If you're having a new central air conditioning unit installed, you'll need to find a place outdoors for the condenser. If you already have an air handler inside for your furnace, then the contractor will probably connect your AC to it and the existing ducts. But, even if you have a furnace, you'll still need a condenser unit outdoors for your new AC. Here are some tips on where you may want to position it.
Choose A Spot That Gets Some Shade
If the air conditioner is in shade during the heat of the day, then it will probably be more efficient. While it doesn't have to be in the shade all the time, giving it a rest from constant sun exposure is probably a good idea. If there is no shade around your house, you may want to choose a side of the house that gets the least amount of direct sunlight, such as the east or north side. However, other factors are important when choosing the location of the condenser and shade is always something that can be added later if necessary.
Place It Near The Circuit Box
Putting the condenser near the circuit box is a good choice for ease of wiring. However, the ground there needs to be level or made level with a concrete pad. Also, this location should be on the opposite wall of a room other than a bedroom. You probably don't want to sleep near a condenser that kicks on and off all night. In addition, the area you choose should be protected from roof runoff. Rain won't hurt the condenser, but you don't want it situated so rain from a roof valley pours on it or near it every time it rains. While being close to a circuit panel is convenient, your contractor will also consider local codes which may stipulate how close the condenser can be in relation to your panel, meter, and house.
Give It Room For Air Circulation
Your contractor won't install the condenser against the house. There needs to be room around the cage for airflow. You may need to remove bushes or other plants to make room for the cage too. If you plan to put in shrubs or a partition later for shade, be sure you leave several inches of room around the condenser. You may want to put up a partition or half-wall to hide the air conditioner from view, just be sure to leave adequate clearance as advised by your contractor. Also, be sure to keep tree branches trimmed and weeds and other plants cut so they don't grow too close to the cage. Your contractor may even suggest placing a border of gravel around the cage to give it a few inches of space that is free from grass and other growth.
You want to choose a spot for the condenser that is out of your way and in a position you like since it will be in your yard for many years and you'll always want to keep that area clear from debris and lawn furniture that could crowd the cage. Your contractor will offer suggestions too based on ease of installation and compliance with codes to help you make the right decision on where to have your new AC condenser installed.