The outdoor unit for an Air Conditioner or a heat pump is responsible for releasing the extracted heat from the indoor of the facility to the outdoor environment. To ensure these outdoor units keep doing their job consistently, they need to sit on a Concrete Pad or a Plastic AC Pad.

But which should you invest in? Here's a detailed account of everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

Choosing the right AC/Outdoor unit pad majorly depends on the size of your unit. For larger units, you may want to go with a concrete pad. Whereas, if the outdoor unit is medium or small-sized, you can go with a plastic AC pad instead.

To maintain your outdoor unit in the long run, it is important to know what kind of AC pad you should get. In this blog, we will discuss the kinds of AC pads out there and more to ensure that you make an informed decision.

Related Article: How AC Condenser Pads Can Help Your Heating and Cooling Systems

Picking The Best AC Pad

To ensure that the outdoor unit does not end up digging itself into the ground due to the vibrations from operating and tilting to the point of damaging the internal parts, it is important to mount it on an AC pad to provide a level surface.

Installing an AC pad is also essential to provide elevation to keep off any immediate dirt or bug off the outdoor unit.

There are two most common types of AC pads available in the market today - concrete and plastic. Both of these materials are good to use, depending on the size of your outdoor unit.


Concrete AC pads have been around for the longest time because of their long lifespan. They are good for supporting the weight of large outdoor units. Although they aren't very aesthetic yet functional.

However, concrete AC pads can also sink to the ground over time. This is why some people put in gravel to support the pad. Cracks may also form over time due to rain.


For medium-sized or small units, plastic AC pads are an ideal choice.

These pads are highly durable, and some are made with recycled materials. Some plastic pads are also resilient to different environmental elements and don't crack easily as they are water-resistant and UV-resistant. They are becoming a popular option because they can also be eco-friendly.

How To Install AC Pad

Now that we have discussed the kinds of AC pads available in the market today and what works best in what scenario, you would want to know how to install an AC pad properly. It might sound as simple as placing your outdoor unit on the pad, but you'll need to prepare the ground for it and more to avoid your outdoor unit from tilting.

Deciding If You Need An AC Pad

As discussed earlier, to keep your outdoor unit from becoming damaged over time, it's important to invest in an AC pad is important. However, it is also important to evaluate the current situation. Check if your outdoor unit is already in place. If yes, consider its lifespan and its condition.

The reason to do so is to make a better decision because if a unit is almost at the end of its life, you may want to wait it out instead of investing in a new AC pad for it. If this is the case, you would rather get a new outdoor unit and get it an AC pad.

Purchasing The AC Pad

Before picking out an AC pad, measure the size of your outdoor unit. Also, note that the AC pad will provide a 1-foot distance between the support feet of the unit and the perimeter. AC pads can cost between $50 to $250, depending on the size and the brand.

Preparing The Ground

To ensure proper AC pad installation and avoid tilting your outdoor unit, it's important to level the ground first. Doing this helps to save your outdoor unit from any potential damage that can lead to a shortened lifespan and high repair costs in the future.

To do this, select the area where your outdoor unit will be placed and compress the ground. Then, top it with sand to level the ground. You can also use a leveling tool to check if the ground is even before moving to the next step.

Adding A Base

Although many don't do it, adding a solid base is recommended to make it more permanent. You can put a layer of gravel on top of the sand as a solid base for this. Another way to go about it is by pouring concrete on top of the sand. Remember to always check if your ground is level when doing this step.

Installing The AC Pad And Unit

After adding your base, simply install the AC pad on top of it. Also, check with the level if your AC pad is stable before placing your outdoor unit on top of it. In case if it is not, you can install leveling pads under the unit.

Final Thoughts

Concrete and plastic AC pads are both good for your outdoor unit, but considering which one is the best depends on the size of your unit. It is best to use a concrete AC pad if you have a large outdoor unit. If your unit is medium or small-sized, you can opt for a plastic AC pad instead.

Shop At ProServices Supply

We are one of the top suppliers of HVAC systems and parts for all types of facilities. Check out our extensive range of Diversitech lightweight and durable Condenser Pads. Our condenser pads are made with 98% recycled plastic and provide optimum strength and self-leveling ground support. If you are not sure which pad would suit best for your unit, call us today at (877) 776-8228 and speak with one of our experts, who will provide you with a personalized experience.

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