If you are installing a new air conditioning unit, there are several factors to consider when it comes to where it will be placed. Even though you may want to have the air conditioning unit installed in an unused and inconspicuous spot, it may not be the ideal location to get the best efficiency from the air conditioner. Here are a few things to consider when deciding on a location for the unit. 

Level ground

Refrigerant in the unit needs to flow properly through the coils and the compressor needs to be level in order to prevent leaks, or the unit could malfunction. The reason for this is that the compressor can thrash around when the motor starts and stops. This could cause the refrigerant lines to leak. An uneven unit could cause the shock mounts to rupture due to uneven weight on the low side due to the effects of gravity. The ground underneath the unit should be as level as possible, which can be done by installing the unit on a level slab or concrete, if necessary. 

Air movement

Air conditioning units need to have enough space around them to allow air to circulate. Air conditioners work by removing hot air from the interior of your home, cooling the air, forcing the cooled air into your home, and allowing hot air to escape the air conditioner. A lack of circulation would cause the air conditioning unit to have a hotter operating temperature, which would cause inefficiency and, therefore, high energy costs. The rule of thumb is to have at least 24 inches of space between the unit and any obstruction, as well as 48 inches above the unit. 


It's important to find a location where the unit will be in shade, particularly during the hottest part of the day. A shady area will help the air conditioning unit run efficiently because it won't have to work as hard to cool the air to a lower temperature. Consider installing the air conditioning unit on the east or north side of the house, where the house will naturally shade the unit from harsh, direct sun. If that's not possible, perhaps install a structure over the top of the unit, such as a pergola, which can also make the unit less noticeable. 


The air conditioning unit will have vents on each side and at the top for air circulation. It's important to prevent nearby vegetation from growing into the area around the unit or, worse, into the unit. Also, keep in mind that pine needles and leaves from nearby trees could get into the unit or cover it and cause it to be inefficient. If debris gets onto the coils inside the unit, the coils will not be able to cool the air. Also, if any twigs get into the unit, they could cause the fan to seize. Find a location that is already free of vegetation or remove vegetation before installing the air conditioning unit. 

No dust

Dust from bare dirt can get into the unit and cover the coils, which would cause the coils to be unable to absorb heat. The refrigerant inside the coils needs to warm up so the refrigerant can change from liquid to gas, which builds up pressure and causes the compressor to pump the refrigerant through the system. If the coils are covered in dust, the refrigerant doesn't get pumped through the unit. This is what causes ice to build up in air conditioners. The air conditioning unit should not be placed near bare dirt. If necessary, plant grass or cover the bare dirt with mulch to prevent dust from getting into the air conditioner. 

For more information and advice, contact a company like Nova Air Conditioning & Heating.