Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Safe and Effective Ways to Hide Your Outdoor HVAC Unit

Safe and Effective Ways to Hide Your Outdoor HVAC UnitThe outdoor HVAC unit, also called the condenser, is an essential component of air conditioners and heat pumps. As important as it is to your comfort, it just isn’t very visually attractive. However, it is possible to improve its appearance without compromising its performance.

General Guidelines:

  • Allow for adequate airflow. The condenser requires ample air flowing through it to dissipate the heat the refrigerant removes from your home. HVAC manufacturers require at least three feet on all sides of the condenser to be clear and five to six feet of space above it so that the condenser’s internal fan can easily pull enough air over the coil.
  • Easy access. All cooling systems require periodic maintenance, including professional servicing and cleaning. If you enclose the unit with a fence, make sure that it has a gate to make cleaning and servicing easy.
  • Irrigation. Avoid sprinkler heads near the condenser, since the water or overspray can collect on the condenser’s fins and coils, forming hard water deposits that make heat dissipation and cleaning difficult. Drip irrigation systems work best around the outdoor HVAC unit.

Suitable Landscaping Materials:

  • Fencing materials. Home improvement stores carry plastic lattice panels that make an attractive fence to obscure the condenser. Manufacturers make the structural elements to hold the panels securely in place. Plastic lattice endures the intense heat and sunshine well, and it’s a much better alternative to wooden lattice panels.
  • Ground covers. Crushed rock makes a much better ground cover than vegetation to use around the outdoor unit, since it never needs mowing. Using weed-blocking materials will help prevent excessive weed growth throughout the year, eliminating invasive plants that can slow the airflow through the condenser.
  • Plants. Avoid any plants that shed their leaves throughout the year. Best choices for using plants as fencing include evergreen bushes like oleander or Texas sage. Ornamental grasses perform well and have minimal litter, but some varieties grow aggressively and can become a landscaping nuisance.

For more information about hiding the outdoor HVAC unit, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company. We’ve provided top-notch HVAC services for Yuma-area homeowners since 1952.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Yuma, Arizona about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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