Landscaping Around Your Air Conditioning This Spring

Landscaping around an air conditioning unit can be a challenge. Many homeowners dislike the appearance of the condenser in their yard, but hiding the condenser can be difficult because condensers require adequate air flow in order to function properly. In addition, dead leaves and other debris can clog the condenser, creating maintenance headaches down the road. These tips will help you landscape around your condenser in a way that is safe for the condenser and good for the appearance of your lawn.

Keep Shrubs and Obstructions a Safe Distance Away

Shrubs, walls, and fences should be kept at least two feet away from the unit. Providing this type of clearance will give the air conditioner the air flow it needs in order to keep functioning properly. 

Plant Shrubs that Don't Shed

Shrubs that shed their leaves create organic debris that can blow into the fins of the condenser. When choosing plants to put around your condenser, look for evergreen shrubs that do not lose their leaves on an annual basis. In addition, fast-growing shrubs create more lawn waste because they need to be frequently trimmed. For a slow-growing, evergreen shrub, consider a species like the English Boxwood.

Install Fencing that Shades the Unit

Fences are a smart way to protect and hide the condenser, because fences can prevent debris on your lawn from blowing into the area around your air conditioner. If you're going to install a decorative fence in the landscaping around the condenser, look for a fence that's tall enough to shade the condenser throughout the day. Not only will your fence help neaten the appearance of your lawn, but shading the condenser may prevent it from overheating, extending its lifespan and reducing the need for maintenance in the future. 

Plant the Right Flowers

If you decide to landscape around your condenser with flowers, keep these tips in mind:

  • Flowers that grow with a vining habit, like morning glories or wisteria, will quickly overtake your condenser. Don't plant anything that you'll need to trim back on a regular basis.
  • Bushy, thorny flowers like roses may make servicing your condenser difficult in the future.
  • Flowers that produce many small buds will need to be maintained throughout the year in order to prevent the dead blossoms from clogging the condenser.

If you do wish to plant flowers around your air conditioner, stick to those species that have larger, fewer blossoms. Irises, for example, may be used to hide the condenser but will not grow out of control or produce too many flowers to keep up with. Once you've installed landscaping around your air conditioner, consult with your HVAC professional to find out if your landscaping and your condenser work well together. He or she may have tips for maximizing air flow and protecting the condenser. To learn more, visit Stellar Heating Solutions