I had air conditioning installed in my ground floor unit. I specified 2 locations where I'd like the compressor unit to go, but, whilst I was away at work, the installer ended up putting the unit in a really inconvenient location, blowing hot air directly into the small courtyard I have.

The compressor unit is directly outside and below the condenser unit. Is it feasible to get the installer to move it 3 to 4 meters away from its current location? Is it possible to just run the wiring and piping along the outer wall between the 2 units?

  • 3
    Yes, and yes. Just refuse to pay them until they move it or justify why they put it where they did to your satisfaction. You are the customer and get what you are paying for. – ArchonOSX Sep 29 '17 at 8:39
  • I agree with the comment and answer below. + Line sets can be extended and since you told the installer where you wanted the outside unit they should have called you prior to placing the condenser /compressor in a different location most units can be 25-50 away from the inside unit. – Ed Beal Sep 29 '17 at 17:50
  • They are least efficient with the direct sun blasting on them, so every installation I see puts them on the south or west side of the house. (A/C load is highest in the afternoon). I think the power company pays the installers a kickback :) – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 29 '17 at 19:22

Usually it's not a big deal to move an AC compressor a bit. However, there are some common constraints to placement based on the mechanical performance of the system and local codes.

  • The compressor must have electrical power and control wiring. But wiring is easy, not typically a limiting factor.
  • You also need refrigerant lines. Manufacturers specify a limit on the distance and total height of these lines. You usually can't put a compressor many floors below the evaporator.
  • The compressor must be accessible for service. Modern codes usually require an electrical outlet nearby too.
  • The compressor must have adequate clearance from adjacent buildings, walls, decks, etc. to ensure good airflow.
  • You may be required to consider noise or setback requirements. Most towns don't want you to place a noisy compressor right on the edge of your neighbor's property.

I got to learn a bit about these rules when we had AC installed last year. My city electrical inspector required the compressor to be rotated in order to place the electrical access panel on a corner not adjacent to the house. (As far as I can tell this is ridiculous and uncommon even in our city.) The installer had to have both their refrigerant tech and electrician out again to rotate the unit. So it's a bit of a pain, but it's certainly doable and if the only reason they didn't put it in the place they previously agreed to is forgetfulness/laziness then you should demand they fix it.

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