Have you seen the social media post suggesting that covering your outdoor A/C unit here in Louisiana can make it run better? We looked into it.

Research from the Department of Energy confirms that shading your outdoor A/C unit can cut costs by up to 10%. However, they recommend creating shade with landscaping, not just placing an umbrella by your unit. They suggest planting trees near paved areas or growing vines on a trellis over patios to cool your house. For good airflow, keep plants at least three feet away from the air conditioner.

We dug deeper into the umbrella question and found mixed opinions. According to TexasMonthly.com, putting an umbrella over your A/C unit won't help it cool. BrandonAirConditioning.com says shading outdoor A/C units only works for smaller window units without a separate condenser and steel cover. However, CooperClimateControl.com argues that shading the outdoor condenser unit can indeed increase efficiency and lower cooling costs.

So, what's the final verdict? We reached out to our local heating and cooling experts to get to the bottom of whether shading our A/C units could actually trim our monthly electric bill. Especially with temperatures on the rise, it's essential to consider taking action.

Julian Montgomery, owner of Ice Cold A/C and Heating in Bossier City, offered his insight: "I don’t recommend it. I believe the umbrella will cause airflow restrictions and circulate hot exhaust air, making the unit work harder. While shading does help the A/C unit, an umbrella hovering a few feet over it isn't the solution."

According to Bobby Brannon, from Bobby Brannon Heating and Air Conditioning, LLC, shading an outdoor A/C unit may inadvertently hinder its performance by obstructing airflow to the condenser fan motor and condenser coils. Brannon advises against it, suggesting instead that if your A/C unit resembles the one depicted at the article's outset, it might be time for a thorough cleaning.

In short, while there are various DIY maintenance steps to maintain your air conditioning unit's efficiency, seeking guidance from professionals like those mentioned above is advisable.

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