Let’s get one thing straight: Commercial builders are not HVAC specialists. This differentiation is why we consult on a variety of remodeling and home building projects—to ensure whatever the construction project is, that it will meet both product specifications and building code requirements.
Let’s use building or extending a deck as an example. Yes, you can install it over an existing condenser. But here are all the things you need to consider before finalizing your design:
1. Recommended Clearances for Optimal Function
In other words, what does the product manual say? Most owner guides will tell you exactly how much space you need for both proper air flow and service maintenance access. Ignoring these measurements may not only decrease your unit’s overall performance, but it can also void any manufacturer warranties.
2. Position or Location
How is the new deck going to affect the condenser’s exposure to the elements? If you ignore the installation location, you might find it can lead to water, snow or ice accumulating and falling directly into your system. Needless to say, this impacts both system function and longevity.
3. State Mandated Clearances for Worker Safety
This is different, and sometimes contradictory to what a user manual might tell you. You’ll have to compare the clearance requirements for both the state and the product itself, then use whichever of the two is greater as your minimum. You’ll also need to account for power location, including disconnection, repair, and replacement access should something go wrong with the unit. Generally speaking, you don’t want to build your deck in any way that might block line of sight between the power switch, or connection, and the unit. This placement prevents someone from accidentally restoring power while another person is still working on the system.