Condenser coils depend on airflow to cool the refrigerant running through them. On the other hand, they are not much to look at. Thus, many homeowners may choose to plant bushes and flowers around their coils to camouflage them. To protect the operation of your coils as well as to prevent the need for repairs, it is important to not get carried away with your camouflaging efforts.
As you seek to hide your coils, you should make sure that you keep plants at least a couple of feet away from the coils. This does not mean that if you are going to plant a shrub, plant it two-feet away from your coils. You need to think about how large the shrubs you plant will get. For example, if your full grown shrub will have a ten foot diameter, then you should plant it at least seven feet away from your coils so that when it is full grown, you will still have a couple of feet between the shrub and your coils. You should also consider whether the plants you place around your coils are likely to spread.
Weed Mat Recommendations
Grasses and perennials will spread from year to year. Thus, you may start with two feet of free space around your coils, but as you cut your grass, it will spread out, and flowers will also spread as they reproduce from year to year. Thus, within one year or a few years, you may find that you have grasses and/or flowers growing right up against your coils. Rather than cut these plants back from year to year, you should consider placing weed mat around your coils. First, make sure that you thoroughly uproot or otherwise kill the plants growing within two feet of your coils. You can then stake down weed mat. While bare, black weed mat is not much to look at, covering it with decorative gravel or mulch will class it up without creating a layer of soil over the mat, which would allow plants to grow on top of it.
If you feel the impulse to obscure your condenser coils from view so that they don't detract from the landscaping in your yard, make sure you temper your efforts with a concern for the function of your coils. After all, it makes little sense to beautify your yard at the cost of robbing your AC unit of efficiency and risking damage to your AC coils. A little forethought will allow you to create the look you want while still ensuring that your coils can run properly. For more information, click here.