It’s not uncommon for homeowners to request their outdoor HVAC unit be installed in a location that is hidden from the eye for maximum curb appeal. While it’s understandable that homeowners would prefer their outdoor air conditioning unit be located in an inconspicuous location to not distract from their well-kept home exterior, it’s important to consider factors other than aesthetics when deciding the best location for your HVAC unit. Careful planning to determine the best location for your HVAC unit could result in your HVAC unit lasting longer and result in improved performance.
Placing Your Outdoor HVAC Unit
“Where to install HVAC units?” and conversations surrounding “the best location for HVAC unit” are common, but important, questions asked of HVAC installation companies. Incorrect placement of an HVAC unit can have negative repercussions that often end with high service repair bills and increased energy bills.
Generally, the best location for an HVAC unit is a clean space with plenty of airflow clearance. Keep reading to learn about the facts that should be considered before deciding where to put your HVAC unit.
Shade is Your Friend
When contemplating the best outdoor HVAC unit locations, the amount of shade is important to take into consideration. Most reputable HVAC installation companies will encourage customers to place their AC outdoor unit in a shady spot outside the customer’s home. This is because an air conditioning outdoor unit that is exposed to direct sunlight during the entirety of the day will work harder than an air conditioning outdoor unit in a shady location. The harder your outdoor unit is working to cool off, the more energy it will use up, which will translate into more expensive energy bills.
With shade in mind, look for the location near your home that is shaded during the warmest part of the day. Generally, this will be the north or east side of your home.
Away From Shrubbery and Water Runoff
Don’t make the mistake of placing your air conditioning outdoor unit near trees and bushes in efforts to find a location for your HVAC unit that is in the shade. Specifically, outdoor HVAC unit locations should always be a minimum of 12” from any trees, bushes, or other shrubbery to achieve adequate airflow to the HVAC unit. By keeping your outdoor unit away from trees and shrubbery, you will be preventing leaves, sticks, and other debris from entering your air conditioning unit. Outdoor air conditioning units that become clogged with debris can cause airflow restriction and fan rotation issues.
Also, ask yourself, is the AC unit too close to the house? Once again, an outdoor unit should be a minimum of 12” away from any structure for airflow purposes. Be certain that your outdoor AC unit location is far enough from any walls to prevent excess roof runoff water from pouring directly on the unit.
Distance From Entertainment and Play Areas
When deciding where to install HVAC units, don’t forget to consider the outdoor space that your family spends time at. This is an important consideration because some AC outdoor units are noisy and could be a nuisance when trying to relax outdoors. Additionally, be careful to place your outdoor air conditioning unit away from animals that may have a tendency to chew. It’s not healthy for your HVAC system, or your pet, to chew on your HVAC unit. We’ve heard stories of dogs chewing up refrigerant line insulation – yikes!
Placing Your Indoor HVAC Unit
Next up, lets talk about indoor HVAC unit locations. The indoor HVAC unit helps bring air into your home from outside, eliminates moisture, and circulates air throughout the home. It’s important to consider accessibility, ductwork, and heat sources when determining the ideal location for an indoor HVAC unit.
Central in the Home
Every home is different, but generally, one of the best locations for an indoor HVAC unit will be in a centrally located spot in a home. A centrally located HVAC unit will often increase the efficiency of your HVAC system, and decrease the amount of ductwork needed. Locations such as basements, roomy closets in a centrally located hallway, and pantries, are often an ideal place for an indoor HVAC unit.
Accessibility is an important factor when deciding the location of an indoor HVAC unit. Avoid installing an indoor unit in a spot that is hard to reach. Your indoor HVAC unit will need maintenance during its lifetime, which means an HVAC technician will need to be able access the unit. Labor costs associated with your HVAC system may be higher if your indoor HVAC unit is in a hard-to-reach location because HVAC technicians generally will be forced to spend more time servicing the unit.
Also, keep in mind that small spaces may result in your HVAC system working harder than it should be. For example, indoor HVAC units in attics may overheat with all the warm air rising to the top of a home. When an HVAC unit overheats, it uses more energy to cool itself.
Keep Away from Heat Sources
Be sure that your indoor HVAC unit is not near electronic equipment that are heat sources, such as, TVs, appliances, and lamps. Electronic equipment that releases heat may result in your HVAC unit running more than it needs to, ultimately decreasing your HVAC system’s efficiency. It’s also common for condensation to form on various HVAC unit components, which means sensitive electronic equipment should be kept away from your indoor HVAC unit.
Professional Advice on HVAC Installation Locations
Unsure where to place HVAC units or the best location for AC units? Be confident in your decision by having our expert HVAC technicians at Larry Cook Heating & Cooling assist you in finding the optimal location in your home for your HVAC system.
To schedule your HVAC installation, repair, or replacement, contact us today at 316-322-5668 for residential and businesses needs in the Wichita Metro area.