A Canopy Won’t Lower Your Energy Costs And Could Harm Your AC Unit

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The idea of shading your condenser unit with a canopy has surfaced in many places, including the news and social media. Roland Arrisola, the co-general manager of Stan’s Heating, Air & Plumbing, told FOX 7 Austin that the outdoor unit is “made to be in extreme weather, so shading it is not a good thing.” To understand why it’s not a good idea, you have to understand how a central AC system works. The inside portion of your system contains evaporator coils, while the outside includes a condenser, compressor, and fan. The latter serves an important function that could be affected by a canopy. More on that later.

When you turn your AC on, warm air passes over the evaporator coils. These components contain a liquid cooling agent called a refrigerant that absorbs heat and converts the refrigerant to a gas. The fumes travel to the compressor outside the unit and are converted back to a liquid state. This process generates heat, which is released via the condenser coils and outdoor fan. So if you were to place a canopy directly above the condenser unit, it could impede airflow, which could end up costing you even more money down the road. SirDarion Conston, owner of ConstonAir LLC, told 12NewsNow that this “will draw the amperage up on the motor and cause premature failure” of the unit.”

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