How to Create Better Operating Conditions for Your Air Conditioner


Residential air conditioners are remarkable and hardy machines. That being said, providing optimal operating conditions for your air conditioner allows it to perform more efficiently. If you treat your air conditioner well, it won’t have to work as hard to make your home comfortable, meaning it will use less energy and cost you less money. As an added bonus, your air conditioner will also last longer.

Here are some tips for things that you can do to provide better operating conditions for your hardworking AC.

1. Provide your air conditioner with shade.

Condensers (outdoor air conditioning units) that are located in direct sunlight end up working harder to cool air than condensers located in the shade. When installing an air conditioner for your home, its best to position the condenser along the north-facing side of your home so that it won’t get harsh, afternoon sunlight.

If your air conditioner gets a lot of sunlight, you can always provide shade for it after the fact. Planting a fast-growing shade tree is one option. You can also install an awning on the side of your home to give your condenser shade in the afternoon.

2. Don’t crowd your air conditioner.

While providing shade for your air conditioner can help it perform more efficiently, it’s important to make sure that the condenser has enough room to properly ventilate. The condenser disperses a lot of heat from its sides and especially from its top. Crowding the condenser traps it with the heat that it's trying to release, making the cooling process more difficult to complete.

Things that commonly crowd condensers are shrubs, bushes, walls, and fences that homeowners set up to block the units from view. While most would agree that a condenser is not charming or quaint to look upon, it’s important that any barrier you put up to hide your unit is at least 1 foot away from the unit on all sides. Make sure to also leave about 5 feet of clearance above the unit as well.

Also, don’t forget to install a gate or a leave a big enough gap for an HVAC technician to easily access the unit!

3. Regularly change or clean the system’s air filter.

Contrary to what most people believe, the air filter’s main function is not to filter the air that goes into your home. Its primary job is to filter the air that goes into your heating and cooling system.

When the air filter becomes clogged with dust, dander, hair, and other debris, it restricts the airflow that flows through your system, putting unnecessary strain on the blower. Eventually, a clogged air filter can cause a multitude of problems for your air conditioner. The system might overheat, the evaporator coil might freeze, or the compressor might even break down. That's why you need to perform regular air filter changes.

In need of AC service in Boise or Caldwell? At Carter Comfort Systems, our highly trained HVAC technicians are equipped to install, service, or maintain any air conditioning units. Contact us online or call us at (208) 739-4181.