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Can I shade with vine?

I live in AZ and, while the central air units are on the N (NW) side of the house, once the sun does get around there (which is also the hottest part of the day), the units get baked. I can only assume this causes efficiency to drop. For this reason (as well as aesthetics and noise control) I would like to provide the unts some shade by growing an ivy or vine over them. Obviously I would build a mesh frame upon which the plant would grow. My question is 1. is this an acceptable solution, 2. if so, what clearance is required between the A/C unit and the plant frame, 3. if not, suggestions?

Re: Can I shade with vine?

Although shading of any kind will help with efficacy, blocking air flow through the unit will have a greater opposite effect.

Re: Can I shade with vine?

Most residential a/c units should have at least 2' or 3' around them & be open to the sky for proper air flow to the unit.

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