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HVAC System Landscaping: Do This, Not That


HVAC units are a huge home investment. Unfortunately, they are also a bit like Goldilocks. If the conditions aren’t just right, they won’t function at peak performance.

It’s easy to make costly mistakes when landscaping around the outdoor component of the HVAC unit (also known as the condenser). That’s why the Action Air team is here with a guide on what to do, and what not to do, when planning HVAC system landscaping.

Do This:

  • Grass Clippings

When you are mowing your lawn, make sure that the grass clippings blown out of the mower don’t enter your condenser unit. Small grass clippings can get sucked into your condenser, damage the fan, encourage pest infestations, and contribute to overheating. However, it’s not always possible to avoid getting grass clippings in your HVAC unit. So, to protect your unit, simply take a moment to clean it after mowing.

  • Ground Conditions

One of the best ways to extend the life of your HVAC unit is with proper ground covering. There are several acceptable coverings you can use around and under your HVAC unit. A concrete slab is the most popular choice for covering underneath the condenser. Concrete is an excellent option for keeping your unit elevated, dry, and free of debris. It is also a good idea to surround your unit with one of the following materials.

Rocks are an attractive and smart choice for surrounding your condenser unit. Rocks create ample space for air to flow out of the condenser. Furthermore, they prevent vegetation from growing near your unit. Also, dirt is an acceptable covering for the ground near your unit. However, be sure to regularly check that no dirt has entered your unit and no plants are growing out of the soil.

  • Vegetation Barrier

Many homeowners choose to conceal their HVAC units with vegetation. Hedges, metal trellises, trees, and shrubs are excellent mechanisms to hide your HVAC unit. As long as there is generous space left around your unit, feel free to landscape!

  • Vented Fences

Another way homeowners commonly conceal their HVAC units is with fences. This is a fantastic strategy, as long as the fence allows plenty of airflow around the unit. To ensure you aren’t choking your condenser, choose a fence with plenty of gaps, or leave at least two feet of space between your unit and the fence.

Not That:

  • Mowing While the Fan is On

Mowing while the condenser fan is on will guarantee grass clippings get sucked into your unit. Just because your AC unit is outside, doesn’t mean it can handle extreme wear and tear. Grass clippings and yard debris will damage your condenser fan, attract pests, and contribute to overheating.

  • Leaving Debris

Yard debris like sticks, mulch, and rocks are highways that lead pests from your yard straight into your HVAC unit. If you let this debris collect around your unit, you will soon find damage, dander, and dead animals in your condenser.

  • Direct Sun

Your unit should not be in a place that gets direct sun. HVAC units easily overheat, especially in the summer. So, if your unit receives direct sun, you can count on its breaker tripping again and again until something changes.

HVAC System Landscaping: Do This, Not That

We hope these tips have helped you get the conditions for your unit just right. Remember, fall is the ideal time for annual maintenance of your HVAC unit. The Action Air team has proudly served the Indianapolis area since 1986, providing expert HVAC advice, service, repair, and replacement to countless families. Call us today at 317-451-4371 or schedule an appointment online.