Will there be More Wear and Tear on my HVAC Unit if it's Exposed? - Ask the Expert Episode 254

Today's question comes from Frank Noriega.

"Hey Dan, I live in Los Angeles. If I install an air conditioning unit outside where it will be exposed to intense direct afternoon sunlight, heat, and rain, will it harm or cause early wear on the internal parts of the unit such as the copper tubing of the evaporator coil and electrical parts?"

Sun and heat and rain will cause early wear and tear on a unit. Air conditioners and heat pumps aren't magic so if you put them outside there's going to be environmental damage. If you live within a couple of miles of the coast, salt corrosion is going to be a big problem.

That's why it's always a good idea that if you've got a condenser or split system outside you want to place it where it will be as well-protected as possible. Usually that's going to be on the north side of the house. That will keep it out of as much direct sunlight as possible.

For a condenser you could build a roof for it. Now, you will have to make sure that the roof that you build is high enough up that it's not obstructing air flow. Your installation manual will have the parameters for that. That would be counterproductive. You would just be doing damage in a different way.

For northern climates, you can raise your condenser above the ground so you can keep it away from the snow. You can use a wall bracket or you can use an air conditioner cover.

1 comment (view/add)
  • Pat C Cappiello
    Pat C Cappiello
    Posted on 3/17/2021

    Kept thinking this is what it would be like if Chris Farley were an HVAC guy! lol Definitely not boring to watch!

    I bought a Goodman 2 1/2 ton AC and coil from you guys recently. All up and running here in Los Angeles.


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