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A/C compressor cover
Old 09-19-2014, 02:40 PM   #1
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A/C compressor cover

A recent thread about A/C replacement has reminded me about winter covers for my compressors. I heard that covering the compressor unit may do more harm than good due to condensation buildup over the winter months. In our old residence I always covered the unit but both units in our new 4 year old townhouse are not covered. Before I spend a couple hundred dollars on two covers I wanted to ask folks to share their opinion.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:47 PM   #2
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Ours is ~ 26 YO, never covered through N IL winters. Never had any maintenance or repair done, other than me just making sure the fins were free of leaves and weeds and such.

Just one data point, not sure if that means you should or shouldn't, but that's our experience FWIW.

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Old 09-19-2014, 02:48 PM   #3
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I've got two A/C covers that I use for outboard motors, mowers etc. but have never used them on my A/C. The units are 19 and 13 years old with no problems. Some where along the line I heard they did no good.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:49 PM   #4
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I stick a round trash can lid on it in the fall to keep leaves out, held on with bungee cords. I can see where totally enclosing it might trap moisture.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:51 PM   #5
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I don't cover them here in NC, with just occasional snow. This way they dry out. Looks great after 15 years.

Your topic about "to cover or not" is timely. I always used to cover my gas grill. It still rusted out. Many times I'd take the cover off and find a lot of moisture under it.

So, I'm going to leave the new grill uncovered and see how it lasts. My internet searches find the same issue about covering A/C with two camps, those who cover for protection, and those who don't because of fear of moisture entrapment.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I stick a round trash can lid on it in the fall to keep leaves out, held on with bungee cords. I can see where totally enclosing it might trap moisture.
That actually sounds like a good idea.

Every spring I open up the units and clean out all the tree junk that gets in there. Your idea sounds like it might help me avoid that.
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travelover View Post
I stick a round trash can lid on it in the fall to keep leaves out, held on with bungee cords. I can see where totally enclosing it might trap moisture.
That sounds like the best solution. I don't like the idea of completely enclosing it. I suppose completely covering it might help the paint finish last longer if that matters to anyone.

I don't cover mine, never any difficulty in not doing so. Both times I replaced a central A/C it was because the evaporator (inside the house) went first.
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:51 PM   #8
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I actually asked our heating guy (30-year veteran) about this when ours was installed at our current home (my first ever air conditioning so I was excited about it) and he said that a cover is more likely to do more harm than good. He just recommended checking each spring for branches or excess leaves. That's what I've done and it has worked well for 8 years so far.
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:04 PM   #9
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Mine is 20 years old. No cover ever, in MINNESOTA. Works great.

Covering it only attracts mice.
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:13 PM   #10
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Based on everyone's input I will not be covering the units after all. I will just continue to remove the leaves and debris in the spring before turning the A/C on.
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Old 09-19-2014, 09:31 PM   #11
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My A/C compressors work year 'round, So, covering the compressors is not an option.

The thermostats switch from heat to cool automatically and may switch from heat to cool and back within a within a few hours.

I am surrounded by large oak trees. The leaves are not a problem around the compressors. I mean they won't cause the compressors to not work.

I use a leaf blower to blow away the leaves around the bases.
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