Make Your Outdoor HVAC Unit Part of the Landscape Design

Despite the important job it does in improving indoor air quality and making your home more comfortable, your HVAC system — or the outdoor compressor/condenser section of your air conditioner, to be exact — probably isn’t your favorite landscaping design element.

Sometimes, homeowners find the outdoor HVAC unit is in the way when they’re trying to landscape the yard, or when planning an entertainment area where a noisy compressor won’t be so intrusive. Here are some suggestions that should help.

Maybe the condenser is just too noisy when it turns on. Noise usually originates from an older compressor, as newer units are quieter. Your best option may be to replace it with a newer model. If that won’t work for you, there are several other solutions.


1. Build a fence around it.


Experiment by putting plywood boards around the unit to see if this solves the noise problem. If it works, erect a permanent fence of solid, interlocking design, at least 3 feet from the unit, allowing for air flow. Build an entrance so the HVAC tech can gain access. Some manufactured products are available that you can assemble around the unit, but make sure you’re buying a model that cuts the noise. Some of these fences are even available in attractive designs that will fit well in your landscape.


2. Move the unit.


This may be a rather expensive solution, but moving the condenser could also answer concerns you have about how the unit doesn’t fit in with your landscaping design. You will be limited as to how far away you can locate the unit.


3. Landscape around it.


While this won’t help with noise, it could make the unit seem less intrusive in your landscape. For example, you could erect a trellis in front of the unit and grow climbing roses or vines; don’t plant anything that might shed seeds or fruits that could damage the unit.


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