How to Turn Your Air Conditioner Unit into Sophisticated Piece of Art
To be blunt, air conditioners are not all that good-looking. They don’t add any visual value to your backyard. While they are more efficient, most people want to make AC units as invisible as possible. This is more so during summer when more time is spent in the backyard with friends and family. The truth, however, is that an AC outdoor unit does not need to be hidden or ruin the visual appeal of your backyard. You can do quite a few things to turn your unit into a fantastic piece of art. Below, you will find some creative ideas for the unit after air conditioner installation and repair.
Keep Plants at Least 2 Feet Away
The compressor of the outdoor AC unit needs to breathe freely. There should be adequate airflow around the outdoor unit in order for it to work correctly. That is why it is important to ensure there is a clear space of around 2 to 3 feet around the unit.
You should landscape around AC and leave 2 to 3 feet of clear space around the unit. There should be no structures or plants near the unit. The owner’s manual will help you confirm the proper amount of space you should leave around the AC unit. If structures or plants are too close, this could lead to:
- Less energy efficiency
- Shorter system lifespan
- More repairs
Leaving adequate space around the unit will prevent debris from getting into the system and also make it easier for the maintenance company to access the unit and work on it.
Ensure there is Plenty of Shade
In the same way, you feel cooler when under a shade; your air conditioner will also run better when in the shade. If you have extra cash to spare, you can shade the entire yard. That way, you will create a microclimate that is cooler than a yard that is bathed in direct sunlight. The cooler micro-climate will help the air conditioner to perform efficiently.
While you need to leave a clearing around your outdoor unit, installing the AC in the backyard area with tall trees, hedges and shrubs will be great. However, you need to be aware that leaves, dirt and grass will end up falling on the condenser and clogging it. You have to keep the landscape around the air conditioner unit well maintained by trimming and raking. You will also need to inspect the AC unit to ensure it is not clogged.
While it may sound counterproductive, trees that shed leaves in the fall are the best option for your home. This is because during summer they offer lots of shade. In winter, these trees will allow more sunlight to get to your home, thus keeping it warm.
Add Large Potted Plants
If you are wondering what to put around the air conditioner, you should think about plants. You can plant just any foliage you want around the outdoor AC unit. However, you have to be careful which plants you plant. You don’t want leaves and branches from the plants around the AC to be the reason for constant system breakdowns.
Waiting for a tree to grow takes a lot of time. If you don’t have trees already in your backyard, you can consider getting large potted plants. You can use potted plants to tuck the condenser out of sight and move them when needed. Potted plants further enable you to plant different things at different times of the year.
Use Evergreen Plants to Create a Windbreak
The last thing you want after giving your air conditioner the best care is for bad weather to damage it. To keep the unit safe even during severe weather conditions, you can plant evergreen plants. The best evergreen plants to consider are spruce, cedar, cypress and boxwood. These are trees that never shed their leaves, and when they are trimmed properly, they make a great windbreak.
Build a Border
When it is exposed, the AC unit is not only visually unattractive but also prone to getting dirty. Considering a dirty condenser coil will cause the compressor to work harder to cool your home, you need to keep it protected from debris. The best way of doing this is building a border.
If you don’t want to use plants as your AC unit cover, you can use trellis, screens or lattice boxes. A trellis is another beautiful way to hide your condenser. Trellis can be dressed up with vines or other ornamentation. You, however, need to keep anything you grow on the trellis well-tended.
If you choose to install a screen, you must ensure there is adequate room for the condenser unit. The screen should not hinder access to the AC unit. A lattice box is a perfect alternative if you feel screens are too utilitarian. A lattice box is usually a combination of screen and trellis. It is visually pleasing and has no plants to tend to. You must never add a lid to the lattice box as that will impact airflow. Make sure that the lattice box leaves adequate space so that the AC unit is easy to access.
Cover the Ground Around the AC
Loose sand or soil is not ideal because it splatters onto the air conditioner unit when it rains. When there is dry weather, wind may pick up dust from the soil or sand around the AC and force it into the unit. To prevent problems related to debris, you need to cover the ground around the air conditioner. You can use mulch, stones or gravel.
Putting gravel around the AC unit is a low to no maintenance beautification option. With the AC unit sitting on a cement platform, the area around it can be covered in gravel. You can also incorporate a mulched plant bed to add visual appeal. While doing this may take a weekend or two to complete, it will be worth it. The final product is less grass to mow, fewer weeds to remove and generally less work to keep the landscape around the AC unit in perfect shape.
Match the Theme in Your Backyard
Even as you learn how to put rocks around the AC unit, it is imperative that you stick to the theme in your backyard. The last thing you want is for your AC unit to stand out simply because you decorated it using materials that don’t blend well with your backyard. If you have Japanese maple providing shade, you may consider using bamboo panels around the air conditioner unit. Moreover, if the garden has a wild, naturalistic feel, a woven wicker panel will work better than anything that is more formal. The idea is to use an option that doesn’t draw too much unwanted attention to the AC unit area.
At Air Makers, we can help you choose the best air conditioning plant, but we cannot help you trim the plants. Our primary focus is helping you keep your air conditioner in tip-top shape. Before you start landscaping, we always recommend that you speak with our team about the best plants and decoration options you can use around your outdoor AC unit. We also recommend that you contact us to perform annual maintenance and inspection so as to catch AC problems before they become serious problems. Don’t wait until it is summer to get your air conditioner repaired. Contact us today for a free appointment.