Have you considered xeriscaping around your A/C unit? It’s a good idea for several reasons, even in OKC.
Is your HVAC condenser in a healthy yard filled with trees and plant life? Grass, leaves and other yard detritus can collect on the coil and fins, slowing down the unit and eventually causing equipment shutdown. One solution to keeping your HVAC from needing constant cleaning – and one that will keep your water bills down – is xeriscaping.
When you xeriscape your yard, it no longer needs mowing or constant watering in the summer. Many homes in warm climates that receive little or no rainfall xeriscape their yards out of necessity. It’s a landscaping method geared toward conserving water, yet it is also aesthetically appealing and helps keep plant life from infiltrating and compromising your condenser. Oklahoma gets quite a bit of rain, but xeriscaping can be designed to handle excessive water flow. The materials used are durable and require little maintenance – even the plants that are fixtures in a typical xeriscape require very little care .
Before you decide to xeriscape your yard (or simply xeriscaping around you’re A/C unit), consider the following tips:
- Stones and Gravel – If mowing around your condenser has caused problems, placing stones around the slab is a good way to deter damage from yard work. After you have removed the grass and turf, make sure that you cover the bare soil with a layer of landscaping fabric to prevent weeds and other growth between stones. There are lots of options for decorative rock coverage, much of which depends on your climate and design scheme. The sizes range from a fine crush to a couple of inches. Limestone, Rundlestone and Black Lava are popular stones that are available in ¾ and 2” sizes – though they are also available in “fines,” which is a much smaller (ground) form similar to gravel.
- Plants – If you’d like to conceal your condenser with plant life, there are lots of xeriscaping options as well. Succulents are the obvious choice for xeriscaping and are ideal for planting around the unit as most do not produce a lot of detritus. Choosing the right plants for your climate will make all the difference. There are about 2,000 different types of cactus and certain climates are better suited for them to flourish. Opuntia Cymochila, Opuntia Engelmannii and Escobaria Missouriensis are three that do well in the Oklahoma climate. Small shrubs and dwarf shrubs are non-flowering options that are visually appealing, but all should be chosen with the local climate in mind. Whatever pant life you decide upon, make sure that you have a three foot barrier between the unit and the plants to ensure easy access and airflow.
- Shaded Area – While xeriscaping is a valid option for keeping your condenser safe, it will run more efficiently if it is in a shaded area. Evergreen trees, Arizona Cypress and Bald Cypress do not shed or have leaves that will clog your unit. Several low water shrubs thrive in Oklahoma as well including Deciduous Holly, Nandina and Sumac. There are also some ornamental grasses that would grow tall enough to conceal a condenser; Mexican Feather Grass, Switch Grass and Ravenna Grass are just a few Oklahoma options.
Xeriscaping in OKC is an easy and dynamic way to save money on your utility bill. It will also help ensure your condenser stays free from plant and foliage contamination (one of the primary reasons for repairs). Though Interstate can’t help you with xeriscape planning, we can advise on smart placement of a new condenser. If you ever need assistance with HVAC repair, maintenance or installation, give us a call today at 405-794-8900.
Sign up for our Maintenance Plan for FREE tune-ups and 20% discount on all repairs.
We’ll get you back on the Road to Comfort!