Where to Place Your AC for Best Performance - Heat Relief Heating & Cooling - Portland, OR

Where to Place Your AC for Best Performance

AC Unit at a Portland, OR home

To get the best performance out of your air conditioning unit, it’s all about location, location, location. That doesn’t just mean planting it in an out-of-the-way corner of the house — there’s a lot more to proper placement than you might think.

Issues that impact efficiency

You can have the best air conditioner on the market, but without proper installation, you can significantly reduce its high-tech efficiency level. Proper installation requires optimum placement, and there are a few things you need to consider:

Fresh air

The condenser on your air conditioner needs a continual supply of fresh air, which means it should not be installed in a closed space such as an attic or a garage. In fact, installing your equipment there could actually void the manufacturer’s warranty.


By placing your air conditioner on the north (or east) side of your house, you’ll prove a shadier, cooler environment. Less direct sunlight means your air conditioner is starting with cooler air, so it doesn’t have to work harder than necessary.


Your air conditioner needs space to ‘breathe’ — it’s important not to block the airflow so that it can operate at peak efficiency. Adequate space also allows easy access to your AC unit when it needs maintenance or repair.


Trees, grass, shrubs, and dirt can all find their way into the coil. If you notice some debris gumming things up, give it a little brush off with a broom, or rinse it with a hose when it’s not running.


Try to have your unit installed as close as possible to the area it is cooling. As well, make sure your thermostats are placed away from windows or supply vents to avoid artificially high temperature recognition.


Your air conditioning unit should not be close to kitchen or laundry vents which blow out hot air. It should also be placed away from any drip lines or roof run-off areas.

Duct installation also affects efficiency

Your air conditioner’s performance is also greatly impacted by the proper installation of your ductwork.

  • Ductwork should be installed as close to the air-conditioned interior as possible.
  • Make sure your ducts are sized properly; size is very much related to the space you are cooling.
  • The proper number of registers allows air to circulate most efficiently.
  • Have all ductwork sealed tightly.

These unseen channels can greatly affect how well your HVAC system does its job.

Increase the lifespan of your air conditioner

Proper positioning of your air conditioning equipment and ductwork can not only enhance energy efficiency, but significantly extend the life of the system. Talk to your local Portland HVAC professional if you’re planning to install or replace your air conditioner. To get the best performance, placement matters.

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