Air Conditioner, Cover or Not?

Discussion in 'HVAC' started by ceclmc, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. Nov 5, 2010 #1

    ceclmc

    ceclmc

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    Should you put a winter cover on your condenser unit? I was just looking for the pros and cons? If so what kind? Thank you
     
  2. Nov 5, 2010 #2

    havasu

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    Not being a HVAC expert, I would guess it may keep it cleaner, which may extend its life, but if you accidentally turned on the air, you could burn up your motor if you failed to take the cover off.
     
  3. Nov 5, 2010 #3

    kok328

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    The only advantage is preventing water from entering the condensor fan motor if the thru bolts are not sealed from the top side of the unit.
     
  4. Nov 5, 2010 #4

    paul52446m

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    I tell my customers to turn off the breaker so no one will make a mistake
    and turn it on in the winter. I live in a snow country so most people do cover
    there condenser. you can buy them through your cooling dealers or go to a sheet metal shop. You only need to cover the top and a few in. down the side.
    You can make your own out of wood. Put a brick or stone on the top to hold it down. Later Paul
     
  5. Nov 5, 2010 #5

    kok328

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    I tell my customers to turn off the breaker so no one will make a mistake
    and turn it on in the winter.


    Paul, I think you mean "turn off the breaker and turn it on in the SUMMER", but what is the advantage of covering the unit in the winter (aside from what I already mentioned)?
     
  6. Nov 5, 2010 #6

    Shawner

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    A buddy of mine said he's seen large icicles break off the eaves and fall into the unit when it wasn't covered, apparently breaking something inside. Secondhand info though....
     
  7. Nov 6, 2010 #7

    paul52446m

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    Yes i have seen that happen a couple of times. You are suppose to put the unit out far enough from the building so that will not happen. A couple of years ago i replaced on unit that went from 3' tall to 18" tall, when a 3'
    diameter oak tree landed on it. Later Paul
     
  8. Nov 14, 2010 #8

    ceclmc

    ceclmc

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    Thank you for your replies. I will cover the top with plywood and leave the rest open. Breaker is off in panel.

    Thanks again, Chuck
     
  9. Nov 14, 2010 #9

    mudmixer

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    I have always used a plywood cover over the top to prevent damage and direct moisture from above. This allows circulation to prevent excessive moisture from building up.

    Anoutside unit is designed to be weather resistant, but it make little sense to trap moisture and prevent circulation.

    I put 4 bricks on it and my wife rotates the pumpkins, artificial Christmas trees, Easter bunnies and statues of St. Urho (with the green and gold) and then switch to a leprechaun depending on the time - A/C is next to garage driveway.

    Dick
     
  10. Feb 26, 2013 #10

    bud16415

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    Around here leaves are a big problem in the fall. the full length covers keep snow, ice and leaves out. but the unit can still breath.
     
  11. Feb 26, 2013 #11

    ozone

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    Good replies that I would totally agree with, especially the damage that can be done from icicles and ice slides off the roof. One issue not mentioned is that when a full cover is used it not only holds moisture it makes the perfect habitat area for small rodents. Each year doing clean and checks I found high voltage contactor areas stuffed with nesting material and the occasional fried mouse. A few resulted in smoldering fires that melted wire insulation. Not that big of an issue if you clean it youself or pay for someone to come out and check the system prior to spring start-up.
     
  12. Feb 26, 2013 #12

    Housedoctor57

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    I use stretch wrap, like the kind you wrap something to a pallet with. I cover the top and about half the way down the side. I turn off the breakers as well. Keeps the pine straw and leaves out very well.
     

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