Should you give your AC unit some shade with a beach umbrella? This is what the experts said.

A stock image of a beach umbrella (Pixabay.com, Pixabay.com)

HOUSTON – We turned to the experts after seeing a photo heavily circulating on social media on Monday showing a beach umbrella shading an outdoor air-conditioning unit.

This is what we found out from air-conditioning experts:

“You don’t want to do that,” cautioned Blair Bodensteiner, owner of Bodensteiner Service Inc.

He explained that air conditioners are designed to be out in the heat. The units discharge air out of the top and recirculate the air. Putting anything too close to the A/C will cause the system to recirculate the same hot air it is blowing out. This is not good for your air conditioning unit.

Fellow expert Matt Lopez, of Abacus Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electrical, shared a similar message with KPRC 2: “Never cover the AC unit as this can cause the unit to actually run harder and cool less effectively. The hot discharged air will hit the cover and recirculate back into the coil of the unit thus increasing the temp of the air moving across this coil which is use to remove the heat from the system. AC units need at least 18 (inches of) clearance around the unit COIL for proper air flow. So if your grass is grown up, cut it, if you have shrubs or bushes around the unit, remove or cut them back.”


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.