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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    7

    Any energy savings in shading outside compressor unit?

    I have a split system heat pump & AC, with the compressor unit outside on the south side of the house. Would there be any energy savings by shading the outside unit with shrubs?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    64
    Absolutely... But don't plant anything that will block the airflow to the condensing unit, and remember to give the service technician at least 2 feet on each side of the machine to service it and clean the condensing coil.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    The only real energy savings would be if the air temperature in the area gets higher than the normal ambient temperature, and you can shade the entire area without restricting air movement at all.
    Just shading the unit won't help, and most attempts to do so actually end up harming efficiency.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    105
    HTML Code:
    http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/publications/html/FSEC-PF-302-96/index.htm

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    64
    Nice one sparks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    105
    De nada. Enjoy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Twilight Zone
    Posts
    2,964
    Quote Originally Posted by mark beiser View Post
    The only real energy savings would be if the air temperature in the area gets higher than the normal ambient temperature, and you can shade the entire area without restricting air movement at all.
    Just shading the unit won't help, and most attempts to do so actually end up harming efficiency.
    Having just read the link that was posted by "Sparksandfan", you are indeed correct.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    64
    The article also discusses the extra heat load from the sun beating on the condensing coil.

    The answer is YES, it is beneficial to shade the condensing unit from the sun.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    The Twilight Zone
    Posts
    2,964
    From the article posted:

    "Our experience also illustrates the hazards of localized condenser shading, underscored by the poor results achieved in these experiments relative to the careful planning involved. Planting trees and shrubs close by a condenser may actually reduce system efficiency due to impedance of effective air movement.

    We conclude that any savings produced by localized AC condenser shading are quite modest (<3&#37 and that the risk of interrupting air flow to the condenser may outweigh shading considerations. The preferred strategy may be a long-term one: locating AC condensers in an unobstructed location on the shaded north side of buildings and depending on extensive site and neighborhood-level landscaping to lower localized air temperatures."

    I hear what you're saying, Air-Doctor, but I would be very careful trying to shade an existing condenser. Shading back-fired on Site #2 in the article.

    Take care.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    64
    Well yeah... if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail.

    In my 1st reply to this question I said:

    "Absolutely... But don't plant anything that will block the airflow to the condensing unit, and remember to give the service technician at least 2 feet on each side of the machine to service it and clean the condensing coil."

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