How to Camouflage Your HVAC Unit With Landscaping

As much as you appreciate your air conditioner and the cool air it provides during the Charlotte region’s warmest months, you may wish there was a way to camouflage it while enjoying your patio and outdoor spaces. 

The good news is there are plenty of opportunities for landscaping to play a role in keeping your HVAC unit part of the background rather than front and center while you’re grilling, taking a swim or having company over for an alfresco dinner.

No matter what option you choose, there are a few things to consider to assure your unit is easily accessible for maintenance and has plenty of space to function efficiently. Consider these landscaping suggestions from the pro technicians at MTB Mechanical:


Use a Lattice Screen

Made out of everything from resin to wood, privacy panels with a lattice design are as practical as they are attractive. The holes allow hot air to escape as your A/C system conditions your indoor air, an important feature for any good A/C cover. 

Lattice screens can be moved if your unit needs to be serviced or repaired, and offer a variety of color schemes to match the trim of your home.


Install a Trellis

A trellis structure provides the same benefits as a lattice screen and beautifies your yard at the same time. Which plants work well on a trellis? Choose heat-tolerant, hearty vines that will withstand the output of your air conditioner like clematis, bougainvillea, morning glory or jasmine. 

Be sure to give your air conditioner at least three feet of space between the trellis and the machine so it can “breathe.”


Create a Plant Wall

Shrubs and other plants can be used to create a wall around your A/C unit. Good options are boxwoods, bamboo, hydrangeas, Knock Out roses or low-growing varieties of holly. Three strategically placed shrubs can make your unit nearly disappear from view. 

Ornamental grasses are another great choice. Avoid grasses that grow over five feet in height so the airflow to your unit is not constricted. There are several ornamental grasses that grow well in the Charlotte area, including switchgrass, fountain grass, ribbon grass and sedge.

No matter what plants you choose, look for those that don’t lose their leaves during the colder months to reduce the amount of sweeping and raking needed to keep the area clear of debris. You can also consider using potted plants on one side of the unit so they can be moved for maintenance. For unpotted plants, proper care is key, keeping anything that grows close to or overtop of your A/C unit regularly trimmed, leaving three feet of buffer space.As long as you follow these HVAC technician-approved tips to assure accessibility for maintenance and your system’s breathability, get creative with your landscaping! Have questions or need to schedule your HVAC system maintenance? Call MTB at 704.321.9250 or request an appointment online.