How To Landscape Around A Central Air Conditioning Unit

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Mark Jardine
May 22, 2024
Heating & Cooling
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"What do I put on the ground around my air conditioner?" And this is a great question that requires a few steps to properly answer. The summer months can bring high temperatures and humidity, making your home’s air conditioning unit a vital source of cooling relief.
But having an air conditioner outdoors can be unsightly and unappealing. While it's essential to have a functioning air conditioner for those hot summer days, it's not exactly something you want to look at. Fortunately, there are creative landscaping around air conditioner unit solutionsthat can help you transform the exterior area into something both beautiful and functional. So how do you landscape around an air conditioner? This Home Alliance blog post will go over some of the best ways to landscape around the AC unit to help you create a beautiful outdoor space and helpful tips you can do. So let's take a closer look at some of these solutions.

Planning & Design

The key to successful landscaping around the AC unit is planning and design. Look at the area around your air conditioner and consider what type of plants or shrubs will work best with their size and shape. Also, consider the amount of natural sunlight in the area and soil conditions - these factors can help you determine which plants will thrive in this environment. Be sure to consider any local ordinances or regulations that might impact your plans.
In addition, it's also important to consider how you want your air conditioner to look. Do you want it to blend in with the rest of your yard, or do you prefer something that stands out and makes a statement? And this can help guide your landscaping decisions and ensure that everything flows together nicely.

Planting & Maintenance

Once you have a plan in place, it’s time to start planting! Create a border around your air conditioner using low-growing shrubs or perennial flowers for color and texture. And this will act as a frame for the unit and keep any overgrowth away from it. Plant flowering vines near walls or fences to create an attractive background for your home’s outdoor spaces; they provide shade during hot summer months while adding visual interest year-round.
To keep maintenance costs down, choose native shrubs or perennials that require minimal pruning or watering. Finally, add mulch around your plants to help retain moisture and discourage weed growth. These simple steps can help create a beautiful landscape around your AC unit. With some creative planning and care, you can transform the area into something that looks great and helps keep your home cool!

Cleaning & Accessibility

In addition to ensuring that landscaping around AC units is aesthetically pleasing, it’s also important to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with access to your air conditioning unit for repairs or maintenance. Keep any overgrowth away from the unit so technicians can easily access it when necessary; otherwise, you may pay more for service calls due to blocked pathways! It would help if you regularly cleaned off any debris that accumulates near the unit—leaves, twigs, dirt, etc.—to ensure optimal performance throughout its life span.

Adding Privacy & Curb Appeal​

One of the most common reasons people choose to landscape around air conditioning units is to increase privacy and add curb appeal. Several plants work well for this purpose, including evergreen trees, flowering shrubs, and climbing vines. Plant these strategically to hide not only the AC unit but also any unsightly features of your home, such as an air conditioner vent. To increase privacy and curb appeal, plants can help to cool down the area around the AC unit, improving its energy efficiency.

5 Tips for Landscaping Around Your Central Air Conditioner Effectively

When you think about landscaping around air conditioning units, it might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But why not make the most of the space around your AC and turn it into a beautiful outdoor feature? Here are some tips for landscaping around an air conditioning unit:
1) Choose the Right Plants
Can you put plants around the AC unit? Yes, but choosing the right plants for this purpose is important. When selecting plants around air conditioning units, choosing the best ones that don’t require too much water is essential, so you don’t over-watering them and damage your AC. Succulents are excellent because they need little maintenance and still provide a bright, colorful addition to any landscape. If you want something more robust, consider ornamental grasses or shrubs that won’t need too much water or maintenance.
2) Add Stone Accents to Break Up the Space
Can you put rocks around the AC unit? Another great way to make your air conditioning unit look less intrusive is by adding stone accents around it. And this could be something as simple as placing stepping stones along the side of the unit or building a small rock garden on either side. Also, it will not only break up the monotony of having just one large metal object in your yard but also help create an inviting atmosphere for guests as they walk up to or away from your house.
3) Create a Barrier
Your AC unit needs adequate airflow to work properly. To ensure this doesn’t get blocked by plants, create a mulch or gravel barrier between the plants and the unit. And this will also create a neat, tidy look and make it easier to maintain in the long run. Leave at least two feet of space between the plants and the unit for proper airflow.
When selecting barrier materials, remember that they must withstand extreme weather conditions without blocking airflow from the AC system. Wood is a popular material because it is durable yet lightweight enough not to impede the system's airflow. However, if you choose wood as your barrier material, be sure that it has been treated with an exterior-grade finish for maximum protection.
4) Design with Safety in Mind
When landscaping around air conditioners, safety should always come first. Keep all combustible materials, such as mulch or wood chips, away from your AC to avoid any potential fires or explosions due to friction from moving parts inside the unit. In addition, steer clear of planting trees near an AC condenser as their roots may grow into it and cause damage over time.
5) Provide Appropriate Zones
Zones are a great way to create a beautiful landscape that suits your preferences and needs. Design zones for different purposes, like activity areas for outdoor seating or play spaces for children when landscaping around AC units. To start with this process, consider the reasons you want to include plants first: Is it to reduce cooling costs? Increase privacy?
6) Hide Unsightly Parts with Plants
If you have certain parts of your air conditioner that are particularly unsightly, such as exposed pipes or wiring, you can use plants to hide them from view. Try planting large evergreen shrubs or trees in front of these areas so they will block them from view while still allowing adequate airflow and access for maintenance personnel. If areas need more coverage than shrubs, consider adding lattice panels or other decorative screens to mask them completely.
7) Work with a Professional to Landscape Around AC Units
If you need more help or inspiration, a professional can be the best source of information and guidance, as they have the experience and expertise to ensure your design is safe, functional, and beautiful.
With these tips in mind, you can easily transform the space around your central air conditioner into a beautiful outdoor feature that adds value to your home while keeping it running efficiently! By choosing low-maintenance plants, creating a barrier between them and the unit, and designing with safety in mind, you can have an attractive landscape that adds curb appeal without sacrificing function or safety. So get out there and start landscaping around your HVAC units today!


Creating an attractive landscaped area around your central air conditioning unit doesn't have to be difficult or expensive—all it takes is a bit of planning and creativity! Using tall shrubs or trees as backdrops, planting ornamental flowers nearby, laying down mulch or stones as a groundcover, and adding subtle lighting fixtures are all great ways to transform this often-overlooked part of your outdoor space into something both beautiful and functional! With just a few simple design tips from professionals like Home Alliance, you can create a stunning landscape around the air conditioner that will turn heads every time!
Home Alliance has been a leading provider of HVAC services for so many years. We have the experience and resources to not only meet your needs but exceed your expectations as well. If you're looking for more ideas on how to have a comfortable and beautiful home, check out the Home Alliance website today! We guarantee you'll find the perfect solution to all your home needs!​