Many people know that air conditioning compressors need to be placed outside in the right space to function properly. If you have recently hired an air conditioning professional, then he or she may have told you that the device needs to be set in a space that is clear of debris, bushes, and trees so the unit is able to receive the airflow it needs. However, this is not the only thing that needs to be considered. As a homeowner, there are several things you need to think about that may not seem important right away. Find out what a few of these considerations are and why they are important.
Place the Unit on Solid Ground
Many homeowners notice some water near the edges of their homes. Water can run off the roof, out of gutters, and out of poorly placed sump pump lines. You may notice this issue too, if your property has drainage issues. This happens most readily when clay and rock make up a good portion of the soil.
Unfortunately, wet soil means your air conditioner may sink into the earth over time. This happens not just because of the soil, but because of the unit itself. If you have ever tried to pick up a window AC unit, then you know air conditioners are quite heavy. The weight is due to the amount of copper contained inside the device that is used to make the coils. One of the heaviest window units weighs just over 200 pounds, but you can expect a larger outdoor compressor to weigh much more.
Using a Pad
Weight and wet ground problems cause AC sinking issues, but so does the vibration of the unit itself. To avoid these issues, consider setting the air conditioner on a solid surface. In some cases, this may mean having a concrete pad constructed. You can create one yourself, as long as the pad is wide enough that the edges of the unit sit at least one foot from the edge on each side. Also, a solid gravel base around six inches deep is needed too, with a four to six inch layer of concrete on top.
If you do not want a permanent concrete construction on the side of your home, then you have the option of purchasing a rubber or vinyl pad to set the device on. Just make sure the pad is flat before the compressor is set on top. A tipped or slanted air conditioning unit can leak coolant.
Think About the Wind
One reason why an air conditioner is best placed away from trees and plants is to make sure that dirt and other matter does not blow into the compressor fins and block the fan or the heat exchange process that takes place in the unit. If you have high winds on your property, then this can also cause debris to enter. This means you should consider the general wind speeds and direction when placing your unit. It is most important to consider the active wind during the spring and summer, unless extensive winter storms may damage the unit.
You cannot exactly predict wind direction. However, you can figure out the direction that the wind is going to blow most often. This is based on prevailing winds, land breezes, valleys, hills, and bodies of water near your home. You may not be able to use your geological location to determine wind direction, but meteorologists can. They do this by creating a wind rose. Wind roses can be found online. Once you find one for your city or town, find the direction that the wind is most likely to blow and place the AC unit on the opposite side of your house. For example, if winds are likely to come from the east, then set the condensor on the west side of the house.
For more information, contact a local air conditioning installation company.