A split air conditioner (AC) has a condenser unit that sits outside the house. Poor placement of the condenser unit has far-reaching consequences. Consider these critical factors so that you can place the condenser unit in the best place in your home.


A little water won’t affect the performance of the condenser unit. However, standing water can affect the unit in multiple ways — for example:

  • Constant exposure to moisture encourages corrosion.
  • Debris in floodwater can clog the condenser fins.
  • Constant exposure to water can affect the electrical parts of the condenser.

Don’t place the unit in a valley where floodwater can affect it. Set up the drainage system such that water drains away from the unit.

Air Circulation

The condenser unit needs good air circulation around it. Anything that blocks air circulation will interfere with your AC’s efficiency by stifling heat exchange. Leave at least two feet (24 inches) of clearance between the condenser unit and nearby obstructions, such as the wall, fence, or shrubs.


The condenser unit has a motor that vibrates whenever it runs. If you place the unit on an uneven, soft, or weak surface, the vibrations can eventually displace the unit. The displacement can lead to damages (such as damage to the refrigerant line) and excessive noise.

Choose a hard surface for the installation. If the natural ground is not firm or even, construct a suitable base. For example, you can fashion a concrete base for the unit.


The condenser unit should also be accessible. You may need to access the unit to inspect or clean it. Your AC technician will also need to access the unit to maintain, service, or repair it. There should also be space for tools and equipment a technician might need.

Heat Sources

A little sunlight won’t harm the condenser unit, but extreme heat is not good for cooling efficiency. The more heat around the unit, the more the unit has to work to expel the air the AC has extracted from the house. Therefore, don’t place the condenser unit near an outdoor fireplace, a steam vent, or anything else that might flood it with high temperatures.


Most ACs emit noise during operations, though some models are noisier than others. Therefore, choose a location where most of the noises will disperse and not flood your house. An example of a bad place is the ground just outside a living room window. Also, don’t place the condenser unit where it will bother your neighbors.


The AC condenser unit is strong enough to withstand moderate forms of weather, including moderate wind. Extreme weather is what you have to worry about. Strong winds can knock over the unit or clog it with dirt. Windblown debris can damage the delicate condenser fins.

If your area experiences strong winds, place the unit somewhere it won’t be in the direct wind path. You can also use wind barriers, such as a fence, to mitigate the effects of wind on the unit.


Many people consider AC units to be bland or even unsightly. Thus, the condenser unit can mar your curb appeal if you place it in a prominent place. Place the unit on a hidden side of the house. You can also hide the unit from view by using fences or landscaping. Just make sure you leave adequate clearance for air circulation.

You might not get an ideal placement area for the condenser unit. Choose the best place that satisfies most of the factors above. Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning can help you with your AC’s placement and installation. Contact us today for a quote, and we will be glad to help you.