Let’s face it, air conditioners just aren’t that pretty to look at. So it’s no wonder that homeowners want to disguise them with fencing and shrubs. While hiding the air conditioner may seem like a good idea, it can actually create some problems. Typically, when a homeowner plants around a condensing unit, they install small 1 to 3 gallon shrubs and don’t realize just how large these shrubs will become given time to grow. Once these shrubs get bigger, they are going to crowd the condenser. When this happens, air flow is restricted across the condensing coil.The condensing coil is where all the heat that got picked up from your home gets dumped outside. Your air conditioner is engineered to remove the heat by having a deisigned amout of air flow over the condensing coil. When less air flows over the coil, less heat is removed. This means the whole cycle warms up a bit and your A/C has to work harder to keep your home cool. Planting too close to your condesing unit will cost you actual money in a couple of ways. First, your monthly electric bill is going to be higher. Second, your equipment may not last as long, so you will have more repair bills and may have to replace your system sooner.
The same issues apply with placing fencing too close to the air conditioner unit as well. If you already have shrubs that are planted near your A/C unit, trim the side of the shrub that is close to the unit to increase air flow. If you are planning to install shrubs, make sure you know how large they will get. Plant them far enough away from the condenser that when they have reached maturity they will not restrict air flow. Always make sure leaves and other debris are cleaned away from around the condenser. In addition, dirt and grime can get between the fins of the unit. Make sure you keep them clean to ensure proper air flow as well.
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