If you have air conditioning units in your home instead of a centralized HVAC system, you have to deal with the ugly unit that sits outside of your home. That completely the look of your backyard and doesn’t sit well with the overall aesthetics unless you do something about it. You can take the challenging project yourself or outsource it to professionals by searching for “landscape companies near me”. Let’s check out some ideas for landscaping around your air conditioner:
- Keep plants at a distance – When you use plants near your AC unit, you need to keep them at a distance. Plants with thick foliage can obstruct the flow of hot air from the air conditioner and it can lead to numerous problems. If your AC isn’t able to vent out hot air properly, it won’t be able to cool your room efficiently. Apart from poor cooling, you will also end up paying a large unnecessary premium on your energy bill. High heat retention will also wear down the air conditioner components quicker and it will break down more frequently. Which means more money flushed burned on parts and repairs. Moreover, when plants are too close to the air conditioner, servicing it is very difficult without damaging the plants. The repairman may charge you more for the extra effort. That’s why you need to maintain a gap of at least two or three feet between plants and the air conditioner.
- Keep the AC under shade – Like you, your air conditioner likes to be cool under the shade. However, localized shading that provides shade only for the condenser wouldn’t help much. Moreover, if you use some screen or other such methods to add shade to the AC, you may block vertical airflow. You need to maintain at least five or 6 feet of clearance over the air conditioner for unobstructed airflow. The best solution is to add shade to the whole yard. When a large area gets shade, it creates a microclimate that helps to keep the place around your air conditioner cooler. A better situation than shading for the condenser with a sunbaked yard. However, to achieve that kind of shade you need to invest a lot of time and care for growing tall and spreading trees. You’ll feel the fruits of your effort when you need to trim the overgrowth of grass, shrubs, and other things that may intervene with the airflow of your air conditioner unit. Trimming in the shade is a relaxing activity while doing it under the sun is a sweaty affair.
- Create a shield with evergreens – Severe weather can hit any time. Fast winds bring along a lot of debris and dirt and it can damage the AC unit sitting in the yard. While you can make expensive modifications in the form of a steel cage or some other methods, going organic is the best solution. Firmly planted evergreen trees around your AC will create a potent windbreak that can protect your AC from damage during a storm. You can use cypress, cedar, boxwood spruce, and other such evergreens that have a vertical growth and a very narrow horizontal spread. Plant them while accounting for their maturity so that they maintain a distance of two to three feet from your air conditioner and create a shield against the forces of nature. The best thing about these hedges is that they won’t lose their leaves during the winter and trimming them is very easy. Carefully planted evergreen in a neat curve also looks brilliant.
- Create a windbreak with potted plants – While the above-mentioned option works great for protecting your air conditioner, accounting for the size of the tree after maturity and carefully planting them can be a lot of hassle. It isn’t something that a beginner gardener can pull off. Instead, you can do the next best thing. Use large potted plants to create a windbreak around the AC. They don’t just hide the condenser, but also provide you a lot of flexibility. You can move the plant to the ideal distance as it grows and even change the plants whenever you want.
- Use artificial contraptions – While plants are a great way to hide your AC, they need maintenance and frequent care. You can opt for other artificial alternatives if you don’t want to spend a lot of time on plant maintenance. For instance, you can add a trellis to hide the condenser and add an elegant aesthetic appeal to the property. For ornamentation, you can even add low-maintenance climbers and vines to the trellis.
You can also use a screen to block the condenser. However, you’ll need to sacrifice a lot of space since there needs to be enough room for airflow and easy access for repairs and maintenance. If screens seem too unsightly for you, a lattice box may be your ideal option. It’s a cross between a screen and a trellis that looks good and doesn’t have any plants to maintain. Whatever you choose, make sure to not block the vertical airflow with a lid.
- Get a gravel garden – As mentioned above, plants may not be for everyone since they need a lot of attention and care. If you don’t want that hassle, you can opt for a low-maintenance gravel garden around the condenser. Your air conditioner will be placed on a raised concrete platform and will be surrounded by gravel. To add a bit of nature, you can make a small plant bed in the gravel garden with low-effort and low-maintenance plants. In the end, you also get other advantages like less mowing, fewer weeds, and less work in general.
You can directly implement the above-mentioned ideas on your property or at least take inspiration from them to come up with your own design and incorporate the AC unit into your landscaping. If things look too challenging for you, you can get help from pros by searching for “landscape companies near me”.