When the temperature soars to the upper 90s, you are pretty thankful to have an air conditioner for your home. However, central air outdoor units are not the most aesthetically pleasing things to look at. It is a big block of gray or tan that can ruin a perfectly cultivated look. So you may wonder if it is okay to obscure it with landscaping or even a fence.
While it is your home and you can do as you so choose, you want to keep in mind that air conditioning exterior units highly depend on being able to “breathe,” so to speak. Airflow is crucial to a long functioning air conditioner. The first concern is if you built a fence or landscape too closely to the unit. It is not so much that the unit won’t get air, but that air and light will not be able to get to the unit in order to efficiently dry away any moisture. This can cause the interior to remain damp longer. This not only encourages mold and rust, but it can cause dirt to cake onto the unit as well. The special consideration with landscaping in particular is that plants invite moisture as well.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to obscure your air conditioner unit, but you need to make sure the unit itself will be able to do its job. It is best to keep fencing and landscaping at least a foot or two away from the air conditioner unit so it has airflow. You will also want to have an accessible area for your HVAC technician so they can do their yearly maintenance.
If your air conditioner unit is too unsightly, you may want to consider ductless alternatives that can be less of an eyesore to look at. They are smaller and often stand out less, but do a great job at cooling your home.