We get it: For all the comfort they provide, outdoor air conditioning condensers aren't the type of thing that will get your home featured in House Beautiful.
They're bulky, they take up valuable space on your property, and they can limit the curb appeal of your home. It's understandable that you'd want to hide them, but there are some things to keep in mind when you use landscaping to hide a residential air conditioning unit.
- Make sure you leave enough space between the unit and any plants, fencing or decorations in your yard. This will prevent the airflow around the coils from being restricted.
- Plants should be at least two feet away from the AC unit. Trees or plants that grow above the unit should get a regular trim to maintain at least five feet of clearance.
- The air conditioning unit should be easy to access in case it needs repairs.
- Make sure your keep the machine clean, as dirt on the condenser coils can increase your energy consumption by as much as 30 percent. Put a stone border around the pad where the unit sits to keep mud and grass from the mower from spraying into the air conditioning system.
- Be careful when mowing the lawn, as rocks kicked up by a mower can damage the unit.
Shading your residential air conditioning unit
Want to make your AC system more efficient? Keep it in the shade. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, putting an outdoor AC unit in the shade of a tree can increase its efficiency by up 10 percent.
When your air conditioning unit is shaded, it doesn't have to work as hard. Besides, it will make the area around the unit look more natural.
Consider these factors as you plan your landscaping:
- Plant deciduous trees – particularly the kind with expansive foliage and crowns – on the south side of your home to shade your roof and AC unit.
- Make sure you trim plants growing near the AC unit on a regular basis to improve efficiency and maximize airflow.
- Seek out plants that won't lose their leaves when the weather gets cold. This will keep leaves and debris from getting into the unit (and keep you from having to rake as often.)
- Hedges can be trimmed to a more exact shape and height, and keeping potted plants around your AC unit gives you more flexibility than if you simply put plants in the ground.
- Keep the area around your residential air conditioner shaded by installing a fence and some climbing vine plants to keep that space cool.
- If you install a fence, be sure to include a gate, or at least leave enough space for service and maintenance work.
Are you considering installing a new residential air conditioning unit? Turn to All Seasons Comfort Control. Our technicians can advise you on the best AC unit installation options and help you find the perfect air conditioning system for your home. Contact us today to get started.