Size isn't the only thing that matters when buying and installing a new air conditioner for your home. Proper placement is also important. Some spots are simply better than others and placing your A/C unit in an area that's less than ideal could hurt its performance, efficiency, and longevity.
1. Choose an Area With Plenty of Shade
You use hats to shield your head whenever you're working under direct sunlight. Your air conditioner, on the other hand, isn't so lucky if it happens to be in a location exposed to direct sunlight. The resulting heat soak makes your A/C system work harder to achieve the same performance, robbing it of its efficiency while raising your cooling costs.
Place your air conditioner on the north or east side of your home to gain natural shade from the sun. If that isn't possible, position your air conditioner near some form of natural shade, such as a tree or tall shrub that sheds little debris.
2. Give Your Air Conditioner Some Breathing Room
Air conditioners need good airflow to move latent heat away from the unit. Tall grasses, thick shrubbery, and solid structures that are too close to the A/C system can interrupt airflow and cause problems for your unit. For this reason, create a two- to three-foot buffer around your A/C unit that's free of all possible obstructions.
3. Avoid Materials That Produce Radiant Heat
Air conditioners typically sit on a concrete pad that provides a solid, stable resting surface for the heavy equipment. While having your A/C unit on a slab isn't a problem, surrounding the unit with a concrete pad or stones can be a problem. These materials absorb and radiate heat, raising temperatures around the A/C unit. Instead, surround your A/C system with grass, mulch, or another material that doesn't absorb or radiate heat.
4. Be Wary of Deciduous Trees
Deciduous trees like oaks, maples, and pines are well-known for shedding their leaves and needles every fall. Between the dead leaves, fallen branches, and shed pine needles, all of that beneficial debris could prove less-than-beneficial for your new air conditioner. Pollen from certain deciduous trees can also accumulate on the condenser coil, preventing air from flowing past the coil properly.
It's a good idea to keep your air conditioning unit away from any deciduous trees. Otherwise, be prepared to clean the outdoor cabinet on a regular basis throughout the fall.
5. Keep Your Pets at Bay
Certain pets, including dogs, love marking their territory by urinating on structures, including air conditioning cabinets. Corrosive animal urine can do a number on your A/C system over time, creating rust spots throughout the unit. A few strategically placed shrubs or a small, well-ventilated fence can help keep pets away from the A/C unit.
For more information and tips, contact your local air conditioning services.