Homeowners often use landscaping to hide the outdoor unit of the air conditioner. There’s nothing wrong with trying to keep the A/C out of view so it doesn’t interfere with your beautifully designed flower beds and other plantings. However, there are some guidelines that should be followed when landscaping the area around your A/C unit. Here’s some advice to help you with your design.
Let It Breathe
When landscaping around the outdoor side of a split system air conditioner, allow plenty of space around the unit. The condenser cannot exhaust heat properly without sufficient airflow. The compressor is also located in the outdoor unit and requires good circulation to work properly. Without proper airflow, the unit will have to work harder to exhaust heat from the refrigerant, and your home won’t be cooled properly. When there’s restricted airflow, the A/C’s parts struggle to do the job and heat up more. The hotter the unit runs, the shorter its lifespan. Provide a space of at least two feet between the air conditioner and the surrounding plants or any structure.
Planting trees to shade the unit is helpful for keeping it cool, but they also should be at least two feet or more away and with at least a five-foot clearance overhead. Also, be sure to trim limbs that might fall on the unit.
Plant ground covers in bare areas around the A/C so that loose dirt or sand doesn’t blow into the compressor/condenser. Clear away all other debris from around the A/C, including weeds and grass.
Don’t plant prickly species such as rose bushes or holly around the unit. Thorns or spines on plants make it more difficult to gain access. Also don’t build structures such as a covered patio around the unit. Walls next to or around the unit will restrict airflow.
For more on landscaping the area around your A/C unit, contact Amarillo Air Conditioning. We’ve been providing top-of-the-line service for over 50 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Amarillo, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/Cs and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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