How to Landscape Around Your Outdoor A/C Unit
You love having a cool, comfortable home. But, you love your backyard and want to keep it as a beautiful green oasis. You may feel like an outdoor air conditioning is both a necessity and an eyesore. Here are 5 ways to have your cool – and keep it – by disguising you’re A/C while you keep it working at top efficiency.
Placement of your air conditioning unit. If you are installing your air conditioner for the first time, you’ve got it made in the shade. Literally. Pick a spot for your air conditioner that is both protected from the sun and easy to conceal. Your A/C will work more efficiently if it’s not exposed to the heat of direct afternoon sun. The side of your home is a natural. Your home can shade the unit and it’s easy to close off the side yard with an attractive fence and gate that hides the unit from view and gives you the bonus of an enclosed space to keep tools, seasonal items or even a small shed.
Build a lattice fence. Keep two things in mind. First, you and your air conditioning maintenance technician need to access the unit and it needs at least 2 to 3 feet of clearance for air intake. Lattice is a perfect fence as its openings help to preserve air space around the unit. Add some fancy post caps to dress it up or even solar post lights. If you plant around it, make sure that the plants don’t block the airflow or shed leaves into the unit. A border of bright flowering plants against white lattice will catch the eye and enhance your yard.
Be clever with less expensive options. Wooden shipping pallets painted a bright color that compliments your décor or matches the cushions on your outdoor furniture are quick and easy. Think about adding a “window” box planter for an even more welcoming appeal. Again, make sure those plants don’t obstruct the unit in any way. Old shutters make another interesting enclosure.
Match your décor! You can go all out or keep it simple. Want an Asian flair? Simply tie together bamboo stalks to make a concealing fence. Live in the desert and want to keep a periscope appeal? You can do the same things with ocotillo stalks, but make sure you leave a large enough enclosure and opening (maybe one whole side that’s away from your main view) so you can access the unit and technicians can work on it without getting stuck by the thorns. Want a beautiful modern look? Use sculpted metal panels or laser cut wood panels and you’ll add a wonderful piece of art to your yard.
Pot it! If you want to be able to control the way the air conditioner is hidden from view and still have the easy access of a moveable barrier, use big pots and tall, bushy plants. Tall grasses are great for this. Be sure to choose hardy plants that won’t wilt with the hot air blowing from the A/C unit.
Use your imagination. Just make sure you give the A/C the space it needs and you air conditioning professional the space needed to keep the unit in top shape and perform any necessary air conditioning repairs. You’ll come up with a great way to have the efficiency of an outdoor air conditioner and a beautiful backyard.