Your outdoor Air Conditioner or Heat Pump is one of the
larger investments that you will make for your home. So don’t make the
mistake of forgetting that once it’s installed, you’ll need to care for it a
few times a year. Everyone knows that it is recommended by the
manufacturer, to have your system serviced annually to protect your
warranty. But don’t forget that part of that maintenance is keep the unit
clear of debris, weeds and yes, even landscaping.
Proper landscaping around your outdoor unit both enhances the appearance of your yard and can help reduce energy bills by shading the unit so it doesn’t have to work as hard to cool the air. Why invest in a high efficiency unit, and then starve it of air and efficiency and pay more for it, with higher electric bills? With the proper placement and selection of ground covers, vines, shrubs and trees, you can keep an air conditioning unit out of sight and shaded, while improving the appearance of your landscape.
Before planning anything around your outdoor unit, plan your landscaping so that you leave a minimum of 2 to 3 fees of open space all the way around your unit to ensure there is adequate airflow for efficient operation. Don’t plant anything that will block the access panel, which would prevent servicing of the equipment.
Building a deck?
Be mindful that an outdoor unit must pull air into the equipment and then back out. Decks that are build over an outdoor unit can “starve” it and cause premature equipment failure, lower efficiency and more money out of your pocket.
Weed eating around your unit?
Don’t get too close! Many systems are damaged by the weed eater string and most of that damage can be unrepairable causing the unit to leak refrigerant and fail.
If you plan out your approach properly, you can have that beautiful yard AND a high efficiency system.