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  1. #1

    Outdoor unit installed backwards?

    Hello everyone....

    I recently purchased a 1500 square foot manufactured home for my mother. It was necessary to move the house, so afterward I hired a local HVAC firm to re-install the AC. However, they positioned the outside compressor unit backwards (see pic).

    The installer insists it's fine and they "do them all that way". They won't re-position it without me paying for a new service call, parts, new dryer, vac and re-charge.

    I've asked other installers and got conflicting answers: One HVAC tech told me that since the unit is on the south side of the home w/ no shade, the installer did the right thing by placing the front of the unit towards the house. Another said the installer was just lazy and didn't want to crawl behind the unit to hook it up right.

    I guess the question is, besides looks, *is* there a problem with this installation? Intuitively I think yes, but I can't find any verifiable source (installation instructions, etc) that say so.

    Don,
    Central Texas

    PS- this is a 3.5 ton Nordyne.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
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    68,979
    It is not backwards. I prefer a unit installed in a way that makes it better for servicing. If it had been installed with the service panel closer to the house, the entire unit would have had to be moved further away from the house for proper access.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Port Saint Lucie, FL
    Posts
    1,594
    It's fine, except for the weeds.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    44
    It is okay installed in that directions. The service door, and valves need to be accessible. The wiring conduit need to be strapped off of the ground. And, the grass need to be cut.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Slacking off right now
    Posts
    7,546
    looks great to me - easier access = lower service repair bills
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,428

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by mtp318101 View Post
    Hello everyone....

    I recently purchased a 1500 square foot manufactured home for my mother. It was necessary to move the house, so afterward I hired a local HVAC firm to re-install the AC. However, they positioned the outside compressor unit backwards (see pic).

    I guess the question is, besides looks, *is* there a problem with this installation? Intuitively I think yes, but I can't find any verifiable source (installation instructions, etc) that say so.

    Don, Central Texas PS- this is a 3.5 ton Nordyne.
    Installation Instructions likely state that a
    Minimum clearance of ~ 15" from structure
    is recommended.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

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  7. #7
    Thanks everyone- I appreciate your replies. The original installer just dismissed my concern without an explanation. I tried to ask nice...

    My main question (now apparently moot) was:
    - If so much coil surface area is to the house are there any issues with the unit not being able to get the proper airflow across that section of coil?

    Another quick question: The unit is in full sun, and we run at 100 degrees here in the summer. Would there be any benefit to shading the condenser? If so how much clearance would I need on the three sides not facing the house? Two feet, three? I was thinking of using an wood, alternating slat fence...

    ps- I cut the grass all the time- I just hate to weed (as you can tell) But too my credit, I do clean the coils off twice a year- from the inside out

    Thanks again

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915
    It looks like there is plenty of room between the unit and the house.

    There is no benefit whatsoever to be had by shading just the condenser. The sun shining on it has little to no effect, and anything you do to shade it is likely to impede the free flow of air through the area.

    The only kind of shade that would help would be something that shades the entire area without restricting the free flow of air, so the wall of the house, ground, etc, all stay cooler so the ambient air temperature would be cooler.
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    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    1,634
    As long as you have 12" of clearance around the coils, you're in good shape. Some of the manufacturers allow you to have only 6" of clearance on one side just as long as the other sides have 12" or more clearance. Your install looks like it should. You're probably just not used to seeing them done the right way.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    747
    I think every unit should be hooked up like this. the best is when some idiot puts the service panle in a corner. Or even better an air handler with its service doors tight against the eves.

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