The short answer to whether you should provide shade for your air conditioner unit is yes but with conditions. Air conditioners work by removing hot air from your home and transferring and releasing it outside. The compressor for an air conditioner, whether it is a central air conditioner or a window unit, is always outside. This mechanism works best when the difference between the outside temperature and the temperature of the unit is as large as possible. Shading your compressor or air conditioner can help reduce energy costs, provided you do not decrease airflow around your unit.
A pergola or raised latticework supported by vertical posts is a good way to provide shade for your air conditioner while not reducing airflow around the compressor. Build your pergola out from your house and over the unit, leaving at least 5 feet of space between the top of your unit and the roof of the pergola. Train climbing plants to grow up the vertical posts and across the roof of the pergola to provide more shade. Keep your plants well pruned so they do not interfere with the compressor.
An awning on the side of your house can go a long way towards reducing energy costs in your home in a few ways. The awning will reduce the amount of sunlight beating down on the side of your house and increase the temperature indoors. Additionally, an awning placed over a central air conditioner compressor or window air conditioner will help keep the temperature differential optimal between the compressor and the outside temperature and help your unit operate more efficiently as well as increase its lifespan.
Trellis or Lattice
A trellis or lattice, erected some distance from your air conditioner or compressor, can also help shade your unit from the sun. Build your lattice at least 5 feet out from the compressor, and train a climbing plant, such as a grapevine or ivy, to grown up the trellis or lattice to provide shade for your unit. Constructing the lattice on only one side of your compressor, preferably the north-facing side, will help maximize airflow to the unit while minimizing sun exposure.
Always check with an authorized repair technician for your air conditioner to learn about specific concerns regarding airflow and the effects of shading your unit. A technician can tell you where you can safely install a structure to provide your unit with shade and give you tips on keeping your compressor running smoothly for years.
- Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
How to Winterize a Central Air Conditioning Condenser
The winter months are fast approaching, and,if you live in an area prone to cold weather, it is time to prepare your...
How to Hide an Outside AC Unit
Relief from the sweltering heat makes the outside AC unit a welcome addition to your home. Although this is a much-needed appliance,...
How to Keep Outside Air Conditioning Units Shaded
The best way to shade an outdoor air-conditioning unit is with a protective cover. Designed specifically to stop corrosion and deterioration from...
How to Shade Your AC Unit
Shading your air conditioning unit not only saves energy and contributes to a more efficiently run unit, it also helps you save...
How to Protect an AC Condenser From the Sun
Air conditioners require the use of a condenser to keep the cool air flow functioning properly. Condensers are located on the sides...
How to Shade Your Air Conditioners
Your home's air conditioning provides a comfortable environment on hot summer days. However, running an air conditioner excessively can be expensive. The...
Should I Cover My Central Air Conditioner Unit?
Some central air-conditioning systems can benefit from a cover during the winter season, but it depends on the type of system you...
Central Air Conditioning Shading Ideas
The outdoor mechanism of your central air conditioner is the compressor. The compressor, simply put, transfers the hot air from inside your...
Reasons for HVAC Compressor Failures
The compressor on an air conditioning unit or heat pump is a mechanical device that uses refrigerants to cool hot air. When...