Q – In an effort to hide our air conditioning unit in the backyard my wife wants to plant plants to grow up around it. I tried to tell her that this is potentially bad for the unit but she doesn’t agree.
We heard your hvac man on your show last week, so we’ve agreed to let you decide. Help!
John in Lithia Springs
A – That’s what I like, the entire sanctity of a marriage hinging on my word.
John – I’m on your side on this one.
Your air conditioning unit needs to be able to breathe. It takes fresh air in on the sides and exhausts hot air out of the top.
Therefore your unit should be clear of any obstructions, from plants to more permanent structures like a fence or your house for at least 18” on every side.
Not only that, but in case your wife thought you should build a deck over the unit, you need 5 ft. of clearance on the top of the unit as well.
So keep the area around your a/c unit clean and clear of debris. If you want to make your wife happy, feel free to plant some nice shrubbery about 3 ft. away from the unit. If you want to make here extra happy and make it look like you are doing even more work around your home, change its filter.
It is amazing how many a/c problems can be corrected simply by putting in a clean filter.
So re-filter and mow.
Just make sure you leave room for the service man to get to your unit. Also leave room for your tent so that you will have a place to sleep.