Enhance Landscaping Around Your AC System with These Seven Tips

Air Conditioning units outside

Most homeowners want efficient central air conditioning for their homes, but the outdoor AC isn’t exactly the visual highlight people enjoy having in their yard. Do you want a more comfortable home without ruining the yard’s look with a big metal eyesore? Thoughtful landscaping should do the trick.

With the right screening options, you can tuck away your AC unit and enhance your yard’s aesthetic. Just be aware that there’s a right way and a wrong way to tackle AC unit landscaping. Knowing the distinction is crucial to keep your air conditioner running smoothly and efficiently.

1. Maintain Proper Plant Spacing

The first rule is to ensure adequate spacing from the unit itself. Keeping plants at least 2 to 3 feet away from the cabinet is particularly important. As you know, plants continue to grow every year, so you should position shrubs 2 to 3 feet away once they are fully grown.

This spacing ensures your air conditioner has enough airflow to “breathe”, a requirement for proper exhaust of heat and efficient operation. Sufficient spacing also avoids the risk of overworking your unit, which could lead to more malfunctions and a shorter life span.

2. Ensure Shade

Even the high summer temperatures feel 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.

Whenever possible, position the unit on the north side of your home so it’s in consistent shade. If that’s not an option, use large shrubs to your advantage. Just avoid placing plants directly over the unit. Maintaining vertical clearance of 5 to 6 feet prevents blocking air circulation. Then, remember to regularly clear debris to keep debris from clogging the condenser.

3. Using Windbreaks to Protect Your AC Unit

Placing windbreaks into the AC system landscaping strategy shields the unit from thunderstorms and other extreme weather. Evergreens are particularly effective because they stay green all year-round. A few popular shrubs for evergreen windbreaks include boxwood, junipers and Arborvitae.

If planted the right distance apart, these plants create a dense barrier that blocks wind gusts carrying debris from reaching your AC. Just verify that your windbreak is planted far enough away to maintain the 2 to 3 feet of clearance as the shrubs grow.

4. Provide Flexibility with Large Potted Plants

If you’re worried about shrubs getting too close to the AC as get bigger, try an alternative approach with large plants in containers. As long as they’re large enough, the pots and plants should cover the AC while still ensuring a cooler yard. These stylish, movable elements allow you to adapt the landscaping around your AC unit seasonally or as your aesthetic changes. It’s also easy to adjust the placement if the plants are getting big or keep them out of the way during servicing.

5. Use a Trellis, Screen or Lattice Cover

Not all solutions for concealing your air conditioner need to be entirely from Mother Nature herself. If you don’t have much room to work with or are concerned about maintaining plants , try these other options:

  • Place a portable screen to hide your AC while maintaining necessary air circulation. Double check it has a hinged panel or detachable section for convenient access.
  • Install a trellis around the outdoor cabinet and grow vines for a natural screen that adds beauty and shade. Just make sure the vegetation doesn’t overcrowd airflow.
  • Install a lattice box for a decorative solution that can blend the aesthetics of a trellis with the functionality of a screen. Refrain from adding a top cover, or that will block ventilation.

6. Create a Gravel Garden

For a low-maintenance landscape solution, a gravel garden is another great choice. This approach involves leaving your AC unit on a concrete base that’s elevated surrounded by gravel and gardens of resilient plants for extra color and life. The benefits for your yard are clear: less lawn to mow, fewer weeds to manage and an enhanced look that makes garden care easier all year.

7. Remember to Maintain Access

Whatever landscaping choices you make, easy access to your outdoor AC cabinet must remain unobstructed. After all, regular maintenance and repairs foster HVAC longevity and efficiency. Build up your home’s landscaping so technicians can easily get to the air conditioner, which means not planting anything on either side. Taking this care will help your air conditioner operate efficiently for years to come.

Schedule Professional AC Services

With your landscaping plans in place, you can prioritize the air conditioner itself. If the unit is malfunctioning or it’s been a while since your last maintenance visit, call Sure Temp Air Conditioning. Our ACE-certified technicians provide prompt, effective and lasting results to all your climate control problems. For Expert service that meets our high standards, please contact us today.