The outdoor unit of an air conditioning system typically isn’t installed directly on the ground. Rather, it’s installed on a pad. Known as an air conditioner pad, it serves as a solid and stable foundation for the outdoor unit. What is an air conditioner pad exactly, and do you really need one?
Overview of Air Conditioner Pad
An air conditioner pad is a solid block of material – typically concrete or composite – on which the condenser unit of an air conditioning system is mounted. In a central air conditioning system, the condenser unit is a large box that contains the condenser coil as well as the compressor and a fan.
Instead of installing condenser units directly on the ground, most heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) companies install them on an air conditioner pad. After choosing the right area for a condenser unit, HVAC companies will lay down the air conditioner pad. They will then place the condenser unit on top of the pad, followed by completing all the necessary connections.
Do You Need an Air Conditioner Pad?
It may sound insignificant, but an air conditioner pad is important for several reasons. It will protect the condenser unit from moisture damage, for instance. The condenser unit is less likely to sustain moisture damage if it’s installed on a pad.
The condenser unit will inevitably be exposed to moisture since it’s installed outdoors. If it’s directly on the ground, though, it will probably absorb and retain more moisture, which can cause it to sustain damage like rusting or corrosion. An air conditioner pad will protect your condenser unit from moisture damage by keeping it off the ground.
Along with moisture, an air conditioner pad will protect your condenser unit from insects. Condenser units aren’t closed. Rather, they are partially open so that heat can dissipate from the condenser coil. This partially open design means that insects can make their way into the condenser unit. Installing the condenser unit on a pad will discourage insects from entering it.
An air conditioner pad will also provide a flat and level surface for the condenser unit. Because they contain a compressor, condenser units vibrate during operation. If you have the air conditioner turned on, the condenser unit will vibrate from the compressor’s motor. Fortunately, an air conditioner pad will stabilize the condenser unit. Even during heavy vibrations, it won’t move from its original location.