A/C EFFICIENCY

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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Stormin is correct, it will make a considerable difference. The hotter the air entering the condenser the more energy it will take because of numerous factors. Shade it but do not block entering or discharge airflow! http://www.udarrell.com/ac-trouble-shooting-chart.html - udarrell
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Thanks. Nice to hear someone agree with me.
I was thinking of two heat changes. First, the air around the condensor might be cooler. Also, the sun would not be heating the condensor by solar heat.
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"" wrote:

I was surprised to find this:
http://www.homeenergy.org/archive/hem.dis.anl.gov/eehem/95/950904.html
Excerpt:
"Air Conditioner Shading Shows Minimal Savings
"A study by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) on the effects of shading outdoor air conditioner condensers indicates that energy savings benefits are modest at best--less than 5%. Although the study involved just three sample cases, and researchers describe the experiments as somewhat inconclusive, the results suggest that if shading is not done properly, the risk of interrupting air flow to the condenser could more than offset any benefits."
and a follow-up by the researchers:
http://homeenergy.org/archive/hem.dis.anl.gov/eehem/95/951102.html
"Our report, "Measured Impacts of Air Conditioning Condenser Shading" (FSEC-CR-827-95), does not show that shading A/C condensers cannot save energy (see "Air Conditioner Shading Shows Minimal Savings," Sept/Oct '95, p. 7). It does indicate that the potential savings are small. The report shows that if done properly, as at Site 1, an improvement in A/C efficiency of about 1% can be realized. On the other hand, the data show that when shading is done improperly, A/C efficiency can be lowered. Proper and improper shading strategies appear to be delineated by the proximity of the landscape shading to the condensing unit and its air flow pattern. A proper attempt at A/C shading would use landscape that is sited so that the unit is shaded in the late afternoon hours, but air flow is not impeded--particularly the hot exhaust air plume. This usually means using larger specimens (or waiting for smaller ones to grow), so that the shade trees are at least 6 ft away from the unit. We do indicate that such shading is not cost-effective when done solely for the purpose of shading an air conditioner. However, often landscaping is placed around homes for other purposes (beautification), and allocating one or two medium shade trees to this duty might be considered a no-cost option."
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I saw that report too. I found it interesting that when the first study showed some savings, they almost dismissed it because it was less than 5%. I don't know about you, but I would think saving say 4% on an cooling bill in say AZ or FL is not insignificant. If you spend $1000 a year on cooling, that's $40 every year. And if you can work some attractive landscaping into it that brings other benefits as well, it seems well worth it to me.
If it really is only 1%, then I agree it's not worth it. And the bigger issue is that if in the process you block airflow at all, then it can have a neg impact.
For another opinion, here's what DOE says:
http://www1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/tips/air_conditioners.html Plant trees or shrubs to shade air conditioning units but not to block the airflow. Place your room air conditioner on the north side of the house. A unit operating in the shade uses as much as 10% less electricity than the same one operating in the sun.
But, unfortunately, they don't cite what this is based on.
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Ermalina wrote:

Even 1% is not insignificant. How many barrels of oil would be saved by a 1% improvement nation-wide?
On the other hand, the data show

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Think of the children, man!
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Christopher A. Young
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wrote:

imho:
Sounds like a good idea. If you can keep your AC condenser cooler, it should have to work less transfering indoor heat to outdoor air.
Just a guess....
tom @ www.YourMoneySavingTips.com
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