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Is It True: Does Shade Help Air Conditioners Save Energy?

It’s hot outside, and you’re trying to keep your house cool. One option for doing this is by setting up an air conditioning unit for your home. However, there are many factors that affect how much energy it uses—and some of them aren’t always obvious! For example, is it true that shade can help your air conditioner run smoother and can it help you save money on electricity?

It Helps, But Don’t Depend On It

It’s true that a shaded AC unit can save some energy and money. However, you shouldn’t depend on shade to completely shield your air conditioner from the heat of the sun as the effects are only mild in most cases. Its the actual placement of your unit that has the most potential to increase the efficiency and longevity of your air conditioner.

How to Properly Shade Your Air Conditioner:

Determine Which Side of the House to Put Your AC On.

Traditionally the north side of you home is the best side of your home to install an AC unit. The north side gets the most shade all day, even in the summer time! The southern side of your home on the other hand sees relentless sun. If you already have an AC unit at your home and it is on a side of your home that sees mostly sun consider utilizing shade landscaping to get your AC the shade it needs to be more efficient. 

Utilize Shade Landscaping

If you have a large enough yard available on all sides of your house where landscaping can be installed without obstructing access points or patios then consider adding in some trees or shrubs to help create natural shade. Properly placed trees and landscaping can reduce air conditioning costs by 30%! Trees can also increase property values by as much as 20%- so it’s a win-win!

Avoid Restricting Airflow to Your Air Conditioner

While shade can be beneficial, it can be a waste if you end up reducing airflow to your AC. The best practice is to maintain at least 2 feet of open space around your AC unit and at least 5 feet of space above it. Hot air is expelled from the top of the unit and if your shade solution blocks this outflow the hot air can stick around and reduce the efficiency of your unit.

It’s also important to make sure vegetation doesn’t grow too closely to your air conditioner unit. Falling leaves and debris can clog your unit in the fall so make sure to clear it away from your unit. Leaving debris can create the perfect environment for for moss and mold, neither of which you want by your AC.

More Ways to Improve Your AC Unit’s Efficiency

Some other helpful tips to improve your AC unit’s efficiency include:

  • Vacuum your air supply vents regularly. Dirt, pet hair and dust can block airflow.

  • Keep the indoor and outdoor coils clean. This will help them last longer, saving you hundreds of dollars in repairs over time.

  • Keep your curtains or blinds closed throughout the day to keep direct sunlight from heating up your home, reducing how much AC is needed to cool it down again at night.

  • Make sure your unit is fully charged with refrigerant before it gets hot outside—if there’s not enough refrigerant inside then units won’t run efficiently and might even break down completely due to overheating engine parts under extreme temperatures.

Maintain Your Air Conditioner with an AC Maintenance Package

Maintaining your air conditioner is important and can help you save money. If you take care of your AC unit, it will last longer and perform better—and that means fewer repairs, replacements and energy bills. A regular maintenance package is one way to keep your AC running smoothly for years to come. Maintenance packages can include many things including refrigerator coil cleaning, exhaust fan maintenance, and air exchanger and air intake screen cleaning. 

So, Will Shade Help My AC Unit?

The best way to answer this question is by saying yes and no. Air conditioner shade has the potential to increase the efficiency and longevity of your air conditioning system. But the most important thing is actually placement and routine maintenance for your AC. Get in contact with our team of experts to learn more about how we can help your AC unit run at it’s best!

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