As important as your air conditioner is for comfort in Orlando’s warm climate, the outdoor HVAC unit does little for the look of your garden. With the right landscaping and structures, however, you can help this vital piece of equipment blend in beautifully.
Grow Living Camouflage
Screen the unit with a row of ornamental grasses or a hedge. Choose a species that grows no higher than four feet and won’t drop a lot of leaves, berries or other debris that could clog the unit. Alternatively, install a trellis on one or more sides of the unit and plant a climbing vine. Keep your living screen at least three to four feet away from the unit to avoid interfering with airflow.
To cover the ground between the outdoor HVAC unit and the planted area, use decorative crushed rock. Unlike mulch or other lightweight ground covers, rock won’t blow around and get caught in the unit’s fan.
Having a prominent focal point in your garden, such as a fountain, large sculpture or showy specimen plant, can help draw attention away from your outdoor unit.
Build to Conceal
A fence or latticework screen around your outdoor HVAC unit will block it from view as well as shade it from direct sunlight, which will improve your system’s energy efficiency. Painted and decorated, an old wooden pallet or set of shutters can be turned into a privacy screen to hide the outdoor unit. For quick set-up, install a bamboo screen.
If you’re in need of more storage, build a dedicated structure to enclose the entire unit with additional space on the top or side to hold garden tools. The extra storage space distracts the eye from the A/C unit underneath.
As with plants, keep all structures at least three feet away from the unit and choose materials that allow good airflow rather than solid surfaces, such as brick walls. Make sure the structure allows access to the unit for routine maintenance.
For more tips on hiding your outdoor HVAC unit, get in touch with us at Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions in the Orlando area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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