There are a few important components that play into an air conditioner’s operation, including some that aren’t actually attached to the unit but still play a role. A good example here, and an area that all homeowners should be aware of in terms of their AC unit and how it functions, is known as the condenser pad.
At My Buddy the Plumber in Provo, we’re here to offer numerous AC installation and other AC services, solutions that often require us to attend to your condenser pad in some form. What is a condenser pad, anyway, and does your system require one? If you’re installing a new AC, what are your options for a condenser pad? Here’s a primer on everything you need to know about this component.
Condenser Pad Basics and Purpose
The condenser pad is a thick, flat pad that provides a stable surface for the outdoor AC unit, also called a condenser unit, to rest on. Condenser pads are 100% required for exterior AC units, allowing them to sit several inches off the ground and be protected from not only moisture, but also various pests and insects. Without the condenser pad, the unit would have to sit directly on the ground and would be susceptible to a few threats, including moisture infiltration that could cause the unit to fail far earlier than expected.
What are your options for a condenser pad if you’re installing a new air conditioner or taking part in a new home build? Our next couple sections will go into this.
Pad Material Options
The most common condenser pad material today, and largely for the last several decades in fact, is concrete. It’s a strong, durable material that can hold up to the weight of large AC units, plus generally does well with moisture as long as it’s maintained.
However, as AC units are getting lighter and smaller in recent years, some wonder whether concrete is truly required here. An alternative option that’s become popular in some circles is recycled plastic, which is not only durable but also UV-resistant and eco-friendly. This material won’t crack or move whatsoever when exposed to significant rain or moisture, and when combined with positive environmental qualities, you can see why this is becoming a more and more viable option.
Choosing Pad Size
Condenser pads can be built in several different sizes. Generally speaking, you should order one that has slightly wider dimensions than the widest point of the AC unit – however, it’s also important to check local zoning codes, as they may include specific requirements for condenser pad size based on your AC unit size.
For more on choosing an AC condenser pad, or to learn about any of our air conditioner services, other HVAC solutions or plumbing assistance areas, speak to the staff at My Buddy the Plumber today.