The Meme is True, Shading Your AC Unit Will Make it Run More Efficiently
This heat over East Texas is brutal. Its brutal on our bodies, brutal on our psyche and brutal on our AC units. Yours is probably having a hard time keeping up with temperatures above 100 degrees almost everyday now. You've probably seen a meme going around your social media feeds where someone has a canopy or a tent over their AC unit and says that their unit isn't having such a hard time keeping up. Well, this is one of those rare times that an internet meme is actually true.
If your AC unit is sitting out in direct sunlight, its probably having a hard time keeping your home cool. Why is that? Well, the air that the unit is pulling in is super hot making it harder to cool that air which in turn makes your unit work harder than it needs to. Adding some shade around your air conditioning unit will help alleviate some of that stress.
What Can I Use to Provide Shade?
There are several ways to do it. You can plant some bushes around the unit. You can even plant some small trees around the unit to give it some shade and some larger trees around your house to shade it as well. Just make sure you're leaving enough room around the AC unit for it to "breathe." If not, that could burn it up.
Adding some shade around your AC unit can possibly allow it to run about 10 percent more efficient. That in turn will result in a lower energy bill each month. Same thing with adding some trees to shade your house.
Will a Tent or Canopy Work in a Pinch?
Actually, it can. As long as you can block some of the direct sunlight it will help that unit run more efficiently. Some have claimed that their inside temperature can drop as much as 20 degrees from adding a tent. I don't think that's really possible but if your home is struggling to stay at say 78, that shade could help keep it at more comfortable 72 or 73.
Bottom line, give your AC unit some shade and you'll have a more comfortable inside to relax and enjoy the summer.