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Default Sun Protection for Central a/c Condensing Unit

We live in the Phoenix area where the sun and temperatures are intense. From
11:00 a.m. until sundown our condensing unit and compressor have no natural
shade from the sun. The unit sits less than 1 foot from an exterior wall.
Plantings for shade would be impractical for various reasons.

The system is only 3 years old. The compressor and capacitors have already
had to be replaced once (under warranty). We feel the extreme heat was a
contributing factor to its failure.

Can anyone suggest a reasonably economical solution to providing some shade
for this unit? We briefly considered a specialized misting system that would
run anytime the unit is running; however, our water is so hard that I'm sure
it would eventually clog or damage the condenser fins.

TIA

--
Wayne Boatwright
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eggs Benedict is genius. Its eggs covered in eggs. I mean, come on,
that person should be the president. ~Wylie Dufresne



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Default Sun Protection for Central a/c Condensing Unit

On Jul 8, 11:39 pm, Wayne Boatwright
wrote:
We live in the Phoenix area where the sun and temperatures are intense. From
11:00 a.m. until sundown our condensing unit and compressor have no natural
shade from the sun. The unit sits less than 1 foot from an exterior wall.
Plantings for shade would be impractical for various reasons.

The system is only 3 years old. The compressor and capacitors have already
had to be replaced once (under warranty). We feel the extreme heat was a
contributing factor to its failure.

Can anyone suggest a reasonably economical solution to providing some shade
for this unit? We briefly considered a specialized misting system that would
run anytime the unit is running; however, our water is so hard that I'm sure
it would eventually clog or damage the condenser fins.

TIA



Andy comments:

You are wise in wanting to shade the outdoor unit.

Direct sunlight puts roughly 1000 watts of "heat" into the unit
for ever square meter of direct exposure. That's why the
surface of a piece of metal gets much hotter than the
surrounding air.

I live in North Texas, where the problem is not quite as
bad, but still noteworthy. The air condx genius who put
in our central unit put it on the unshaded side of the house.

I have planted a trellis and raise cucumbers on the sunny
side of the air condx. In the winter, the sun helps me , since
it is a heat pump, and the cucumber vines have been harvested.

I also got a piece of corrugated iron roofing material and use it
to help shade the unit.

You may have a problem getting your wife to accept these
solutions, but shading the air condx will help you .

I would suggest a longer term solution by planting a tree on
the sunny side ---- one that loses it's leaves in winter and is
fast growing. Maybe a pear tree or some such...... But keep
it at least 3 feet away so it won't restrict air flow......

Good luck,

Andy in Eureka, Texas
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Default Sun Protection for Central a/c Condensing Unit

It is not as important as it may seem. While the shell will get
quite hot, not much of that heat gets beyond the shell. When the unit
is operating it is drawing lots of air in and that air is at air
temperature and it is that temperature that the system really sees.
While there is some heat being radiated from the shell, it is only a
minor component. The real factor is the air temperature.

It is possible to spray water on the unit and increase efficiency
and in your area that should be efferent, but, it can also result in
build up of deposits unless you are flooding the coils.

Adding an additional sun shade would be just adding an additional
shell.
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Default Sun Protection for Central a/c Condensing Unit

I'm not there, and I can't see your house. But, there just
has to be some way to rig up a shade. Which side of the
house, is the condensor? Front? Side? Back? That affects how
much you can get away with.

The first thing that came to mind, to me. Go to Walmart
camping section. Buy several mylar foil emergency blankets.
Make a frame out of wood, so that you have a big rectangle
that stands up from the ground. Think in terms of a
billboard sign, along the road.

Here is an image of a portable blackboard. You could make
such a frame (much simpler) and use mylar instead of
chalkboard.
http://wwwdelivery.superstock.com/WI...557R-85016.jpg

Place that so that it shades the AC, and is obviously
temporary. Two or three feet away from the AC. Do not put
any mylar above the AC, you want the hot air to go up and
out. If mylar foil is too flashy, go to the dollar store,
buy a white tablecloth there. Buy several, as the sunlight
will eat em up. Atach with arrow staple gun.

--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
www.lds.org
..


"Wayne Boatwright" wrote
in message
5.247...
We live in the Phoenix area where the sun and temperatures
are intense. From
11:00 a.m. until sundown our condensing unit and compressor
have no natural
shade from the sun. The unit sits less than 1 foot from an
exterior wall.
Plantings for shade would be impractical for various
reasons.

The system is only 3 years old. The compressor and
capacitors have already
had to be replaced once (under warranty). We feel the
extreme heat was a
contributing factor to its failure.

Can anyone suggest a reasonably economical solution to
providing some shade
for this unit? We briefly considered a specialized misting
system that would
run anytime the unit is running; however, our water is so
hard that I'm sure
it would eventually clog or damage the condenser fins.

TIA

--
Wayne Boatwright
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eggs Benedict is genius. Its eggs covered in eggs. I mean,
come on,
that person should be the president. ~Wylie
Dufresne






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Default Sun Protection for Central a/c Condensing Unit

On Thu 09 Jul 2009 04:38:35a, HeyBub told us...

wrote:
It is not as important as it may seem. While the shell will get
quite hot, not much of that heat gets beyond the shell. When the unit
is operating it is drawing lots of air in and that air is at air
temperature and it is that temperature that the system really sees.
While there is some heat being radiated from the shell, it is only a
minor component. The real factor is the air temperature.

It is possible to spray water on the unit and increase efficiency
and in your area that should be efferent, but, it can also result in
build up of deposits unless you are flooding the coils.


Which generates the question: why not divert the condensate drain to the
misting apparatus? Condensate is essentially distilled water and mineral
free.


That's a very good and creative idea, but...

But there's probably not much condensate in Phoenix...


Not nearly enough condensate.

How about a giant swamp cooler surrounding the compressor unit?


We had a patio swamp cooler at a previous house out here, but it left a
coat of white powder whevever the mist from it was directed. Same problem
as a mist system.

I'm thinking we may need to build a structure surrounding the unit with
enough air space around it, then cover the frame with 90% sun screen
material. Not the most attractive option, but it might help.



--
Wayne Boatwright
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eggs Benedict is genius. Its eggs covered in eggs. I mean, come on,
that person should be the president. ~Wylie Dufresne



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Default Sun Protection for Central a/c Condensing Unit

Must be the AC on the front of the house, since you're
concerned about appearances.

--
Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
www.lds.org
..


"Wayne Boatwright" wrote
in message
5.247...


I'm thinking we may need to build a structure surrounding
the unit with
enough air space around it, then cover the frame with 90%
sun screen
material. Not the most attractive option, but it might
help.



--
Wayne Boatwright
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eggs Benedict is genius. Its eggs covered in eggs. I mean,
come on,
that person should be the president. ~Wylie
Dufresne




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