Do you need an Air Conditioner Condenser Pad?
Outdoor AC units require certain components to function better. One would be the air conditioner condenser pad, a thick pad that provides a safe flat surface for installing the outdoor AC unit. When installing an outdoor unit, you should view this pad as a mandatory component.
An air conditioner condenser pad can be described as a piece of material (often made from recycled composite material or concrete) that sits underneath the outdoor AC unit. HVAC technicians will typically install one before installing your central AC unit, especially if the installation is done from scratch and there is no pad in place.
The pad’s purpose is to help lift the AC unit off the ground, thus protecting the unit against potential risks from pest infestation, corrosion due to rainwater, and unstable soil. This is important if you live in areas where bugs and small insects find their way inside your AC unit or where it rains a lot. When the AC is installed on a condenser pad, it minimizes potential damage to your unit from these sources.
Besides that, the pad also reduces the number of vibrations against the ground when the AC is on. Placing the unit directly on the ground triggers strange noises and could also cause damage since particles will find their way into the unit as it vibrates on the ground. Having a condenser pad helps prolong the lifespan of your unit by protecting it against damage.
Is an Air Conditioner Condenser Pad a Necessity?
Absolutely! Anyone thinking of installing an outdoor AC unit should consider getting a condenser pad because it is one of the easiest ways to protect your AC unit from damage. Having one in place will help keep your AC unit working smoothly and properly for years, especially if you live somewhere where you get a lot of rainfall or have harsh winters.
Is There a Specific Condenser Pad Recommended?
Now that you understand the importance of having a condenser pad, you need to make the right choice when buying one. To select the appropriate pad, it is advised to watch out for the following traits:
- Make sure the condenser pad is waterproof as well as weatherproof: The pad may stay outdoors regardless of weather, just as the outdoor AC unit does. Choose a waterproof pad to prevent any water from entering the AC unit from below. Your goal should be to avoid any moisture entry from rainwater or snow. Besides that, choose a pad that is UV resistant as this is the only way to prevent sun damage.
- Pick the Right Size: Since these condenser pads come in different sizes, you must select a slightly larger size than your AC’s footprint. Also, consider checking the zoning codes of your locality since they may require that you use specific pad sizes for the AC unit.
- Select the Right Material: Typically, concrete material is the best for AC units that are large and heavy. However, with improved designs and technology, you may have to consult your HVAC technician to determine if the modern ACs still require a concrete condenser pad since these units are lighter and smaller.Besides concrete pads, there is also the alternative made from recycled plastics. These pads are not only long-lasting but also resistant to UV rays. They also won’t crack with the impact of heavy rainfall, making them reliable and eco-friendly.
Installing the Condenser Pad
Once you have decided to install a condenser pad, choosing the right one based on what an HVAC professional recommends should be easy. Once done, proceed to install it as follows:
- Buy an appropriately sized condenser pad at the hardware store near you. Make sure to choose one that leaves one foot around the perimeter and supports the unit’s support feet. You also want to consider the material.
- Level the ground to avoid slanting or sinking your unit.
- Work on a compacted gravel or concrete base before placing the pad.
- Place the AC on top of the pad as long as the base is reinforced
- Wrap up by adding leveling pads if you messed up in the previous steps. You could also add vibration pads at this point. Finally, monitor the AC’s position with time and fix it if it shifts.
Not every homeowner may know how to install a condenser pad for their outdoor AC unit. Therefore, it is advisable to have an expert do it on your behalf to ensure everything is done right. Contact an experienced HVAC technician to do the work for you.