Air condensers are quite heavy products. These units are meant to condense refrigerant vapor into liquid. They are bulky and over time, they may sink into the ground as they operate. This way, they may malfunction while causing damage to the surface they’re placed on.
But did you know that this problem could be solved with the best AC unit pad? AC pads will be placed under the air condenser and prevent it from ruining itself and the ground. Therefore, having one of these foundations will prove to be very useful.
Picking one will definitely not be as easy as you’d think, though. If you want to choose a worthy product, then you should check out the AC unit pad reviews below, as well as the buying guide that follows.
Do You Really Need an AC Unit Pad?
An AC unit pad is a necessity if you own an air condenser that is placed outside. Basically, air condensers tend to sink into the ground because of their vibration while operating, and because of how heavy they get when water accumulates. This could actually end up causing the AC unit to stop working properly.
An AC unit pad won’t let this happen, though. This is why it’s such an important investment. Also, one can fix a sinking air conditioner pad.
Moreover, AC unit pads can also be used for other “tasks”, such as holding your garage heater.
Things to Consider When Buying an AC Unit Pad
Before you end up buying an AC pad, you need to know what to look for in one. In other words, it needs to have features that will make it worth the purchase. With that being said, here are some of the features to take into account when looking for a good AC pad:
First and foremost, you need to look for an AC pad that is durable and won’t break apart during the installation, or shortly after being installed. It would be a shame to spend money on something, only to see it damaged in a few weeks/months.
When it comes to durability, one of the things coming into play is the material. Not all AC pads are made from the same material. Some are made of Styrofoam, which is a very lightweight material. However, it isn’t that good in the long run, especially if you have a heavier air condenser. Besides, if you happen to bend it too much by mistake, step on it or handle it too roughly, then it may crack.
Meanwhile, there are pads made of recycled plastic. These are very useful as they are sturdy and not too heavy either. As such, they will be able to withstand a bulky air condenser and will not crack that easily.
Also, another thing that matters is the surface of the pad. Is it ribbed, or not? You should be aware that a ribbed surface will evenly distribute weight and have better stability as a result, which is why you should look into it.
UV-Resistant and Waterproof
It’s essential to keep in mind that once you set up your AC pad, it will be outside for a very long time. This means that it will be exposed to multiple weather conditions, including extreme ones.
UV-resistance is a really important feature for all AC unit pads and you should buy a pad that has such a feature. Given that your AC pad may be exposed to sun rays for a long time, it may end up cracking, which isn’t something to look forward to if you want the pad to maintain its efficiency and look good. UV-resistance will prevent cracking as the pad will be protected while exposed to sun rays.
Meanwhile, the air condenser unit pad that you choose should be waterproof. Just like in the case of sun rays, water can cause the surface of the pad to crack. When outside, chances are that your pad will deal with rain and snow exposure, depending on the season. This is why you need it to be waterproof.
Thankfully, AC unit pads that are UV-resistant are usually waterproof.
Size and Zoning
You need to check the zoning codes of your city or town before you install your AC unit pad. The reason is the fact that, in some places, you will need a 3” pad at a minimum. This would apply no matter what size your air condenser is even with the smallest portable AC unit.
Also, you should keep in mind that there are rules that mention where your unit can be placed, depending on your yard and the house. Even if you think you’ve found your best spot to install the air condenser and the pad, you may have to follow the rules and install it somewhere else. Check the rules and regulations in your area just to be sure.
There’s a possibility of your AC unit pad to come with a warranty, but then again, it may not have that warranty. Not having a warranty is a big disadvantage, because you never know how your product might get damaged, and you will just end up wasting money.
This is why it’s recommended to look for a pad that comes with a warranty. Sometimes, you will get even a 2-year warranty. Aside from the warranty itself and the term, you should also look at what it covers.
Another thing you should consider when looking for a new AC unit pad is a non-slipping surface. It would be a shame if your air condenser slips and ends up on the ground. You should check the specifications of the pad and the customer reviews and see if the pad is indeed slip-resistant.
It doesn’t matter how good a pad is. If the installation takes ages and feels too difficult to handle, then it’s not worth it. The easier and better the installation, the better the pad is going to be when holding your air condenser.
In general, there should be instructions that tell you how to install the pad. Sometimes, you may need anchors to keep it and the AC unit into place – and everything goes smoothly when these anchors are easy to add to the pad. If the pad requires a professional in order to be installed, then you should have a pad that won’t give them headaches. Check the customer reviews before buying a product and see how the installation process went for other people.
Best AC Unit Pads Comparison Chart
Diversitech EL3636-3 E-Lite Plastic Condensing Unit Pad
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Ideal-Air 728184 Cement Equipment Pad
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DiversiTech ACP36363 The Black Pad
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DiversiTech UC3636-3 Ultralite Concrete Equipment Pad
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Diversitech EL3232-2 E-Lite Plastic Condensing Unit Pad
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Ecopad Equipment Pad for Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner
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Best AC Unit Pads – (Editors’ Choice)
1. Diversitech EL3636-3 E-Lite Plastic Condensing Unit Pad
Whether you want a replacement for your old AC pad or you just want to get your first one, this product is more than fitting. What caught our attention was the fact that it comes with bracing. That means that if you live in an area with high winds and risk of hurricanes and tornados, this product will keep your AC intact.
This pad is sturdy enough to hold your bulky AC, being able to hold units of various weights. Also, its texture prevents sliding, keeping your AC safe this way. In addition, the pad itself is durable and cannot be affected by weather or UV. It’s lightweight too. As for the design, it’s quite simple, having a gray color and rounded edges.
- The unit won’t be affected by UV or weather
- Has a classic, nice look
- Won’t let your unit slide
- Comes with bracing for stability in case of tornados or hurricanes
- Some customers have received a damaged product
2. Ideal-Air 728184 Cement Equipment Pad
You should give this pad a try if you want something natural and something that doesn’t get affected by ultraviolet light or soil conditions. Even if there’s extreme weather, you can rest assured that this AC pad will handle it and won’t get damaged.
The pad is very lightweight, yet it won’t have trouble handling bulkier units. Although lightweight, there are uniform thick edges, while the Styrofoam filling is flush to the bottom of it.
Furthermore, these pads are easy to handle. You just have to set them up with your AC unit and place them on the ground wherever you need. Despite looking like it, the product isn’t made of concrete. The similarity makes it look nice, though.
- Has a beautiful, realistic look
- It is very lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Can hold heavy AC’s with no problem
- Resistant to extreme weather conditions
- There’s a very little amount of concrete, which may cause the product to crack if you step on it by mistake
3. DiversiTech ACP36363 The Black Pad
What we liked about this DiversiTech product was its durability. Its surface is strong enough to hold a heavy AC and can also be drilled if you need it to be fixed. Drilling it won’t cause it to crack, and to make things better, doing so will only add more stability and security for your air condenser.
This product can also be used with filters, heaters and pool pumps. Moreover, the surface prevents slipping, thus being safe for the unit you will place on it. Besides, ultraviolet light resistance is incorporated as well.
The pad is made of recycled rubber in a co-injection process. Although it’s a little heavy, you will at least rest assured that it will offer a long-lasting experience.
- Sturdy and durable
- It can resist ultraviolet light
- Can be used with various things, including heaters, filters and pool pumps
- Some customers complained their unit arrived damaged
4. DiversiTech UC3636-3 Ultralite Concrete Equipment Pad
When it comes to looks, this unit is a very nice item to have. It looks like concrete, despite not being made of this material. Unlike a concrete pad, this one is very lightweight and can be easily maneuvered, which is an instant plus. If you don’t have a very bulky AC, this product may work for you.
However, keep in mind that the item is made of Styrofoam sprayed with concrete. Therefore, trying to use anchors in the material won’t work. It will not be able to hold properly in case you have a very heavy AC.
- It looks very good and will work as a decoration too
- Lightweight and easy to maneuver
- Suitable for light units
- Not made of concrete despite stating so
- If you plan on installing anchors, you won’t be able to use them as they won’t hold
5. Diversitech EL3232-2 E-Lite Plastic Condensing Unit Pad
First of all, it’s important to mention how light this pad is. It is easy to work with and move around. But despite being lightweight, it is sturdy enough to hold your AC. It’s pretty big in size and able to hold multiple AC models.
Also, we noticed that the customer service is very quick to respond to the customer’s problems. They will immediately be eager to replace a potentially damaged product with a new one.
The item adds enough height to make it possible for a heat pump to be installed too. This is useful when you don’t want the snow to reach the heat pump. However, it may not be able to hold something too heavy.
- It’s pretty large
- It is sturdy yet lightweight
- Good customer service
- Easy to maneuver
- May not be able to hold very heavy units
- Water may be able to run over the top
6. Ecopad Equipment Pad for Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner
In case you want to place your AC in an area where the ground is soft, then you will find this Ecopad product useful. Basically, it will be able to settle and thus keep your AC in place, without having to worry that it may slip and fall.
What really impressed us was the sturdiness of the product, combined with its lightweight nature. Even though it is sturdy enough and able to withstand a heavier AC, it isn’t too heavy – this means you will be able to maneuver it as you wish.
There are cases when the pad arrives with defects, such as a part of it missing, but when it doesn’t, it can be a very useful thing to have.
- It is sturdy enough to hold the units
- Very lightweight
- Will settle into the ground with no problems
- May arrive with missing parts in some cases
7. EKON AC Condensing Unit Support Pad
If you need something of high quality, you can’t go wrong with this EKON product. It is made of 100% recycled plastic and it is easy to set up too. You won’t have to spend too much time trying to figure it out.
The AC pad will resist to ultraviolet lights and it has underlying ribs that don’t allow sinking to occur. The textured pad surface will also prevent slipping, thus keeping your AC in place and making sure it’s safe.
Thanks to how good the material is, you can drill this pad and thus secure it and the AC. Moreover, the vibration will be reduced while the unit operates.
- Made of high-quality and durable material
- Can be drilled
- It’s easy to set up
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Slipping and vibration will be reduced
- UV resistance
- The installation process may give you some trouble
AC Unit Pads – What They Are and How They Can Help You
An AC unit pad is a surface meant to be placed under an air condenser to prevent it from getting damaged. What is an air conditioner condenser, though? Air condensers represent, just like an AC vacuum pump, a part of the air conditioner system. They tend to vibrate, which will cause them to sink into the ground and thus get damaged. Not to mention, that sometimes, they also produce water, and the last thing you want is seeing your condenser being swallowed by the ground due to how heavy the water makes it.
An air condenser pad will provide support for your device, making sure the ground or the air condenser will neither have to suffer during the operation. Furthermore, if you want to still have a functioning air condenser when winter is over, an AC pad is a must-have. It can survive even harsh winters.
All in all, an AC unit pad is meant to increase the longevity or the air condenser by protecting it from sinking into the ground or damaging due to cold winter weather.
AC Unit Pads vs. Pouring Concrete – Benefits and Differences
You may be wondering why you would purchase a pre-fab pad when you can just pour some concrete and make your own pad. Well, both of these methods have their own pros and cons to consider.
Pre-fab pads weren’t always a thing. In fact, the traditional way to keep an air condenser from being swallowed by the ground was by pouring concrete – this method can stabilize the air conditioner properly. Meanwhile, pre-fab pads have come as a solution to the disadvantages of concrete.
Basically, pre-fab pads have been created especially to resist the unit’s vibrations and weight. They are cheaper and require less time to be put in place since you don’t have to pour them yourself. Of course, they are made from various materials, including recycled materials, rubber, plastic, and Styrofoam, with each one of them having its own quality level.
Meanwhile, pouring concrete has an advantage too. In order to pour concrete, you will first have to build a frame, base, and reinforcements. Only after you do these, you can finally pour the concrete. Also, as long as you level and custom the soil over the pad, it won’t sink too much over time. The disadvantage comes when the unit is too heavy, and it causes the concrete to go deeper and deeper into the ground.
Although pouring concrete comes with its own advantage of being sturdier and being able to hold heavier units without shattering, this is a big disadvantage. Over time, it may become uneven, and even sink down into the soil. This may strain the electrical lines and cooper coolant tubes.
So, because of this, a lot of people have turned to pre-fab pads. They’re less risky in this regard if you choose the right item.
Understanding the Installation Process of an AC Unit Pad
If you have decided that you want to purchase an AC unit pad, then you must know how to install it. Fortunately, it’s not such a troublesome process, yet some guidance is always welcome. Having said that, here are the steps that you should take when installing an AC unit pad.
Check the Size of the Pad and Find a Location
First of all, it’s important to check the size of the pad you’re about to buy and figure out where it is going to be installed. The compressor supports should be at least one foot from the perimeter, so make sure that you find an AC unit pad that is large enough.
You should find a location that is close to the house so that you can set it up with the air conditioner properly. However, make sure to check the rules and regulations of your town or city before you find a place for it, because in some cases, you may not get to decide the designated spot yourself.
Level the Pad
Once you have the perfect spot for the AC unit pad, it’s time to start the installation. However, there are cases when the ground in the area is not even – thus, the air condenser won’t stand straight, which is a disadvantage.
So, you need to level the pad if you want everything to be alright. You can do this by placing a level rock base under the pad so that there aren’t any uneven areas that will cause your unit to stand in a weird position. In some cases, you can also add some sand under it, especially if the uneven part is not that deep.
Place the AC Unit on the Pad
Now that you placed the pad on the ground, it’s time to put the AC unit on it. Some pads will not come with any anchors, but they will come with an anti-slip surface. Even if the vibration is slightly reduced with a pad, it’s better to have a surface that keeps the unit into place.
In some cases, the surface might still be too slippery. In that situation, you will have to add anchors, which takes us to the next point.
Set Up the Anchors
Drill some holes into the pad and add the anchors in the rightful places. That way you can anchor your air conditioner condenser even to concrete. These will work to secure the AC unit and not allow it to drop from the pad or move around due to vibration.
Important FAQs & Answers
1. How do I know what size my AC unit pad should be?
It’s ideal that the size of your AC unit pad is a little bigger than the one of your air condenser, although having one of the same sizes works too in certain situations. So, you should first measure the air condenser itself, after which you will be able to determine the right pad size that you need.
2. Are the AC unit pads expensive?
Thankfully, they aren’t. More often than not, they have prices below $50, so you won’t have to spend too much on the pad. The price may increase the higher the quality of the pad is, though.
3. How can I level my air condenser pad?
You have to first turn off the circuit breakers for the outdoor and indoor air conditioning units, so you’re not at any risk if the air conditioner turns on. Take a shovel and dig a trench around the AC pad’s circumference. It should be on the opposite of the low side. Place some bags of gravel next to the low side and put a block of wood next to the low side’s ground.
Afterward, you should put a level across the AC’s top and introduce a crowbar under the low side. Then, you should drape it across the wood block’s top. Push down on the end of it until you notice the AC is leveled.
Just like a fireplace grate, an AC unit pad needs to be properly leveled on the ground. Also, it should be able to hold the air condenser. Now that you have read our AC unit pad reviews, it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to pick the best AC unit pad. Remember all the information in the buying guide when you go shopping.