How to Landscape the Grounds Around Your A/C Unit


Many people leave the land around an outdoor air conditioning component bare, with the only greenery being the lawn. This may come from a mistaken idea that this is best for the unit, but that’s not so. If done properly, landscaping around the A/C unit can assist the unit’s performance. Here’s how to landscape the right way.

Provide Shade

Shading the outdoor cooling unit helps it run much more efficiently. The air in and around a shaded A/C is cooler and therefore the system has less work to do than it does when baking under the hot sun. This saves on energy costs and may extend the working life of the air conditioner.

Offer shade via trees or landscape architecture, such as arbors or trellises covered with climbing ivy or similar plants. Just make sure there’s plenty of clearance above to allow for A/C maintenance visits and proper functioning. Plants should be kept three feet away on all sides to allow plenty of room to service the unit when necessary.

Keep the Space Clean and Clear

When choosing plants to add near the outdoor cooling component, don’t use trees or bushes that lose their foliage. The space directly around the A/C needs to be free of debris. Otherwise, this debris can blow into the unit. Planting anything that loses its leaves every fall or drops needles will just cause headaches and extra work.

When doing the actual planting, be careful not to cast dirt toward the air conditioning unit. You don’t want the unit sucking this up. When you’re finished planting, relocate any loose soil or plant debris far away.

Be Mindful of Airflow

Avoid planting thick hedges placed tightly together around the unit. Good airflow to your A/C is essential for optimal operation.

Consider Plants as a Security Feature

Rising copper prices have left A/C units vulnerable to damage and theft from thieves who seek the copper inside. Large hedges that block view of the A/C from the street are one security option.