also prevents straining your system, which could lead to more malfunctions and a shorter life span.

2. Provide Shade

Even the hottest summer weather feels bearable when you step into the shade. You’re not the only one who appreciates the relief—your air conditioner also appreciates being out of the sun.

If you can, place the AC on the north side of your home so it’s in constant shadow. If that’s not an option, use tall trees to your advantage. Just avoid placing plants directly over the unit. Maintaining vertical clearance of 5 to 6 feet prevents restricting airflow. Then, remember to regularly clear debris to keep debris from clogging the condenser.

3. Using Windbreaks to Protect Your AC Unit

Incorporating windbreaks into the AC system landscaping strategy protects the AC against harsh weather and storms. Evergreens are particularly effective since they keep their leaves through the winter. A few popular shrubs for evergreen windbreaks include boxwood, junipers and Arborvitae.

If planted the right distance apart, the shrubs create a dense barrier that shields your AC unit from strong winds and blowing debris. Just verify that your windbreak is planted far enough away to maintain the 2 to 3 feet of clearance as the hedgerow matures.

4. Provide Flexibility with Large Potted Plants

If you’re worried about shrubs getting too close to the AC as they mature, pivot to large container plants. As long as they’re large enough, the pots and plants can easily hide your AC unit while still ensuring a cooler yard. These decorative, movable elements enable you to change the landscaping according to the season or as your preferences change. It’s equally convenient to shift the pots slightly if the plants are getting especially full or keep them out of the way during servicing.

5. Employ a Trellis, Screen or Lattice for an Attractive Screen

Not all solutions for covering your AC system need to be entirely green. If you lack space or don’t want to deal with plant upkeep, try these other options:

  • Place a freestanding screen to cover up your air conditioner while ensuring the necessary air circulation. Check it has a gate or removable panel for convenient access.
  • Install a trellis around the outdoor cabinet and grow climbing or vining plants for a natural screen that enhances aesthetics and provides shade. Just make sure the vegetation doesn’t overcrowd airflow.
  • Install a decorative lattice for a decorative solution that combines the aesthetics of a trellis with the functionality of a screen. Refrain from adding a top cover, or that will impede airflow.

6. Implement a Gravel Garden

For a low-maintenance landscape solution, a gravel garden is another great choice. This approach involves keeping the AC unit on a concrete base that’s elevated surrounded by gravel interspersed with gardens of , drought-{tolerant plants for added color and life. The rewards are clear: less lawn to mow, fewer weeds to pull and a stylish look that makes garden care easier all year.

7. Ensure Easy Access

Whatever landscaping choices you make, access to your AC unit must remain unobstructed. After all, regular maintenance and repairs foster HVAC longevity and efficiency. Design your landscaping so technicians can easily get to the air conditioner, which means not planting anything on either side. Keeping this in mind will help your air conditioner function at its peak for years to come.

Request Fast, Expert AC Services

With your landscaping plans sorted, you can turn your attention to the air conditioner itself. If the unit is malfunctioning or it’s been a while since your last maintenance visit, call Motta Heating and Air Conditioning. Our ACE-certified technicians provide quick, efficient and durable fixes to all your climate control problems. For Expert service that lives up to our name, please contact us today.