The condenser portion of your new air conditioning unit must be placed outside the home. Typically, it is placed on a slightly raised platform at some point directly along the home's perimeter. Though condensers range in size, most are about 2 -3 feet long and wide, and about 3 feet tall. It's not always easy to decide where to place this condenser. When discussing your various options with your HVAC technician, be sure to keep these factors in mind.
Find a shady area for your condenser, if possible.
Hot sun beating down on the condenser will decrease its effectiveness and increase your cooling bills. If there is a side of your home that is well-shaded by nearby trees or an overhang, this is a great place for your condenser. Depending on your landscaping and location, you may not be able to find an area that's shaded all day. Pay attention and learn more to which areas get the least sun during the day, and pick your best option.
It's best not to have vegetation around the unit.
While it's good for a condenser to be in the shade, you don't want it to be placed in the middle of dense shrubbery, either. A lot of vegetation tends to block the air flow to the condenser, so it has to work a lot harder to cool your home. Try to find an area where there are at least 3 or 4 feet of open space on every side of the condenser unit. This might require you to dig up a few bushes, but if you think of how much money you'll save on air conditioning costs because you have great air circulation, it will be worth the effort.
The unit must be easy to access for repairs.
To keep your air conditioner working properly, you'll want to have it cleaned and checked over by your HVAC technician about once a year. There's also a chance a part may break and you'll need to have it repaired. For this reason, it's important that your technician can easily reach the condenser. Don't place it behind a row of pricker bushes or in the middle of an area where water always pools in the spring. Keep this in mind not only when you're initially placing the condenser, but also as you make modifications to your home exterior and landscaping in the years that follow.
You don't want the condenser in a location where it will be buried in snow.
Where you do shovel or blow your snow in the winter? This is not a good place for your air conditioner. While condenser units are made to withstand the elements and won't fall apart if they get some snow and water inside of them, covering them completely with snow contributes to an increased rate of corrosion. If you've lived in your home for a while, you're probably familiar with the locations to which snow tends to drift and blow. Try not to place the air conditioner on the side of the home against which snow often drifts, either.
Consider placing the condenser where the view of it can be blocked by a grill or furniture.
If you have a well-manicured backyard, you may not want the sight of a condenser to ruin your natural scene. Try putting it somewhere that it can be camouflaged when important company comes over. For example, you could place it just past the edge of your concrete patio where it usually is out in the open, but on special occasions, you can wheel the grill in front of it so it's out of sight.
There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding where to place your condenser. In some cases, there may not be a "perfect" spot that satisfies all of the requirements above. In cases such as these, talk to your HVAC technician to decide which of your possible location choices is likely to have the least negative impact on your heating bills, your ability to access the condenser, and your home's appearance.