Is Shading Your Air Conditioner Worth the Effort?

Homeowners often ask us whether their HVAC system’s condenser (the enclosure that’s placed outside the house) would benefit from being in the shade instead of exposed to direct sunlight. In today’s post, local heating and air conditioning company Reliable Air Conditioning & Heating takes a look at whether shading your air conditioner is worth the effort.

Air Conditioner

How the Outdoor Unit Works

Why do air conditioners have outdoor units in the first place? It’s because heat from inside your home that’s captured by the supercooled refrigerant is dumped through the condensing coil. Therefore, keeping it indoors would defeat its purpose. On hot days, ambient temperature can slow the condenser from dumping heat from the air conditioner. The hotter it is, the more work it will be for the air conditioner to expel heat, therefore, a little more electricity will be used.

What About Direct Sunlight?

If your HVAC system’s outdoor unit happens to be in a spot where it gets direct sunlight, the enclosure will absorb solar heat, much like what a roof does. The enclosure is designed to tolerate exposure to heat, and continuous exposure to sunlight won’t damage it or the components within. An experienced cooling and heating service technician wouldn’t put your HVAC system in a place where it’s exposed to danger. If you intend to improve HVAC system efficiency, you can get better results by replacing the air filters, fixing duct leaks and keeping up with regular maintenance.

It doesn’t mean that shading your HVAC system doesn’t offer any advantages; it does. In addition to alleviating some of the heat from the outdoors, a shed or roof can protect the unit from impact damage caused by hailstones or windborne debris. It’s important to remember that the shade should not block airflow around the sides of the unit, and should allow access to the top in case of maintenance.

Contact Us for Your Heating & Cooling Needs

Reliable Air Conditioning & Heating provides quality HVAC services, including indoor air quality testing, to greater Los Angeles and the surrounding communities. Give us a call at (818) 487-0671 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.

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