You don’t have to live with an unsightly air conditioning box sitting on a concrete pad next to your home. Properly landscaping the area around your outdoor A/C unit can go a long way toward improving the appearance of your home, while allowing for more energy efficient operation.
Maintaining free airflow to the outside unit (also called the condenser/compressor) is essential to efficient and effective air conditioning. The unit needs a regular, unimpeded flow of air in order to accomplish the heat release that’s essential to home cooling.
Landscaping the Area Around Your Outdoor A/C Unit
In order to allow for sufficient airflow to extract and disperse heat energy from the condensing coil, all landscaping and other objects should be kept at least two to three feet away from the outside unit on each side. Above the unit, any trees or shrubs should be cut back to at least five feet. Ensure that no landscaping interferes with easy access by A/C technicians attempting maintenance or repairs.
The other consideration regarding landscaping and efficient A/C operation is shade. When the outside unit is shaded, it has an easier time expelling heat into the shaded, cooler surrounding air than it would in direct sunlight.
Now for Aesthetics
With airflow and shading addressed, the appearance of the outside unit–or hiding it–becomes the main goal of landscaping.
If possible, select shrubs and trees that don’t lose their leaves in the winter. This serves a three-fold purpose:
- It saves you the trouble of constantly sweeping and raking when the trees and shrubs lose their leaves.
- It prevents fallen leaves and debris from blocking airflow to the outside unit.
- In the winter, the landscaping will continue to hide the outside A/C unit from view.
Consider attractive hedges or vegetation-covered lattice-work. Plan to maintain it properly so it serves both its aesthetic and functional purpose with regard to the outside A/C unit.
For more advice on landscaping the area around your outside A/C unit, contact us at Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We provide excellent HVAC services to Northwest Arkansas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas 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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