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You may have heard that shading your Columbia, Maryland, air conditioner will improve your energy efficiency and help keep the unit cool. Before you begin building a large shade structure or planting a bunch of trees, however, it’s important to understand this issue better. Improperly placed, shading can actually restrict airflow and hamper your efficiency. In many cases, shading the AC unit isn’t quite what it’s made out to be, so educate yourself well before you tackle this project.

Shading the Condenser Alone

There’s a commonly held belief that constructing a shade structure over or around your condenser will reduce cooling costs. There are even some experts who support the claim. However, more recent studies have indicated that the actual effectiveness of this strategy is minimal, offering efficiency improvements of 1 percent or less. While shade structures keep the sun from heating the exterior condenser box, very little of the box’s heat transfers to the internal coils, as the box itself is a shade structure for these.

Shading the Area Around Your Home

Shading a larger area around the home and condenser unit is a more effective strategy. To improve energy efficiency, the goal is to cool the air around the condenser, not the condenser itself. A large shade tree might have the ability to notably cool the air surrounding the condenser. Shady landscaping around the home will also help cool the home itself, so your air conditioner will have less work to do overall.

Shading Window AC Units

If you have a window air conditioning unit, this is a notable exception. You should definitely shade this type of air conditioner. A window air conditioner moves much less air than a condenser unit, so shade offers more efficient help in this instance.

Before you worry about shading, make sure your air conditioner’s other needs are taken care of. You should schedule annual maintenance for this system to keep it in prime condition. If you’re overdue, call Griffith Energy Services at 888-721-5707 to schedule your visit.

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