You may have heard a lot of people say you should have some kind of shade structure built over your air conditioner, or the ground unit outside your home. Many people will claim that shading your air conditioner unit will save you money and improve your unit’s efficiency. For those who want to know more about this matter, Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning would like to shed the truth about shading your air conditioner.
Does Adding Shade to AC Help Save Money?
When looking on how an air conditioner works, the process will cool the intake of outdoor air and then circulate the cool air throughout the home. By reducing the surrounding temperature of the outdoor unit, it will help cool the air down fast and more effectively. Yes, having cooler air around the air conditioner unit helps during the cooling process, and shading the unit will make the air cooler. However, studies have been conducted to determine if shading the air conditioner truly makes a difference. Where the studies have shown shading the air conditioner indeed helps improve cooling efficiency, the improvement is only 1.2% which equals to only a 3% yearly savings. The cooling efficiency and money savings isn’t that much. Knowing that the savings is so low, a professional HVAC technician would never suggest or encourage a homeowner to invest in a shaded structure. However, if the homeowner wants to go ahead and shade the ground unit, there are some elements to keep in mind.
Is it Good to Shade Your AC?
If you want to shade the ground unit of your air conditioning system, you can shade it by building a shade structure around the unit or by planting a tree or shrubs. When relying on plants to shade your unit, make sure the plants are not too close to the unit. The unit needs plenty of space for proper air flow and circulation. Additionally, if you decide to use trees or shrubs to help shade your unit, keep branches and leaves cleared and away from the unit. You do not want leaves clogging up the unit. If you decide on building a shade structure, make sure the structure allows for good air flow. Shaded structures can restrict air flow which causes bigger problems for your cooling system. Make sure the shade structure’s design allows for proper air flow. Additionally, keep the unit’s space clean. A structure often allows for leaves and other debris to build up around the unit. You must keep the unit clean. Lastly, look at the location of the air conditioner. You may not need to shade the unit as most units are already shaded by the home. When designing a home, the units are often placed in the area that is out of the direct sun. Only seek to shade a unit if it sits in the direct sunlight most of the day to get any savings from a shaded structure.
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Shade your unit at your own discretion. Only in a few situations will shading an air conditioner unit actually be recommended. If you have more questions or require quality HVAC services, contact Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning.