Install A Concrete Pad To Get Ready For A New Air Conditioner

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Before you have a central air conditioning system installed in your house, you need to have a pad put in so the outdoor unit has a level place to rest. Concrete is the traditional choice for an air conditioner pad since it is strong and durable. You can have the pad poured on the spot or buy a pad already made. Here are some things to know about a concrete air conditioner pad.

Local Codes May Regulate Size And Placement

Check your local codes before you install the pad. There might be a minimum thickness and size requirement for the pad. You might also be restricted in where you can place the pad. The thickness of the pad might be regulated because air conditioners are heavy and they fill with condensation or water which makes them even heavier. A pad is necessary so the weight of the unit doesn't cause the air conditioner to sink into the ground over time. If a concrete pad isn't thick enough, the AC might cause it to crack or sink.

A Poured Pad Might Be Best

An advantage of having a poured pad installed is that you can watch it being made so you know the ground is compacted properly and reinforcement is added to the concrete. Another advantage to having a pad poured is that you can choose the width you want as long as you meet the minimum required by codes. Having a wide pad gives you a border around the AC where you won't have to worry about weeds growing too close to the unit.

An advantage of buying a slab already made is that it can be installed in a day and be ready to go. You'll still need to level and compact the ground before putting down the pad, but installation will be less labor-intensive. However, you should have plenty of time to have a concrete pad poured and ready for the AC unit as long as you coordinate the two jobs since they'll probably be done by two different contractors.

Add Landscaping Around The Pad

It's not necessary to have a border around the concrete pad, but it helps control weeds that can choke off air circulation. You might want a border a few inches wide made of gravel that's placed over landscaping fabric to keep weeds away. You might also want to build a flower bed around the concrete pad that's covered in mulch and compact flowers that won't grow too close to the AC. This not only keeps down on weeds, it also makes the area around the pad and air conditioner more attractive and less of a waste of yard space.

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