Enclosing AC unit/condenser

Just had a new central AC unit installed. The condenser was installed
within a cutout corner section of my wood deck. I want to enclose it for
aesthetic purposes, but am fully aware to provide sufficient airflow. My
plan is a screened lattice which will be removable for service. Is
lattice sufficient enough for airflow?
Reply to
Meanie
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Why didn't you ask the installers? I would say it depends on how close and what kind of lattice. The air needs to get in from the sides and exit from the top. Anything that impedes that or that results in the hot air wrapping around and coming back in, is going to impede that.
Reply to
trader4
If you could post a picture, I could make some recommendations. If you're around deciduous trees, any kind of lattice or screen catches leaves on the outside and even the inside. You may not see debris blocking the condensing unit if it's out of sight. When I was servicing residential HVAC systems, I recommended cleaning a straight AC at least once a year and a heat pump at least twice a tear. If the condenser is blowing straight up, you really don't want anything blocking it at all. Around the sides it's not so critical. ^_^
TDD
Reply to
The Daring Dufas
I'd call and talk with the installers. Failing that, any service company should be able to check superheat and subcooling before and after lattice installed, and the unit running. See if the lattice is interfering with performance. . Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus
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Just had a new central AC unit installed. The condenser was installed within a cutout corner section of my wood deck. I want to enclose it for
aesthetic purposes, but am fully aware to provide sufficient airflow. My
plan is a screened lattice which will be removable for service. Is lattice sufficient enough for airflow?
Reply to
Stormin Mormon
On Sun, 9 Jun 2013 13:58:42 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net" wrote in Re Re: Enclosing AC unit/condenser:
Yes.
Reply to
CRNG
On Sun, 09 Jun 2013 16:54:42 -0400, Meanie wrote:
If enclosed on two sides while the rest is open is no problem. If the lattice is fairly open and a little distance away, still no problem. Be sure the leaving air is free to go too. If you restrict the fan you are adding load.
Reply to
Ed Pawlowski
I'm not so sure about the enclosed on two sides part. I would think if you put a lattice that isn't the most open type right up against two sides of the unit, you could still substantially reduce the airflow on those two sides. Air has to get through there somehow and blocking off 1/2 of it could have an impact, I would think.
Reply to
trader4
On Jun 10, 8:54 am, " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net" wrote:
blocking any airflow will make the system less efficent, and may shorten its life......
since OP got a new unit why didnt they have the compressor relocated?
with the skyrocketing cost of electric using more isnt a good idea at least for your wallet
Reply to
bob haller
The enclosed on two sides assumes there will be some clearance. You only need a couple of inches to get air flow to the fins. There was no mention of attaching to the condenser, just putting a visual shield.
Reply to
Ed Pawlowski
First, thanks for the inputs.
Second, I enclosed a photo for those interested. You can view here >>
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The installation partook last August and at that time, I didn't think about enclosing it. The installers and myself were discussing several location options and they thought it best where it is. I had to cut away the section of my deck in order to fit it there. I did not want it on top of deck for obvious reasons.
The square opening is roughly 46" on each side. You'll see the 4x4 posts which I already installed. The objective is to install the lattice and framing to the posts. At this time, I am now thinking of louvers instead of lattice. Whichever way I go, it'll be encased in a frame and most likely have eye-bolts to rest on L-hooks on the post, two per side, high and low for easy removal. I also plan to make a removable screen to rest on top during the fall and early spring when the Maple seeds drop, since many end up in the unit.
The framed enclosure (whichever I use), is roughly 6" from the unit. As you can also see, one side is facing the house, roughly one foot.
Viewing the picture is also facing south. We get a good wind coming from the west (right of picture) often.
I'm contemplating louvers since I believe it'll allow more airflow.
Anything I left out?
Reply to
Meanie
That looks a whole lot more relevant to the topic.
Anything around the sides is going to make it a lot easier for the air exhausting the top to get pulled back into the sides unless there is some sort of additional barricade between the top and the sides, like a big flat plate with a hole in the middle for the exhaust air, and extending horizontally to the tops of the side panels.and the building.
Reply to
hrhofmann
I don't see that being the case to any large degree. I think the upward flow sucks air horizontally.
Greg
Reply to
gregz
On Mon, 10 Jun 2013 20:36:50 -0400, Meanie wrote:
Louvers would be good. I'd make a frame of 1 x 4 or 1 x 6 and set the louvers inside of it. As you state, mounted for easy removal when required. You can get fairly large spacing and plenty of air flow. Done right, there would be minimal restriction.
I'd also keep the back and right side open if not very visible when enjoying the outdoors. .
Reply to
Ed Pawlowski
That looks like an American Standard unit but heck some of the less expensive units have started to copy the look now. A lattice with the 3-4" inch square openings is what I have on my back porch and the same type would work fine around your AC condenser as long as you don't put anything over the top. The picture helped a lot and I think you'll do just fine. You are in luck to have the condenser with the type louvers protecting the coils from any damage. The only problem is you have to inspect it closely so you can see any dirt or dust build up clogging the fins. Of course, if you decide to spray it with a water hose, don't use a high pressure stream because you can bend the thin aluminum fins covered by the louvered cover, always use a gentle fan spray. ^_^
TDD
Reply to
The Daring Dufas
I'm not convinced you get the same airflow with a lattice 2" away from the side of a condenser.
Reply to
trader4
It's not rocket science. Put a thermometer on top in the exit path. Obscure the sides to various degrees. Cardboard works. If the temperature goes up, it costs you money. Just decide how much more you want to spend and obscure it that much.
Reply to
mike

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