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AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS
A/C - HEAT PUMP CONTROLS & SWITCHES
AIR CONDITIONER COMPONENT PARTS
AIR CONDITIONER TYPES, ENERGY SOURCES
AIR FILTER EFFICIENCY
AIR FILTERS, FIBERGLASS PARTICLES
AIR FLOW MEASUREMENT CFM
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BLOWER FAN CONTINUOUS OPERATION
BLOWER FAN OPERATION & TESTING
BOOKSTORE - Air Conditioning "How To" Books
CAPACITORS for HARD STARTING MOTORS
CLEANING & Legionella BACTERIA
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CONDENSATION or SWEATING PIPES, TANKS
DEFINITION of Heating & Cooling Terms
DEW POINT CALCULATION for WALLS
DEW POINT TABLE - CONDENSATION POINT GUIDE
DIAGNOSE & FIX AIR CONDITIONER / HEAT PUMP
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-BOILER
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-FURNACE
DUCTS - Asbestos
DUCT INSULATION, Asbestos Paper
DUCT INSULATION for SOUNDPROOFING
DUCT SYSTEM NOISES
DUCTS, Asbestos Transite Pipe
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
ELECTRIC MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEMS
FAN LIMIT SWITCH
GAS EXPOSURE EFFECTS, TOXIC
GAS DETECTION INSTRUMENTS
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) in buildings
HEAT LOSS (or GAIN) INDICATORS
HEAT LOSS R U & K VALUE CALCULATION
HEATING SMALL LOADS
INSPECTION CHECKLIST - OUTDOOR UNIT
INSPECTION LIMITATIONS, A/C SYSTEMS
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LOST COOLING CAPACITY
LOW VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER TEST
MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
MOLD in AIR HANDLERS & DUCT WORK
OPERATING COST, AIR CONDITIONER
OPERATING DEFECTS, AIR CONDITIONING
REPAIR GUIDE, AIR CONDITIONERS / HEAT PUMPS
REPAIR & DIAGNOSTIC FAQs for A/C
THERMOSTATS, HEATING / COOLING
THERMOSTATIC EXPANSION VALVES
WATER COOLED AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL AIR CONDITIONERS
WINDOW / WALL A/C SUPPORTS
A/C or heat pump compressor/condenser unit installation mistakes: this air conditioning repair article discusses the installation errors in air conditioning compressor and condensing units such as improper location, blocked air flow, out of level, or not properly supported. We discuss required equipment clearance distances, refrigerant line piping support and routing, and problems with shrubbery or other air flow blockages that can cause overheating, higher operating costs, and reduced compressor motor life.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Air Conditioning Compressor Location Problems
Inadequate air circulation clearance around an air conditioner compressor/condenser unit
Typical outside air-cooled A/C compressors require a minimal clearance around the unit to provide adequate air flow so that the condenser coils will be cooled efficiently. Both of the air conditioning installations shown here are tipping and the right hand one was actually leaning on the house wall!
Air Conditioner Compressor/Condenser Units Overgrown with Shrubbery
Please see our detailed article about refrigerant line piping installation, inspection, defects, repairs, found at REFRIGERANT PIPING & DISTANCES. Excerpts below:
Refrigerant Line Mounting Requirements
Refrigerant Line Insulation Requirements
Missing insulation on the refrigerant lines, particularly on the larger suction line, will cause condensation and drips from the lines in humid areas. I've seen very costly building damage where lines were not properly insulated indoors: condensate drips wet gypsum board walls, leading to a costly mold remediation project.
Minimum Clearance Distances from Building Walls, Shrubs, Other Equipment
Air Conditioning Compressor/Condenser Unit Support Pads - Leveling Requirements for Compressor/Condenser Units
Outside A/C compressors are typically supported on a concrete pad, concrete blocks, or a vinyl pad such as the one shown in the photo at page top. The air conditioner compressor support pad should be level and secure against movement.
Compressors which are badly out of level may fail to function properly and need adjustment. Tipping and moving compressors can also cause can cause leaks in refrigerant lines, leading to costly air conditioning service calls to evacuate and recharge the system after repairing the refrigerant leak.
Do not try to move your A/C compressor yourself as you might cause a refrigerant leak or may otherwise damage the equipment.
Ask your A/C service technician to evaluate the effects of any out-of-level conditions of the compressor as well as to comment on the available slack in the refrigerant lines that may be needed to reposition the unit.
For slightly-tipped air conditioning compressors we generally leave them alone but we add support as needed to avoid further movement.
Tipped or leaning air conditioner compressor/condenser units
Tipping or leaning air conditioner compressors can lead to so much movement that the refrigerant lines crack and leak, leading to loss of cooling ability. In extreme cases, a tipped condenser unit may fail to operate properly. In the first photo above the compressor is leaning and creeping away from the building and has pulled its connecting wiring and refrigerant line taut.
I expect a problem soon with this unit. In the second photo everything looks awful: the two compressors are too close together and too close to the building wall for adequate air circulation, especially in the larger rear unit in the photo. The safety electrical switch for the air conditioner is falling off of the wall, and the rear unit is sliding off of its support pad. This was a poor air conditioning system installation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about compressor condensing coil Installation, Location, & Leveling Requirements
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Question: My compressor is out of level
My A/C compressor is out of level just slightly - is that going to make trouble? - Dimc
Dlmc: - requirement to level the air conditioning or heat pump compressor -
Questions & answers or comments about installing air conditioners and heat pumps: clearances, distances, leveling requirements.
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