Imagine getting a new air conditioning unit that gets strained when trying to cool your room and leaves you with hefty energy bills. This is a nuisance most homeowners face, and sadly, don’t have a way out of it.

However, you can mostly solve this problem by understanding the correct positioning of an air conditioning unit so it’s safe and works well. 

Sure, changing the AC’s place won’t drastically cut down your bills, but it can enhance its cooling capacity, ease future HVAC services, and keep it away from physical damage. 

Even if you’re getting professional air conditioning installation near me services, knowing where to position it is smart because it’ll help you plan the interiors better. 

So, without any ado, let’s see where to position an AC unit! 

  • Choose A Shady Spot for The Outdoor Unit

You should always consider placing your outdoor AC unit in a shady spot to maintain its working. But why does this matter? Well, the answer lies in understanding how your air conditioning system works. An AC unit absorbs the heat from your home’s indoor air and expels it outside. If your outdoor unit basks in the blazing sun, it has to work harder to expel that heat.

That’s why placing the outdoor unit in a shady spot reduces the ambient temperature around it, and your unit won’t have to work as hard to cool your home. You’ll have more consistent indoor temperatures, your AC will experience less strain, and you’ll see reductions in energy consumption. 

  • Ensure Good Air Circulation

Your air conditioner needs space to breathe as it pulls in air from its surroundings, cooling it and distributing that cool air throughout your home. If anything obstructs this process, the unit’s performance can decrease dramatically.

The air is required to cool the condenser coil for the outdoor unit. If there’s any blockage, like walls or plants too close to the unit, it will struggle to pull in enough air. This results in a less efficient heat exchange process, leading to an overworked AC unit and a poorly cooled home.

Similarly, the indoor unit needs clear space to effectively distribute cooled air. If you’ve positioned the unit in a cramped corner or behind furniture, you might be hindering its air distribution ability. 

Therefore, the HVAC services you get should ensure there’s a clear space around your air conditioning unit. A good rule is to have at least two to three feet of clearance around the outdoor unit and ensure the indoor unit isn’t obstructed by any furniture or curtains.

  • Position Away from Heat Sources

Careful AC installation can substantially improve its cooling efficiency, and an essential consideration is positioning the unit away from heat sources. The principle is simple: heat sources near your AC will make it work harder and less efficiently.

If you place the indoor unit close to appliances that emit heat, such as TVs, ovens, or even lamps, it detects higher temperatures. As a result, your AC will work overtime trying to cool this artificially high ambient temperature. In the process, it consumes more energy and escalates your electricity bills.

Also, the unnecessary workload can accelerate wear and tear on your AC unit, potentially shortening its lifespan and leading to frequent maintenance needs. Therefore, while planning AC installation, keep it at a reasonable distance from any household heat sources. A well-positioned air conditioner will function more efficiently, conserve energy, and last longer, saving you money and discomfort in the long run.

  • Keep Unit Level for Optimal Operation

The AC unit, specifically the outdoor part (the condenser), relies on a level placement to operate optimally.

It houses vital components of your air conditioner, including the compressor and the condenser coil, which depend on the refrigerant to cool your home. This refrigerant moves within the system and must do so evenly for the unit to function properly. If the unit isn’t level, it could disrupt this flow and affect its cooling efficiency.

A tilted AC unit can also cause problems with the condensate drainage system as it produces condensation or water droplets as a byproduct of the cooling process. This unit is designed to drain this water away, but if the unit isn’t level, the water can leak. 

Therefore, always strive to install your AC unit on a flat, level surface. If the surface isn’t naturally level, you can use a sturdy platform to correct this. 

  • Maintain Clearance from Obstructions

Obstructions, such as walls, plants, or furniture too close to the unit, can impede the AC’s cooling process. The unit will struggle to expel the heat and overwork, which, again, impacts your electricity bill and shortens its lifespan.  

Similarly, if the indoor AC unit is cramped in a corner or hidden behind furniture, it won’t cool your home evenly. So, when positioning your air conditioning unit, keep a two to three feet clearance for the outdoor unit and make sure any furniture or curtains don’t block the indoor unit.

  • Install At a Height From The Ground (Ideally 7 Ft)

Installing the indoor unit at a height allows for optimal distribution of cooled air, ensuring that the entire room cools evenly. If you install it too high, the cool air might not reach the lower parts of the room effectively. And if it’s too low, it may not cool the upper portions of the room well.

Also, placing the unit at a medium height keeps it out of the immediate reach of children and pets, eventually preventing accidental damage to the unit.

  • Allow For Easy Maintenance Access

Your air conditioner requires periodic HVAC services to ensure it’s working well. This maintenance involves cleaning the filters, checking the refrigerant level, and inspecting the overall system for potential issues. And if your AC installation is hard to reach or in an inconvenient location, these tasks can become challenging. 

When a professional HVAC technician needs to repair your AC, they should be able to reach the units. So, when deciding where to position your air conditioner, consider how easy it will be to access the unit for regular maintenance. 

  • Avoid Positioning Directly Above Electrical Fixtures

Air conditioners produce condensation or water droplets that are usually collected and drained from the unit through a pipe. However, in case of any issues with the draining system or during high humidity conditions, there might be water leakage from the unit.

If your AC unit is installed directly above electrical fixtures, like lights or power sockets, any potential water leakage could pose a risk, like a short circuit or electrical fire.

Your AC installation should be away from any electrical fixtures, so these risks are at bay. Safety should always be a priority in AC installation services near me, and this simple step can help avoid potential risks and ensure your air conditioner operates safely and effectively.

  • Position Away from Plants And Debris

Plants or debris close to your AC unit can obstruct airflow, which is essential for the heat dissipation process. If leaves, grass clippings, or branches get too close, they block airflow and even enter your AC unit to damage its parts. This extra strain on your unit can lead to decreased efficiency, increased energy costs, and premature system wear and tear.

This is why you must keep an air conditioning unit safe from plants and routinely clear the surrounding area of debris. This smart step will ensure optimal airflow, maintain your AC’s performance, and extend its lifespan.

  • Ensure Efficient Drainage System

If your unit isn’t positioned correctly for effortless drainage, water can accumulate in or around the unit to cause water leaks, rusting, and even damage to the components of your AC unit. Poor drainage can also cause the growth of mold and mildew that reduce your air quality and pose health risks.

HVAC experts suggest that the outdoor unit should be placed slightly tilted towards the drain pipe for the water to flow out freely. The drain pipe should not be clogged for the indoor unit and must be directed to an appropriate drainage area. 

  • Comply With Local Regulations and Building Codes

Local regulations and building codes often have specific requirements about where and how to install an air conditioning unit.

These rules serve several purposes, including safety, noise control, and maintaining the visual appeal of neighborhoods. They may dictate how far an outdoor unit should be from your property line, how high it can be, and how much clearance is needed around it. 

Since non-compliance with these regulations could result in fines or even the need to relocate your unit, it’s better to take care of it. Moreover, if an improperly installed unit leads to damage or injury, it could expose you to legal liability.

  • Aim For Strategic Central Location For Even Cooling

The central location allows the cooled air to distribute more evenly throughout your home. This means all areas of your home can benefit from the cooling, rather than just those in the direct path of the air conditioner. It can also prevent overcooling of areas near the unit and under-cooling of those further away, providing a more consistent temperature.

However, while a central location is generally beneficial, you should go with your home’s layout. Don’t position the unit where furniture or other objects might obstruct the airflow, and be mindful of noise if the unit is near bedrooms or quiet areas.

Why Expertise Matters an AC Installation

Investing in an air conditioner delivers the desired ROI when you equally focus on the unit’s quality and installation. You might have a knack for DIY projects, but installing an AC without proper tools might not cut. So, if you’re thinking about it, here are some reasons for getting experts to do this job:

  1. An HVAC expert knows how to balance the complex needs of positioning the unit. They can identify the optimal location that facilitates efficient cooling, adheres to local building codes, allows for proper drainage, and maintains the aesthetic appeal of your home. This balance requires a depth of knowledge and experience beyond what most homeowners have.
  2. Professionals also understand the importance of correct electrical connections and refrigerant levels, ensuring that your unit functions safely and at peak efficiency. They can guarantee that your AC unit is installed to the manufacturer’s specifications, which is often a requirement for warranty claims. If an AC unit isn’t installed properly, you might void the warranty.
  3. Good HVAC installation comes with professional advice. A skilled installer can guide you on the best ways to maintain your unit, how to operate it efficiently, and what to do if you encounter common issues. This advice can save you considerable time, hassle, and money in the long run.

Final Thoughts on AC Positioning 

Optimal positioning of your air conditioning unit is a nuanced task that requires careful consideration. While these guidelines serve as a starting point, the specifics can vary based on your unique home layout, local regulations, and the specific model of your air conditioner. 

Professional HVAC services can help you navigate these and ensure your AC installation complies with regulations. If you want to invest wisely in your home comfort, consider hiring professional HVAC installation services so your unit serves what it’s worth! 


Can I install my air conditioning unit myself?

Sure, it’s technically possible to install an AC unit yourself, but it’s highly recommended to hire professional HVAC services. AC installation requires technical skills, including electrical work and handling refrigerant, which can be hazardous if not done properly. 

How long does it typically take to install an air conditioning unit?

The installation time can vary depending on the type of AC system, the specific setup of your home, and whether it’s a new installation or a replacement. On average, it could take anywhere between four to eight hours. However, complex installations might require more time.

What is the best time of year to install an air conditioning unit?

The best time to install an AC unit is during the off-peak seasons of spring and fall. During these periods, HVAC professionals tend to be less busy and give you more flexibility in scheduling or possibly even lower rates.