The obvious reason for central AC is to cool the interior of our homes and businesses but did you know that Shaded Air Conditioning units have to work less. So what can we do to cool the AC units themselves? It has been proven that keeping the Air Conditioner shaded can reduce costs by allowing the unit to work less thereby reducing energy costs and possibly wear and tear to your cooling system.
If possible plant small trees and shrubs no more than two feet from the AC unit to avoid the blockage of air and the possibility of dead leaves getting inside the working parts. The best plants to choose would bear a good amount of shade and be relatively maintenance free. It has been estimates that a shaded unit requires up to 10 percent less energy to operate than an un-shaded unit. Shaded air can be up to six degrees cooler than air in direct sun which will allow faster and more efficient cooling.
One thing to consider is the location of your Air Conditioner ion relation to morning and evening sun or an East and West placement and how this can affect your cooling systems efficiency. It you have the option; place your cooling equipment to the North or South to avoid extended hours of direct sunlight. Over the years this can make a significant difference in your bills. Whatever you do, make sure that any trees, shrubs, or dead foliage do not get overgrown around your unit as this will adversely restrict air flow and work against you.