Planting trees and shrubs around the AC’s outdoor condenser unit is a great way to increase its efficiency and lower your monthly cooling costs. Shading the air conditioner helps to cool the air around the unit so that it doesn’t have to work as hard.
Planting shrubs around the outdoor unit is also a great way to hide the unit and provide a bit more outdoor appeal to your home.
However, there are a 4 things to consider when you are planning out your Spring landscaping this year.
1. Make Space Around the Unit
When planting shrubs, trees or flowers or building a wall around the outdoor unit keep in mind the need for space around the unit. Placing anything too close to the unit will restrict airflow and prevent the unit’s ability to release heat. The condenser needs to room to breathe, without the ability to breathe the system will operate less efficiently. It can also produce more strain on the consider, requiring more repairs and shortening its lifespan.
Additionally, think of the HVAC technician who needs to access the unit for maintenance and repairs. An adequate amount of space around the unit needs to be provided for the technician to reach and work on the unit.
2. Keep the Area Above Clear
Condensers require more vertical breathing room than horizontal. Never install the AC under a deck or under shrubbery that will grow over the unit. Obstructing the vertical space over the unit could cause the unit to overheat. Provide at least 5 feet of unobstructed space over the unit.
3. Ensure Adequate Drainage
The air conditioner should never sit in a puddle of water. Too much water on the unit will cause the condenser coil to rust and the unit will become less efficient. If you notice any drainage issues around the unit it is wise to consider elevating the unit on a pad.
4. Don’t Water the Condenser
When watering your yard or flowers be sure that sprinklers are not spraying directly onto the condenser. You may think the water is “cleaning” the equipment, but over time the mineral deposits in the water will build-up on the condenser unit and can cause it to disperse heat less efficiently.