Does shade help an air conditioner

This question has been discussed for years and people keep on wondering and worrying about this factor whether they are scientists, HVAC technicians, maintenance professionals, or even normal people. People want to know that because they want to get the most out of an air conditioner. We all know that we are living in an era where saving energy while getting the best out of an electronic device or equipment is the first priority for almost all people.

When people begin to think about how they can make their air conditioner more energy efficient while improving its performance as well, they tend to ask the same questions, does shade help an aircon? Does your air conditioner need shade?

Should i shade my ac unit?

There is no doubt that shading an air conditioner will definitely bring benefits in making it energy efficient but the advantages will not stop there. There are a lot of other things that come along with it and you should know each aspect of this factor to enjoy and live better.

Does your air conditioner need shade?

Should i shade my ac unit? It is true that air conditioners don’t really need shade as they can work flawlessly without any issues even if the outdoor unit is placed in an open environment under direct sunlight. But the fact is that adding a shade will increase its efficiency and improve its performance too many folds.

An air conditioner without a shade will use more power to meet the temperature requirements of the user and also it may not live as long as it would if you place it either in a cool area or under a shade. Apart from this, if you live in a region where weather can be extreme sometimes or rains are very frequent, shade should be an essential part of the air conditioner as rainwater can get inside the unit and may cause issues with the buildup of dirt and debris.

Pros of shading my air conditioner

  • The first and most talked about benefit of shading is that your air conditioner will become more efficient in terms of utility bills.
  • The running life of the air conditioner can be increased by many years or too many folds.
  • The performance and efficiency in terms of meeting the required temperature are improved dramatically.
  • The need for maintenance is mitigated almost once in a while.
  • Shade can also protect your air conditioner unit from raindrops directly falling into the system.
  • Shading will keep the air around the outdoor unit cool as it will not have direct sunlight contact.

Cons of shading an air conditioner

  • Shading the air conditioner with plants and trees may cause issues if seeds or leaves keep on getting inside the outdoor unit.
  • Standing water inside or around the unit may take more time to get dry as it will not be exposed to direct sunlight. This thing can build up mold and debris in the unit.
  • Installing a shade will add up to the cost of the AC unit at the time of installation.

Is shading the AC worth it?

Energy.gov has conducted various tests on different conditions to calculate actual results of how much shade helps the air conditioner or is it just a waste of time and money. They claim that shade should be added as it can enhance its energy efficiency by more than 10%.

Another survey agency claims that if you put a proper shade over an air conditioner, you can get almost half of the regular utility bills in the long run.

The condensers of the air conditioner have to work more so it can provide less cooling. The main reason is usually the non-availability of shade as the unit has to tackle the outside heat where it should only focus on the indoor environment. You can get an idea by the fact that if you touch the AC under the shade, after turning it OFF for some time, you will realize that it is far cooler than it was without any shade. 

Should I shade my air conditioner?

Honestly speaking, everyone should shade their air conditioner no matter whether it is placed in an open environment, has trees on it, there is a lot of rain in the region, or none of the mentioned factors are taking place.

You just have to keep this fact in mind that the benefits that come from shading an air conditioner are not only restricted to its improved performance and efficiency but it brings protection for the unit as well. A survey has found that people who have shaded their air conditioner require less maintenance of their AC as compared to the ones whose AC units are running openly.

Also, HVAC specialists and manufacturers claim that if you put a shade over your air conditioner unit, especially if it rains a lot or there is a green area near the unit, the life of your AC can increase too many folds. Some researchers even claim that this one step can extend the life of an AC for a decade as well.

What can I use to shade my air conditioner?

A wide range of things can be done to make a shade around an air conditioner. The choice should be made by keeping the fact in mind that what you need is a solid shade or just a normal one.

Also, you need to consider whether you want the air conditioner to be protected from direct sunlight or rain. Below are some of the best shading options you can choose from.

Canopy for AC outdoor unit

  • Canopy is one of the safest and best covers to be used as shade.
  • It comes in varying types and shapes so you have the flexibility to install it at any place where an air conditioner unit is installed.
  • It has the ability to protect AC units from direct sunlight, rain, and extreme temperature while allowing the air around them to flow without any hurdles.
  • You can either just cover the upper area of the unit like a rooftop or may cover the whole unit with a mesh-like passage for air to flow.

Air conditioner sun shield

  • Sun shield is considered the best option for areas where temperature can get too high during the hot summer days.
  • Sun shields have the ability to block the direct heat coming from the sun by absorbing and not letting it pass to AC with its full capacity.
  • It usually comes in a shape like a person’s cap or hat.
  • Most of the sun shields are coated with a sheet that can prevent the heat and sometimes completely repel it back. 

Plants to shade an air conditioner

  • Some plants that flowers as well are considered the best option for shading an air conditioner.
  • Trees are not appreciated as they can grow tall and may cause dirt as well because of their leaves.
  • Make sure you place plants at a distance of about 2 to 4 feet from the air conditioner unit. It is necessary so that the technician doesn’t face any issues at the time of repairing or maintenance.
  • Cleaning the area around plants and units should be done as letting the dirt may get inside the unit and can cause mold and other issues.

Air conditioner umbrella

  • This is a new and highly helpful product in the list of shading products as it has the ability to protect an AC unit from sunlight, rain, dust, and many other particles with ease.
  • One of the best things about air conditioner umbrellas is their ease in changing places and flexibility. You have the ability to change its direction and position as you desire.
  • Also, you have the option to close the umbrella if you feel the temperature is moderate or protection is not really needed anymore for the AC.

Awning over air conditioner

  • An awning is the best suitable option if your air conditioner unit is located near a wall.
  • You can also use windows awning but installing specifically for AC units is a better practice.
  • You have the option to have an awning either as simple cloth or some hard material such as metal or glass as well.
  • People usually install awnings that can be folded or extended in the hour of need which is good in order to change its position with the movement of the sun.

Build a roof over air conditioner

  • This is a great solution if you want a permanent shade over an air conditioner.
  • A roof can be constructed with any of the materials whether it is concrete, brick, wood, tiles, or marble.
  • Make sure the roof is at least 2 to 4 feet above the air conditioner so that the technician can work easily at the time of maintenance or repairing.
  • Experts usually recommended a roof made of wood as it is quite easy to remove and effective in blocking heat as well.
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