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Where Should You Place The Outdoor Unit Of Your Air Conditioner?

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When it comes to air conditioning system installation, the proper placement of the outdoor condenser unit is vital to the safety and performance of the entire cooling system.

While the specific instructions regarding placement requirements for an outdoor unit can be found in the manufacturer's installation manual, there are many general guidelines that professional AC installers follow when installing the outdoor unit of an AC system.

Highlighted below are some important considerations for the installation of the condenser portion of an air conditioner.


The condenser unit of an air conditioner requires enough outdoor air so it can efficiently extract heat from the hot and highly pressurized refrigerant to dissipate it outside. Without adequate natural ventilation, the condenser won't effectively do its job.

With that said, it's important to consider the various potential obstructions that may be encountered when installing an AC condenser unit. These include the following:

  • Obstructions caused by multiple outdoor units being placed too close to each other
  • Mechanical obstructions like the outlet vents of a clothes dryer and other mechanical equipment installed in a home
  • Landscaping obstructions like the trees, shrubs, and flowers in the yard
  • Structural obstructions like the exterior walls of a house

To ensure the outdoor unit of an AC system is properly ventilated, it is important to maintain adequate clearance around the unit. This will require making clearance considerations before installing the unit.


Since it's located outside of the building, the condenser unit of an air conditioner is exposed to elements that its indoor counterpart isn't.

Outdoor elements like rain, wind and direct sunlight pose serious hazards to the condenser unit and its proper placement is required to prevent damage to it. Whether it sits on the ground or goes on the rooftop, the condenser unit of an air conditioner should be placed on a flat, stable surface that is safe and dry.

AC condenser units should also be kept out of reach of kids and pets.

Although it's referred to as the condenser unit, the outdoor unit of an air conditioner houses more than just the condenser coil. This portion of the AC contains many vital components including the compressor, expansion valve, and condenser fan. To get the most out of your air conditioning installation, the proper placement of the outdoor unit, as well as its indoor counterpart is vital. The experts at a local AC installation company can help you achieve that.