You may have seen a post on Facebook claiming that covering your outdoor A/C unit will help it run more efficiently and overall, better.

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Corpus Christi Cronica recently posted a photo of an A/C unit with a beach umbrella over it claiming that the Department of Energy even endorses this practice. I checked out the Department of Energy website and couldn't find such a statistic, but that doesn't mean it's not true.

So, I decided to reach out to a couple of friends who just so happen to be professionals in the world of HVAC to see what they had to say.

Tony Phelps - Owner of Accurate Air Solutions, LLC: "I would never put anything within 20-25 ft of my ac. Shade is good, but the smallest amount of air restriction will cause premature compressor failure."

Daniel Cavazos - Owner of Abilene Air Services: "As long as there is the required open distance above not to restrict airflow, I don’t see an issue with it. Even with the shade, it will provide minimal help, if any. Also, ultimately it’s better to have your system maintenanced twice a year or upgrade your equipment if it is too old. By doing this you won’t need an umbrella."

Michael Foller - Owner of Evolution HVAC, LLC: "Honestly it may help some older units when we hit triple digits. But in most cases, that's because the ac coils are dirty and need serviced/washed. Newer units don't have a problem being in the sun. I can demand 68 and hold that without an issue."

As a matter of fact, the Florida Solar Energy Center conducted a study based specifically on this subject and they concluded:

that any savings produced by localized AC condenser shading are quite modest (<3%) and that the risk of interrupting airflow to the condenser may outweigh shading considerations. The preferred strategy may be a long-term one: locating AC condensers in an unobstructed location on the shaded north side of buildings and depending on extensive site and neighborhood-level landscaping to lower localized air temperatures. [FSEC]

Does Your Outdoor A/C Unit Need Shade in Texas?

Consensus: Covering your A/C unit, outside, with an umbrella does not really make an impact. However, it can actually hurt your unit without proper ventilation.

Any savings produced by localized AC condenser shading are quite modest and the risk of interrupting airflow to the condenser may outweigh shading considerations.

There are plenty of things you can do at home to keep your unit running smoothly, but it's always the best bet to enlist the help of professionals, like those above.

Close up of Air Conditioning Repair, repairman on the floor fixing air conditioning system
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We're experiencing record-breaking heat this summer, so use these 5 tips on surviving this Texas heat.

  • Stay hydrated
  • Replenish bodily minerals
  • Wear proper clothing
  • Use the buddy system
  • Monitor children and elderly

Here's the original umbrella over A/C Facebook post by the Corpus Christi Cronica:

Wanna survive this heat? Go swimming.

LOOK: THE BEST SWIMMING HOLES IN TEXAS

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