Landscaping Around Your HVAC Unit: 7 Things To Know

If you're planning to landscape near your HVAC system, consider the discussed tips for effectiveness.

By: THURSD | 15-03-2023 | 5 min read
Garden Plants
Conceal the HVAC Unit header

Due to the rising levels of hot climates, property owners continue to see the advantage of investing in heating and cooling systems. These systems regulate building temperatures, making them ideal dwelling places. Unfortunately, the condenser units aren't attractive. For this reason, many homeowners look for ways to conceal them with landscaping. Besides covering the condenser unit, landscaping around it enhances the HVAC efficiency, primarily if it provides enough shade.

However, landscaping around the HVAC differs from typical landscaping. You must adhere to some rules to avoid making mistakes. For example, there are ideal plants to grow around the system and those to avoid. If you choose the wrong plants, you'll likely keep hiring professional HVAC Ashburn services due to recurring system malfunctions. This is because some plants release seeds and leaves into the condenser unit, resulting in blockage and air obstruction. 

To help you, listed below are the things you can do:

How Far Should Plants Be From The HVAC

Before diving deep into how to landscape around your heating and cooling system, it's vital to discuss how far from the system you should grow plants. When you do it right, landscaping around the system enhances its efficiency. An HVAC experiencing too much sunlight experience challenges eliminating the heat from your house. As a result, it works harder to cool your home, significantly impacting your energy bills.



When you overcrowd the system with plants, it also experiences difficulty working. It can also result in costly system damage. The point is growing plants to provide the system with enough shade, not to interfere with its airflow.

According to experts, you should grow plants at least three feet around the condenser and at least five feet over it. However, since heating and cooling systems differ, you should check the recommendations in the owner's manual. Leaving enough working area around the system is vital since you'll need it serviced occasionally.

Things To Know When Landscaping Around Your HVAC System

You don't wake up one morning and begin landscaping around your heating and cooling system without making some considerations. Doing so can interfere with your system's efficiency, resulting in costly repairs. If you're planning on landscaping around your HVAC, here are things to keep in mind:

Suppose you want to conceal your heating and cooling system. In that case, you should settle for plants growing upright instead of horizontally. Such plants will hide the system and provide the much-needed shade to enhance efficiency. Horizontal plants might not conceal the entire system, nor can they provide enough shade.

Regarding selecting the correct plant, the vegetation around the HVAC shouldn't release seeds or fruits into the system. You don't want debris to enter the system since it can obstruct airflow and damage the internal components.

Evergreen plants are among the best plants you can grow when you plan to landscape around the HVAC system. You don't want to grow seasonal plants that will shed leaves occasionally. Evergreen plants like cedar, cypress, spruce, and boxwood never lose their leaves, providing your system with cool temperatures all year round.

Everyone is looking for ways to get more for less. If you want to landscape around your heating and cooling system for less, why not settle for a gravel garden? A gravel garden involves raising the system with a cement platform and leaving everything else gravel. You can also add mulched plant beds to make the landscaping more attractive. Though this landscaping is time-consuming, the result will be worth it. A gravel garden doesn't require much maintenance since you'll have no grass to mow or weeds to control.

Landscaping isn't all about growing plants. It also involves using other features to improve a particular area's appearance. Regarding landscaping around your HVAC system, you can also try a trellis, stone border, or lattice cover.


While thorny plants like roses can enhance the appearance around your HVAC, especially when grown over a trellis, it can be uncomfortable for technicians to work around them. Therefore, growing plants with friendly foliage, such as lamb's ear, is advisable.

Many homeowners complain of bees and wasps seeking shelter in their condensing units. The worst mistake you can make when landscaping around your heating and cooling system is growing plants that can attract these insects. For example, bees and wasps are attracted to ageratum and bee balm. Growing these plants around your HVAC system will only welcome them to build homes inside it. Instead of settling for flowering plants, consider non-flowering plants instead.

Regardless of how much you want to landscape around your HVAC system, never obstruct it from getting enough air. As said earlier, you should leave at least three feet between the plants and the condensing unit. Failure to which the system is bound to work harder or get damaged if debris accesses its interior.


Landscaping around your HVAC system is among the ways to enhance the area near the unit. It also conceals and prevents excess sunlight from accessing it, preventing it from overworking. However, there are rules to follow when landscaping around the system. For instance, you should grow evergreen plants around the unit to keep it cool throughout the year. If you're planning to landscape near your HVAC system, consider the above-discussed tips for effectiveness.



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