Exhaust CFM from central A/C Unit

I own a townhouse where the A/C units are under a raised deck (if the owner has installed A/C). To get sufficient intake and exhaust flow the owners have cut various shaped holes in the deck siding and covered the huge openings with wire mesh which look terrible.
I had an A/C person out today because I'm thinking of putting in A/C (I don't live there, but the tenants have been bugging me). He was not encouraging. First, he said it was a terrible location for the units, something I already knew. Second, he said that most of the existing units had been put in without permits and that if he pulled permits for a new installation then the city would see all the code violations on the other units and make them be corrected (which is something I would not be opposed to since the current ).
The thing I want to figure out is how to replace all these awful looking siding panels on the decks but still get sufficient air-flow for the units. I can't find any information on the CFM of the exhaust of central A/C units.
The panels are about 30" x 30" made out of wood siding. I was thinking that we could build panels with these <http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/DAYTON-Intake-Louver-5NKJ3> and paint them to match the deck color, but I don't know if they'll restrict the airflow too much.
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What is the deck siding. You néed a shroud to the vent so all exit air does not mix with intake. Sure it will slow it some. I think my unit has at least 1500 to 2000 cfm.
My deck has no siding panels, as it pretty high. Only code here is must be 36 inches between top of deck and unit. Air was in first. After deck installed I noticed some inefficiency. I used a u shaped air diverter to get all expelled air from unit, out awY from deck walkway.
Greg
Greg
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SMS wrote:

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SMS wrote:

You may be trying to solve the wrong problem. Can you put the condensing unit elsewhere? Like on the roof?
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A wood lattice type material is often used to cover the bottoms of raised decks. It sure would be a lot cheaper and I think look better than louvers. How much it impacts the AC would depend on how the AC is oriented, which way the air blows, how much open area there is, etc. And then there is the issue of what code says about all this..... If you're going to pull permits, I'd start by asking the code officials as what they say is going to mean a lot more than what any of us think.
Also, with townhouse type arrangements there is typically a homeowner's association which has control over outside issues like this. Have you checked with them? I would think it would look like hell if each owner did anything they wanted instead of having a uniform look.
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On 8/7/2012 6:04 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Id looks like hell now. So we need to come up with something that isn't terrible ugly. While cost is a consideration, the way it is now is devaluing the units so if anyone tries to sell they'd lose far more in reduced value than spending even $1000 per deck to solve the problem. This is Silicon Valley, where a townhouse that should sell for $80,000 sells for $350,000. I should have sold at the peak when they were selling for $100K more!
Wood lattice would work as long as it provided sufficient air flow. I think the louvers might restrict it less, but the lattice could replace the entire 30" x 30" panel.
The HOA is essentially me and one other person. I haven't lived in this place for 18 years and if I had been there I wouldn't have let all this happen. We can essentially push through anything we want. We may just pay for it out of reserves since it affects everyone. Even those without A/C would benefit from their units being ready to add it.
Meanwhile, I suggest that my tenants get a portable A/C unit for the 2 weeks a year or so when A/C is really needed. I already told them that if they had me put in A/C that the rent would increase slightly.
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Another point here would be that the airflow implications for that condenser unit in silicon valley will be a lot less significant than if it were in say Florida. Given that location I would think the main concern is going to be compliance with codes and what you do with regard to that.
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