Keeping your cooler cool- Good practice for AC and Heat pump placement

Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Keeping your cooler cool- Good practice for AC and Heat pump placement-
Chelan Home Inspection Services

The most stressful time for an air conditioning unit or heat pump is when the temperature soars.

This is when a good installer will have helped you protect your investment.

The placement of these units can have an impact on the longevity of the system

Heat Pump placed on the southern side of home

Whenever possible the AC/Heat pump units should be place on the north side of the home or in a shady area.

To help heat pumps and air conditioners operate more efficiently as the summer heat pushes these systems to their limits it is best not to place these units on the south side of a house where they would sit in the sun.

If this is the only option you may consider protecting them with the canopy of a deciduous tree. When they drop their leaves in the fall, sunlight coming through the branches will help warm the house.

It is very important that heat pumps and exterior units for air conditioners have sufficient space around them to allow for free exchange of cool and warm air. You should avoid any heat generating equipment and where noise will have an impact on occupants. 

                                   Heat Pump Installation

Your heat pump or air conditioning unit is one of the more expensive components on the home.  With a little thought you can achieve better longevity of these units.

It also is very important to keep these units free of debris and well maintained. Homeowners should inspected the air filters on the air handler on a monthly basis and regularly checked the outdoor units to be certain they are free of debris (including leaves, grass, paper, snow and anything else that can obstruct the airflow) and that coils are clean. 

“Nothing gives one person so much advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances.”

Thomas Jefferson


NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Orville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service


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James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

I have seen units place right against the foundation wall or multiple units inches apart. I once had a high efficiency A/C compressor (18 SEER) completely surrounded by shrubs. I was conducting an energy audit for the homeowner. I advised them to trim back the bushes as they were great inhibiting the efficiency and would send the unit to an early grave. Her response was, "that things ugly, I don't want to see it". 

Well all righty then :)

Aug 04, 2012 11:11 PM #1
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC


Had one last week where they have creeping ground cover that was going cujo on the unit. I am sure that is really good for it ; 

They may not be pretty but they sure can make your indoor world way more comfortable.

Aug 04, 2012 11:34 PM #2
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I see blocked units all the time - vegetation, fence, storage inside a little fenced area around the unit(s).

The best time to test the heat on a heat pump is summer and the cooling in winter.

That's right, isn't it?  You really crank it to get the best test?

Aug 05, 2012 07:51 PM #3
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Donald,

I see over grown vegetation all the time. It seems the owners don't want to get close enough to the unit to clean around it. It's like they are afraid of it.

Also placed too close to the home. Too far fron the "A" frames. And the list goes on and on.

Have a good day and week ahead in Wenatchee, Washington.

Best, Clint McKie

Aug 05, 2012 09:41 PM #4
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jay, I cannot understand why the HVAC company woulkd set a unit so close to the hom. They all know what the clearances need to be.


Clint, That makes them a green unit ; )

Aug 05, 2012 11:23 PM #5
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Donald Hester

NCW Home Inspections, LLC
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