Condenser coils are designed to push air over a labyrinth of fins containing freon. As the air moves over the coils, it absorbs heat and cools the freon inside. While condenser coils are designed to run as efficiently as possible, there are a few variables, such as air temperature and availability of cool air, that cannot be accounted for by the engineers. These are things that you have to account for at home. If you design your landscaping just right, you can actually improve your AC efficiency.
Shading Your Coils
The UV rays of the sun are responsible for solar heat gain. In other other words, they heat up any object that they fall on. If your AC coils are in direct sunlight, they will heat up throughout the day, and the hotter your coils get, the longer it takes for them to cool the freon inside. You could build a fence around your coils, but if the fence is too close to the coils, it will block airflow and impair AC efficiency. Besides, a random fence in your yard will do nothing to improve your landscaping. By planting trees to the south and west of your coils, you can provide them with shade while at the same time enhancing the look of your yard,
As the outside air heats up, it is less able to absorb heat from the freon running through your condenser coils. Trees are nature's swamp cooler. They are constantly releasing water vapor into the air as part of a process known as evapotranspiration. This water vapor absorbs heat from the surrounding air. The air thus cooled then settles into your yard. In this way, trees create a large volume of cool air that can then be used to cool the freon running through your AC coils, which will boost AC efficiency.
Trees can have an important impact on boosting condenser coil function, but they can also help your HVAC system in other ways. Trees will not only shade your AC coils, but you can also plant trees to shade your home which will reduce heat gain inside your home and, thus, reduce your need to run your AC unit, which will improve your overall efficiency. Furthermore, trees can create a wind block during the winter and by so doing reduce your heating costs by up to 30%. In other words, if you want to improve the function of your AC unit and avoid the need for frequent air conditioner repair, you need to make strategic use of mother nature's air conditioner—trees.