Where you place the outside unit of your air conditioner will determine how efficiently it will function. Place it in an area with obstructed air flow and it will struggle to cool your home - something that will eventually affect its lifespan. Why? Because your air conditioning system depends on the outside unit to release any unwanted heat from the system.
What happens is that the refrigerant is put under high pressure when it passes through the unit's compressor. While this allows it to change states from a gas to a liquid, this transformation is usually accompanied by the release of an incredible amount of heat.
The unit needs to get rid of this heat. To do so, it uses a couple of fins. It also has a fan to help speed things along. The work that the fins and the fans do is usually enough to get rid of as much heat as is necessary. This is important as it helps to ensure that when the liquid refrigerant passes through the evaporator coils, it absorbs the maximum amount of heat.
Inefficient heat loss
A problem, however, arises when the outside unit is located in an area with blocked air flow. When placed in such a place, the air that the fan tries to push out never really goes away and the heat that the fins give off never really gets radiates out of the unit as efficiently as it should.
What this means is that by the time the refrigerant makes its way towards the evaporator coils, it still has some energy--it's not as heat-free as it should be.
The inefficiency caused by blocked air circulation at the air conditioning system's outside unit will manifest at the evaporator coils. This is because when it is time for the refrigerant to change from a liquid to a gas, it won't absorb as much heat from the air as it should.
What this means is that the air that the air conditioner ends up dumping into your home won't be as cool as it should be. Therefore, to make your home as comfortable as you want it to be, the system will have to work harder. And the harder that the system works, the faster it wears out.
But shortening the lifespan is not all the damage that poor unit location will cause. There is also the increase in energy costs that the inefficiency will cause.
To avoid these problems, it is advisable that you ensure that your outside unit is placed in an area that has good air circulation. Keep it away from areas with shrubs. Also, don't keep it too close to the walls, and, if you have multiple units, don't jam them into a crowded space. And if your unit isn't working as it should, don't put off your air conditioning repairs.
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