Do’s And Don’ts For Installing Your HVAC System’s Outdoor Unit

The performance of your residential heating and cooling system relies on the placement of the outdoor unit. This unit comprises the compressor, condenser coils, and crucial electrical parts. It facilitates heat exchange with the atmosphere to support efficient heating and cooling. Thus, if the unit is not placed in an ideal place, it won't function properly. With this in mind, here are four do;s and don'ts you should observe when choosing the perfect installation location.

Do Allow for Easy Accessibility

The outdoor unit has various parts that require regular maintenance. The condenser coils, fan, and compressor unit require regular cleaning for optimal performance. You also need to check refrigerant levels and inspect the electrical components. Thus, you should install the appliance in an easy-to-access location. Avoid constricted spaces where you or the HVAC contractor may have a hard time accessing the components.

Don't Install On an Uneven Surface

You shouldn't install the outdoor unit on dirt or an uneven surface. Dust can cause the coils to get dirty faster than projected. If you don't clean them regularly, the dirt can clog the components and affect the unit's performance. Similarly, installing the appliance on an uneven surface can affect refrigerant movement and condensate drainage. 

Install the component on an even surface for optimal performance. If possible, you can place it on a concrete or stone base to keep the parts clean. Elevating it also protects it from snow, storm-water runoff, and other damaging weather elements.

Do Hide the Unit for Curb Appeal

If you're worried that the outdoor HVAC unit will ruin curb appeal, consider hiding it. However, hiding doesn't mean covering -- the latter can cause overheating due to poor airflow. Some great ideas for concealing the unit include the following:

  • Build a lattice fence around the unit 
  • Install a privacy screen which will hide the component but not affect airflow
  • Grow plants around the perimeter of the unit's location 

If you choose to grow plants, make sure they don't come too close to the unit. Tame branches that may attempt to grow towards the unit and block the fan or fins.

Don't Hinder Airflow to the Unit

The outdoor unit requires adequate airflow, especially during the summer. Thus, install it in a location with proper airflow on all sides. Any obstruction can cause the electrical components to overheat and malfunction. If you're placing the unit next to a wall, ensure the metal fins are away from the wall. 

Choosing the right installation location for your outdoor heating and cooling unit can improve the efficiency and performance of the system. Talk to an HVAC contractor if you need help finding a proper placement location.


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