Hiding Your Air Conditioner With Shrubbery Can Cause Problems

Let’s face it, outdoor air conditioning units are not very attractive to look at. That’s why many people opt to hide them behind shrubbery and fences. While there are some benefits to doing this, planting close to your unit can also cause problems. It is always important to plant your shrubs at a proper distance from the unit and to maintain the shrubbery not allowing it to become overgrown.Your outdoor unit is a heat transfer device, pulling outside air through the refrigerant coils and then discharging it up through the top of your unit. When the unit is too crowded either by fencing or shrubbery, or if the bottom few inches of the coil is buried under mulch, air flow is restricted to the unit. This will cause the unit to not work properly, reduce efficiency, lessen the lifespan and even damage the equipment.
PROS FOR HIDING THE UNIT
* Hiding the unit will reduce the noise level.
* On hot days it can help shade the unit which will allow it to run cooler and more efficiently.
* In Winter, it can block the cold wind from hitting the unit.
* The obvious, most people prefer not to see the unit.
CONS OF HIDING THE UNIT
* If shrubbery or fencing is too close to your unit, it will restrict the air flow.
* Makes it more difficult to clean, serice and repair.
* Prevents you noticing a problem such as an iced-up coil or a faulty fan motor.
* Attracts rodents to nest in the unit. They tend to eat the wiring.
TIPS FOR HIDING YOUR OUTDOOR UNIT THE RIGHT WAY
* Keep an 18′ to 36″ air space on all sides of your unit, pruning back as necessary.
* Keep a 3 to 4 foot air space above the unit which means pruning back trees.
* Remember long term growth when you plant.
* If putting a fence around your unit, make sure it can be easily opened or removed for regular service. When major repairs are reqired the service technician will need access to all sides of the unit.