Your air conditioner may be one of the most important appliances you own, but it’s not necessarily the most attractive. Your friends at MTB offer three ways you can camouflage your outdoor HVAC unit and enhance the surrounding landscape at the same time.Use a Lattice ScreenMade 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 AC system conditions your indoor air, an important feature for any good AC cover. Lattice screens can also be easily moved if your unit needs to be serviced or repaired. It’s relatively simple to find in a color scheme that will 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 something heat-tolerant that will withstand the output of your air conditioner. Options include hearty vines such as 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 AC unit, such as boxwoods, bamboo, hydrangeas or even knockout roses. If possible, look for plants that don’t lose their leaves during the colder months. This will reduce the amount of sweeping and raking you do to keep the area clear of debris. Remember, all plants should be at least three feet away from the unit. And consider using potted plants on at least one side of the unit so they can be moved for maintenance.
While hiding your HVAC unit with these landscaping options is more aesthetically pleasing, there are still a couple of factors to consider:
Proper plant care is key. If your trees or plants grow over your AC unit, trim them regularly. If left to grow without regular maintenance, plants could restrict airflow around the coils of your AC unit and decrease efficiency.
For that same reason, leave at least three feet between your landscaping options and your AC unit for easy repairs and maintenance.
Remember, you can get creative, but always make sure your HVAC unit is accessible. Happy landscaping!
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