dslreports logo
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer

Search Topic:
uniqs
1206
share rss forum feed

Jaber

join:2007-07-07
Mount Prospect, IL

Air Conditioning Cover

Greetings,

New home owner here (town home actually). Just getting some things ready for the winter. Was wondering if an AC cover is needed for the condenser outside. The big square box with the fan. I checked the internet for some answers, but seem to be getting mixed reviews. I've lurked these forums enough to trust the input from members here, than a random site.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
It's not needed.
But it sure can't hurt especially if you have a lot of leaves falling on it in winter.

Mine had clumps of wet leaves inside at the bottom in the spring, I had to shop-vac it out.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to Jaber
Needed - no, but won't hurt either. Consider it's made to stay without cover from spring to fall (and heat pumps are made to work year-round). Now if you want to keep it slightly cleaner...


Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2
reply to Jaber
For the past decade or so I have lived in areas that have heat pumps (uses that same big box to heat the house), so a cover hasn't been an option. I wouldn't think that would be the case in Illinois, but growing up in Indiana and Missouri, I can't remember anyone ever using a cover.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
reply to Jaber
I have a piece of marine plywood cut to the shape of the A/C top. It keeps the leaves out. The sides are still open so air can move freely and dry out any water that does accumulate inside.

A cover is not unnecessary, I just hate cleaning the leaves out each year.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
said by nunya:

dry out any water that does accumulate inside.

I wonder, why don't they make a drain hole at the bottom of the chassis? Water just pools up in there!


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to Jaber
Just remember that a cover can make a nice shelter for little creatures. Be sure to open it up in the spring to inspect to make sure they aren't still around in the spring and that there wasn't any damage.

telco_mtl

join:2012-01-06
reply to alkizmo
my american standard has 4 drain holes, small enough to be annoyinglyeasy to clog!

MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to Jaber
I know somebody who has a heat pump in a snowy area. he basically built a plywood box around the heat pump with baffles on the sides/top to keep the device clear of snow in the winter. He also lined the inside of the 'box' with roofers insulboard but installed upside don (ie. insulation facing out)- the same stuff roofers use for torchdown membrane insulation. Has about 1" if mineral wool exposed to attenuate the sound of the heat pump when it's operating. Works quite well in my opinion.

He skinned the outside of the box with wood siding to match his house and put a low-pitch cedar roof on it, to dress it all up. Everything is held together with marine deck latches so it takes just a few seconds to disassemble the box for access.


agtle

@teksavvy.com
reply to nunya
said by nunya:

I have a piece of marine plywood cut to the shape of the A/C top. It keeps the leaves out. The sides are still open so air can move freely and dry out any water that does accumulate inside.

A cover is not unnecessary, I just hate cleaning the leaves out each year.

that is exactly the advice my hvac contractor gave me, never cover the whole thing - not to use one of those full-cover things, because it traps moisture and just encourages the unit to corrode. He told me to put a square of plywood on top with a brick if I wanted to keep the leaves out.

Jaber

join:2007-07-07
Mount Prospect, IL
reply to Jaber
Thanks for the advice everyone. If leaves are the main thing to protect against, I don't have to worry about it then. As there's no trees nearby. The unit is right outside my garage, on the alley. Last time I took a peek in there, a couple weeks ago, didn't see any in there.

rfnut
Premium
join:2002-04-27
Fisher, IL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Mediacom
reply to alkizmo
Said by alkizmo See Profile
"I wonder, why don't they make a drain hole at the bottom of the chassis? Water just pools up in there! "
The water level is designed at a specific height to keep a specific amount of water in the unit. The fan is designed to splash water up on the coils as it runs to aid in cooling thru evaporation. There is a designed "drain" somewhere, usually just above the bottom of the coil, but it may also just be the height of the case itself.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by rfnut:

The water level is designed at a specific height to keep a specific amount of water in the unit. The fan is designed to splash water up on the coils as it runs to aid in cooling thru evaporation. There is a designed "drain" somewhere, usually just above the bottom of the coil, but it may also just be the height of the case itself.

What????? The fan on most units is at the very top of the unit and you say they are designed for the water to be splashed by the fan??????

rfnut
Premium
join:2002-04-27
Fisher, IL
kudos:2
I was thinking window units. Not enough coffee today.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
said by rfnut:

I was thinking window units. Not enough coffee today.

that's right!
Go splash some coffee in your face

rfnut
Premium
join:2002-04-27
Fisher, IL
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Mediacom
Done. Thanks .


dosdoxies
Premium
join:2004-12-15
Wallingford, PA
reply to Jaber
I use a plastic trash can lid the same size as the fan opening with a brick on top. Works fine. And my Fedders has drain holes in the bottom.
--
The more people I meet, the better I like my dogs.

decx
Premium
join:2002-06-07
Vancouver, BC

1 edit
reply to Jaber
Have a vinyl cover over the AC. Definitely helps keeps the leaves out especially since the unit is partially under a large tree. Btw, my Carrier does have drain holes on the bottom, they're large enough to easily flush out any debris that falls in over the summer.