Feb 3, 2012
Outdoor AC units are extremely functional, and living in Gladewater, Texas, would be much less pleasant during the summer if we didn’t have them. But they don’t exactly look amazing in our backyards or beside our houses. When you landscape around your AC unit, you have three main goals: to give it air flow, protect it from debris, and help your yard look better. Find out if your current landscaping is up to snuff.
The first thing to remember about landscaping around your outdoor unit is clearance. For proper air flow, your unit needs a few feet of space on all sides. If you think it was installed too close to the side of your house, ask our technicians about it during your next maintenance appointment, since you can’t move the unit yourself.
Otherwise, we recommend at least two to three feet of clearance for a fence or for hedges that encircle your unit. If anything grows over the unit, trim it frequently so you always give the top of the AC five feet or more. These dimensions are important: if the air flow becomes too restricted, your AC unit uses up more energy trying to cool your home.
Speaking of trees growing over the unit, as long as branches are high enough not to impede the air flow, trees are a good way to provide shade. Consider installing netting above the unit so no leaves fall directly into the fans. Shade keeps the AC unit cooler, giving it a little boost of efficiency.
If your unit sits beside your house, you can connect a small sun shade from the house to about five feet above it. An added benefit? Protection from the elements, like rain and snow.
When deciding between putting a fence around your AC unit, or putting plants there instead, remember that you want the system clear of debris. Every bit of dirt, every leaf, and every twig that gets inside it slowly runs it down. It will require more maintenance the more stuff falls inside. While we think hedges or trees look very pretty in backyards and gardens, we can’t deny that a wood or stone fence won’t drop nearly as much debris around and inside your AC unit.
Regardless of what you choose to install around your unit, use a rake to clear the area around it. Turn it off, and look in the fins and the fans for anything stuck there.
Nobody wants to hear the AC running from outside, especially if your unit is older and rattles a lot. (By the way, we can help with a noisy unit if you have one.) Installing a fence or hedges around your outdoor unit adds a level of noise dampening. Some fences are designed specifically to cancel noise in homes near high-traffic areas, like highways. If you’re especially sensitive to sound, try one of these stone fences. Otherwise, plants or a wood fence will provide a little relief, enough to help you forget the AC is out there.
Get creative with your look. A trellis with vines is an attractive garden addition and will block some of the noise. A stone wall is an even better noise dampener, and you can always place potted plants or garden accessories on top to spruce it up. Trimmed hedges or a low fence are both classic looks for a backyard garden and will help your AC blend into the background.
Get some help from the pros at JD’s AirNow by booking a maintenance appointment with us. We’ll look at your landscaping and tell you if any component sits too close. During our maintenance and repairs, we clean out the inside of your unit, so leaves and twigs don’t get in the way of it running correctly. We can also give you some landscaping pointers specific to your AC unit if you’d like. Give us a call at (903) 759-7483 to learn more or to schedule with one of our technicians.
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