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Should I provide shading to my central air unit?

Let’s say you have already installed, or are preparing to have a brand new central air unit installed at your home or business.  As you are probably aware, this is a long-term investment that is meant to last for years and years.  Nothing beats central air when it comes to keeping your indoor temperature comfortable year-round.  Even better these units save you money on your utility bills because they are so energy efficient.  It is only natural that you want to get the most out of this investment.  The most important factor to extend the lifespan of your cooling unit is to stay on top of maintenance and yearly HVAC tune-ups.  Some owners consider taking things one step further, by shading their outside condenser unit.


Is covering my AC unit worth it?

The simple answer is yes.  In reality, however, the benefits are relatively small compared to other options that can be done to keep your air conditioner running correctly.  For example, you can increase efficiency and reduce strain by ensuring your ducts are clean and not leaking.  Ensure that your indoor air vents are open and clear from blockages.  If you are going to do this ensure you are not blocking any airflow.  In general the more shade you can provide, the more benefit you are going to receive.  Ideally, the shade provided should be an awning or many tall trees.  This will cool the air around the unit and reduce the amount of energy the unit has to use to cool the air before it enters the home.

If you are going to invest in planting trees you should try and cover areas of your roof as well.  Shading your home with even a couple of trees can save you hundreds in cooling costs each year.  If possible have your air conditioner installed on the side of the home that will receive the least amount of direct sunlight.  Our HVAC contractors also recommend shutting your blinds and windows when it is hot outside.  This is especially true if you are not at home.  Ensuring that your windows are not allowing sunlight can reduce energy usage by as much as 10 percent.

One last piece of cooling advice

Do not significantly raise the temperature of your thermostat while you are not home.  We understand that this does not sound correct, but hear us out.  If you were to raise your temperature to 78 while you are out at work, and then lower the temperature to 70 when you are home you are not really saving any money.  This is because central air systems are going to use more energy to lower temperatures in the entire house then they save by raising the temps momentarily.  It is far better to find a degree that you are comfortable with and keep it consistent throughout the day.  Perhaps 65 degrees in the middle of summer is a little too low, but something between 72-75 consistently us usually an ideal temperature for most homes.  Remember nothing is more valuable than speaking with a specialist.  If you live in or around Salt Lake City, UT consider calling Utah HVAC at (801) 930-0629 or schedule an appointment online.

(801) 930-0629