We all love our central air conditioning to keep Texas summers bearable, but most of us would agree that our AC's outdoor unit isn't particularly attractive. For this reason, many people choose to hide their outdoor unit (AKA, the condenser) behind fences, landscaping, or hardscaping. While there are plenty of ways to conceal your condenser, you want to make sure that you're not crowding the unit, causing it to overheat and operate less efficiently.
Use these tips if you plan to install landscaping or hardscaping around your AC’s outdoor unit.
1. Provide enough horizontal clearance.
There are a couple of critical reasons for this. Planting or building a wall too close to the unit will restrict its airflow and inhibit its ability to release heat. If the condenser can’t “breathe,” your air conditioning system will operate less efficiently, and the condenser is more likely to need repairs and wear out faster. Also, when a technician needs to access the unit for repairs or maintenance, they need enough room to work.
Keep walls and thick bushes at least two feet away from the condenser's sides to give it adequate breathing room. For a lattice, trellis, or sparser shrubs, 18 inches is acceptable. Just make sure there is an easy way to access the unit!
2. Provide enough vertical clearance.
Condensers require even more vertical breathing room than horizontal. For this reason, never install your air conditioner under a deck or beneath shrubs that will grow over the unit. Otherwise, the equipment will be in extreme danger of overheating. Your condenser should have a least five feet of unobstructed space overhead.
3. Make sure there’s adequate drainage.
Your air conditioner should never sit in a puddle of water. If the condenser coil starts to rust, the equipment will become less efficient. The next time your sprinklers run, check to see if any drainage issues are occurring that might cause water to collect around the unit.
4. Water your plants--not your condenser.
Redirect any sprinklers that are spraying directly onto your condenser. While it may seem like your sprinklers are helping to keep the equipment clean, the water's mineral content can build up on your condenser coil over time and cause it to disperse heat less efficiently.
For reliable AC repairs and installations in Richardson, Plano, Garland & the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro Area, you can count on Rescue Air Heating and Cooling: (972) 201-3253.
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