If you are like many people in the Central Texas area, the spring like weather we have had recently makes you start thinking about getting outside. You might even be thinking about going outside to complete some landscaping projects or getting the garden ready for planting. If you are planning outdoor home improvements in the next couple months, you might want to consider adding one more to the list. Provide some shade for your homes outside AC condenser unit. Your AC unit and your wallet will thank you during the brutally hot days of the Central Texas summer.
The US Department of Energy has reported that air conditioner units placed in the shade use about 10% less energy than units left to bake in the hot summer sun. Why do you ask? The simple answer is that the unit stays cooler and has less work to do to cool your home.
Have you ever considered the color of your AC unit? Most are painted light grey, brown, or tan. The color helps the metal unit to absorb less heat from the sun. The unit itself is made of metal to help withstand the elements. However, metal is designed to absorb heat and when it does heat up, it releases heat waves to the area surrounding it. In order to help reduce the amount of heat the unit absorbs from the sun, the manufacturers paint or powder coat the units in the lighter colors.
If you are planning to replace your unit or if you are building a new home, consider AC placement in the planning. By placing the unit on the North or South side of the house, it will naturally receive less direct sunlight and stay cooler. If you have an area around the house that has trees and foliage already, this might be a place to consider placing the unit as well. Consult with an AC professional to ensure that the unit is put in the best place to ensure the highest efficiency.
Is your AC unit already in place outside your home? You can create shade for your unit with a bit of planning as well. Planting trees or shrubs can help to create shade where none currently exists. You can also build an awning on the side of the house or build a “house” for the AC unit. If you plan to create shade near or around your unit, make sure you leave ample space around the unit for air to flow and allow the unit to expel heat. The amount of space needed around your unit is something an AC professional is able to help you determine.
In general, trees and plants can help keep a home cooler during the summer heat. Pavement and concrete absorb the heat while trees and shrubs keep the ground cooler by providing shade. A well planned out landscape can help keep your house much cooler during the summer months.
Would you like help designing shade for your AC unit? 1st AC and Heating Services is here to help. Give us a call or shoot us an email to set up an appointment today.