To shade or not shade a condensor?
I live in the desert and my condensors (compressors?) are exposed to a lot of sun. Is it helpful for efficiency's sake to shade a condensor as long as airflow is not compromised?
Last edited by waynen; 05-18-2012 at 04:42 PM.
Reason: Not sure of nomenclature
Where it can make a difference is if a condenser is located on a hot black tar roof & the small liquid line is not insulated to keep it from flashing to gas in the line.
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If by shade you mean to place something around the sides that will shade the unit and still let it breath it doesn't hurt but any benefit would be minimal if any. The best thing you can do for efficiency and life expectancy is to just have the unit cleaned at least yearly.
If you do shade the unit, remember that it needs at least 3' of space around it to leave enough room for someone to get in and work around it and never place anything directly above the unit.
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There is not much to be gained by shading the unit itself.
The only study I am aware of that has been done on the subject was a small scale study that found that there is, at best, a 3% increase in efficiency.
They found that most attempts at shading the unit actually do more harm than good, and that you only really get positive results if you can shade the area the unit is in, rather than just the unit itself.
Pretty much anything you build around the unit will have a negative effect, and you should never have anything over the unit if your goal is increased efficiency.
large deciduous trees with a large canopy covering the unit in shade will help... not that you can get that to grow in the desert... building a wall on the west side of the unit can give some assistance from the afternoon sun on the unit, but it'll also block air exchange, so the benefit may be minimal.
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A wall within even 10' of the unit that is tall enough to shade it, will likey cause some recirculation of the air, which would increase air temps, rather than reduce them.