Air conditioning units are delicate and can be costly to maintain. Increasing the lifespan of your appliances and reducing maintenance costs is a priority for every homeowner. The question is, should you elevate your AC unit? We consulted HVAC experts to provide insight into this matter.
Elevating your AC unit off the ground can offer several benefits and help save money by reducing maintenance expenses. Some advantages include:
Your AC unit not only cools your home but also reduces humidity. The base of your AC unit contains pores or holes that allow water to drain from the accumulated moisture. Failing to raise your AC unit can hinder proper drainage, potentially causing water to accumulate inside and lead to significant damage.
Prevention Of Insects And Debris
Raising your AC unit off the ground helps prevent insects from entering the AC drains. Additionally, debris from outdoor activities such as sweeping or mowing can introduce dirt particles into the AC unit when it is on the ground. Blocked holes in the AC unit impede the dehumidification process and shorten its lifespan.
If your indoor AC unit is producing disruptive noises, it may indicate a blockage in the vents or ductwork. Elevating the unit can help reduce the entry of dirt and debris, thus mitigating noise issues.
Prevention Of Damage
Placing your AC unit near the ground increases the risk of damage from people leaning or sitting on it. Elevating the unit prevents potential mishandling and avoids unnecessary breaks or damage.
Recommended Height For Elevating An AC Unit
HVAC experts recommend raising a split-type AC unit 7-8 feet off the ground in a standard 10-foot room. For window-type AC units, a distance of 3-4 feet from the ground is sufficient. Ensure there are no obstructions around the AC unit to maximize its longevity and reduce maintenance costs.
Cost Of Leveling An AC Unit
It is essential to ensure that your AC unit is level to prevent damage. The cost of leveling depends on the size of your AC unit and the available space. Generally, leveling an AC unit can range from $3,000 to $7,000. For larger units, concrete condenser pads are recommended, while lighter units can use plastic condenser pads. Costs may vary depending on the availability and prices of building materials in your area.
Lifting A Heavy Window Air Conditioner
Window air conditioners are relatively easy to install, usually mounted in windows. Even if they are heavy, they can be lifted with minimal effort by a single person or with assistance. After installation, reinforcing the AC’s weight to the wall using wooden or metal stands can provide additional support.
Importance Of A Considerate Slab
Elevating your air conditioning unit is crucial for its longevity, and using a concrete slab can further enhance its durability. A concrete slab prevents oil drippings from the condenser and protects against sinking, which can lead to increased stress on the unit and decreased performance.
Fixing A Sinking Air Conditioner
If you notice your air conditioner tilting, bending, or leaning, it is sinking. Ignoring a sinking air conditioner can cause additional stress on the condenser unit and lead to further damage. A temporary fix involves placing sand or a block along with a wooden slab under the concrete slab to level it. However, for a permanent solution, it is recommended to consult a contractor for complete replacement of the concrete slab.
Tilting An Air Conditioner
Tilt is not always necessary for air conditioners, except for window AC units. Window AC units should be tilted slightly to allow water to drip outside. However, excessive tilting can cause damage to the appliance. It is advisable to refer to the AC manual or seek guidance from a repair professional to determine the appropriate tilt angle. Other types of air conditioners do not require tilting and should be placed on a flat, unobstructed surface.
Alternative Placement Options
Air conditioners do not necessarily have to be installed in windows. They can be placed inside the room if preferred. However, there are advantages to using window air conditioners, including cost-effectiveness, energy efficiency, and space conservation. Proper installation and the use of collector pans can help address any concerns about aesthetics or water dripping.
Impact Of Tilted Air Conditioners
Tilted windows AC units may prevent water from dripping on the wall, but tilting other types of air conditioners can cause lubrication oil to fail to reach certain compressor components. This can lead to collisions and increased wear and tear, resulting in permanent damage to the AC unit.
Elevating your AC unit off the ground is beneficial for its lifespan. Failure to do so can incur additional costs and harm your appliance. Ensure a flat surface and consider using a concrete slab to provide a stable and durable foundation for your AC unit.