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Residents in Longboat Key, Florida, often wonder whether shading the outdoor air conditioning unit can improve energy efficiency. This concept is actually a myth based on the idea that constant sun exposure can heat up the AC unit’s components and make it harder for it to produce and circulate cool air indoors. Before you invest in shade for your outdoor AC unit, take a look at how it can negatively impact your HVAC system and what to do instead.

How Your HVAC System Works

An HVAC system relies on components housed in both the indoor and outdoor units to operate properly. The outdoor unit contains the compressor, which circulates refrigerant throughout the system. Refrigerant removes heat from the air, providing a cool, comfortable indoor atmosphere. Your compressor and the other outdoor components need plenty of space to encourage airflow and efficient operation.

Using a Shade Can Prevent Airflow to the AC Unit

The components housed in the outdoor unit of your cooling system are designed to be exposed to the elements, including the heat and humidity. Some types of shades can actually impede the airflow needed for the air conditioner to operate efficiently.

If you use plants to provide shade, having them too close to the outdoor unit can also prevent air from circulating properly, resulting in lower efficiency. You don’t have to cut down all of your landscaping around the outdoor unit, but you should trim back shrubs, trees, and other plants growing near the unit to make sure the condenser has plenty of space to release warm air outside and create cool air for inside.

Using Shade in the Yard

Landscaping to shade the entire space around your home can actually help maintain your AC unit’s efficiency. Adding plants and shrubs that increase the amount of shade in the yard can create a cooler microclimate, taking some of the pressure off your air conditioning system. Landscaping also adds value to your property and creates a more pleasant atmosphere, allowing you and your family to enjoy your outdoor space.

If you’re looking for more solutions to improving and maintaining your HVAC unit’s efficiency, our team at Aqua Plumbing & Air can help. Contact us at (941) 306-3715 today.

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