Should you shade your outside AC unit?


According to the U.S. Department of Energy, planting shade trees around your outdoor air conditioner unit can make it 10% more efficient. This can reduce your annual cooling costs by $100-250 depending on the size of your AC unit, not to mention reduce wear and tear on the unit.

How does this work?

Shade trees reduce outdoor temperatures around your AC unit by:

  • cooling the air around them
  • blocking sunlight from heating the ground around the unit

Planting trees and shrubs around the unit and installing an awning over the compressor goes a surprisingly long way toward helping your outdoor air conditioner unit perform with ease.

Dos and Don’ts of Shading your AC Unit 

DO pay attention to where your outdoor unit is and plant accordingly. Study where the sun falls onto your AC unit and calculate how tall the trees and shrubs you plant need to grow.

DO consider trees and shrubs that grow quickly and are evergreen. Trees that flower and shed their leaves will mean more work for you as debris needs to be cleared from around the outdoor unit.

DON’T restrict the airflow around your unit. Trees and shrubs should not impede airflow. Be sure they are planted to allow plenty of clearance around the unit when they are fully grown.

DON’T allow debris from what you’ve planted to collect around your unit. Leaves, sticks, moss, etc., must be cleared regularly.

DON’T forget to schedule regular maintenance. Shading your outdoor unit is a great step toward reducing your costs and increasing its longevity, but it isn’t a replacement for regular maintenance.

Contact Stuart Pro 

Questions about choosing the right plants to shade your outdoor AC unit and the best places to plant them? Contact Stuart Pro! We can help you select the best trees and shrubs and advise you on where to plant them for optimum cooling. 770.813.1316