Landscaping the area around your outdoor A/C unit is a good way to conceal the unattractive but necessary equipment from view. Strategically planting shrubs or hedges around the outdoor component offers the additional benefit of improving cooling efficiency and helping control your household energy costs. Here are some helpful tips to make your landscaping project hassle-free.
Allow Sufficient Clearance Around the Unit
To avoid airflow restrictions that can cause overheating and possible equipment failure, you need to allow two to three feet on all four sides of the unit and five feet above, as well as an easy access route for regular maintenance. When you’re measuring, don’t forget to factor in the expected size of your plants at maturity.
Create a Natural Shade Canopy
If your outdoor unit sits in the glaring sun, including a taller tree in your landscaping plan can help keep it cooler and reduce energy consumption by up to 10 percent. When it’s shaded, the air conditioner won’t have to work as hard either, which can help extend its service life.
Choose Plants Strategically
Evergreens are popular choices for landscaping around an outdoor unit. There are several types available, and because they don’t shed leaves each autumn, they’re considered low maintenance. However, evergreens aren’t a quick solution for providing camouflage or shade because most grow slowly. To create shade in a hurry, check the available options for fast-growing deciduous shrubs or trees.
Consider the Surrounding Ground
To keep the condenser coil and fan blades free of dust, dirt and mud that interferes with proper heat transfer, don’t leave bare earth around the unit. Two good ground cover options are bark mulch and decorative stones. Lay out landscape fabric first to prevent weed growth, and wash the mulch or rocks well with the garden hose to remove any fine dust.
For more expert advice about landscaping the area around your outdoor A/C unit, contact the Coastal Bend HVAC pros at CCAC today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, 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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