Most homes use a split HVAC system with an outdoor AC condenser. Putting the condenser in the right place is essential for your air conditioner to operate efficiently. Here are three tips that will help you find the best spot for your AC condenser.
1. Install Far From Outdoor Sitting Areas
Modern air conditioners are designed to run as quietly and efficiently as possible, but no condenser is silent. The noise from an AC condenser can be distracting when you're trying to relax outdoors. Contractors often recommend installing the condenser on a different side of your house from your deck or patio.
2. Leave Sufficient Clearance Space
Central AC condensers use a fan to draw in the surrounding air and release heat from the refrigerant. When there isn't enough clearance space around your condenser, your air conditioner will struggle to expel heat and use more energy in the process. Obstructions like shrubbery and walls will block airflow to the condenser if they're too close. This can lead to overheating and shorten your air conditioner's life.
Failing to leave enough clearance space around your condenser has another downside: It can make installing and maintaining your air conditioner much more difficult. HVAC technicians need sufficient space around the condenser to service wiring and refrigerant lines connected to the unit. Inspectapedia recommends a minimum clearance of 24 inches around all sides of a central AC condenser.
3. Choose a Flat Surface
Condensers are installed on top of a concrete slab called the condenser pad. The pad must be laid on flat, solid ground; uneven or shifting soil can cause problems when the condenser starts to tilt.
An unlevel condenser may have problems moving refrigerant through the cooling system when fluid gets trapped in the refrigerant tubes. Tilting can also damage the condenser fan by causing it to grind against the casing. Technicians sometimes install the condenser and pad atop a foundation of packed gravel or dirt to ensure that it remains level.
4. Make Sure Your Condenser Has Shade
Central AC condensers are very sensitive to the outside temperature. Your condenser coils will need more energy to dissipate heat if they are in direct sunlight. The ideal location for your AC condenser will provide ample shade during peak daylight hours. In the Northern Hemisphere, placing the condenser on the north side of your home will give it coverage for most of the day.
AC installation requires careful planning and consideration to get the most out of your new system. When in doubt, use these tips and rely on a professional HVAC contractor to identify the best location for your new AC condenser.
Speak to an AC service to find out more.