Choosing the right aircon model is only half the battle; installing your aircon in a poor location will have a negative effect on its energy efficiency. You may also wind up paying a higher cost for operating it.
So, where is the best place to put your aircon? Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect spot:
How high up should your aircon be?
As we’ve studied in science class, cold air is denser than hot air so tends to sink and settle at the bottom of the floor so it only makes sense to place your aircon unit high up. But how high?
According to Samsung, the best height for window type units is 3-4 feet* off the ground, while a split type should be 7-8 feet up.
You may be wondering why Samsung is only suggesting 3-4 feet of ground clearance for the window type – this is because in other countries a window type will actually be placed on a window sill, in contrast to the more common practice here in the Philippines where we put a dedicated opening high up the wall for the unit itself.
The decision between placing your window type at 3-4 feet vs. 7-8 feet may depend on the availability of the proper window or if you can make a dedicated opening for it on your property (renters beware); either way, both heights will work.
With that said though, placing your aircon 3-4 feet of ground clearance will cool your room down adequately especially if you are just mostly sitting or laying down in that room. But placing it higher up at 7-8 feet will help cool the room more evenly – it also prevents your floor from becoming too cold.
Keep ventilation in mind
In under no circumstance shall your aircon be fully enclosed. An AC will need proper ventilation for it to run efficiently. If the heat gets trapped within or around the unit, it will have to work harder – which translates to more energy consumption.
A window aircon should have at least 500mm (20 inches) of space around it for proper ventilation. For split type models, most brands will perform a site survey for you to determine the best position of the outdoor unit.
The outdoor side should be in the shade
It is best to place the outdoor side at a shaded area. As mentioned earlier, if the surroundings of the outdoor unit is hot, it will have to work harder; hence placing it in a shady spot makes sense.
What if you have no other choice but an area with direct sunlight? Consider placing an awning for your AC – with the proper clearance in mind.
Limit the number of heat sources
Another factor that affects the performance of your aircon is the presence of sources of heat within the room.
It could be a light bulb, other appliances, laptops, or living and breathing humans (and pets too!) – whatever emits heat – will compete with the cooling operation of the AC. You should limit these if you want your aircon to perform efficiently.
Last but not the least, windows
While it does not emit its own heat, it does let sunlight in – an obvious source of heat.
Install your air conditioner in a shady spot within your room – it should never be under direct sunlight. You should also consider buying a thick set of curtains to block sunlight from coming in as well as acting
As the age old adage goes: those who fail to plan are planning to fail. Where you set up your aircon will determine its performance over time. You should plan ahead before purchasing your unit. If in doubt, call the service personnel of the shop/brand for help.
If you are reading this in hindsight and see that you’ve placed your unit in a not-so-ideal place, fret not! It’s never too late to make some improvements. You can install heavy curtains to not let sunlight in, or you can make an awning to shade yours from the sun.
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.