During the cold winter months, it’s likely that you’re trying to protect all of your outside possessions. One of these may be your outdoor condenser unit. Your first thought may be to cover your HVAC unit to protect it from snow and ice. Take the following into consideration when deciding to put a cover over your unit.
Think About What’s Inside Your Unit
Before you cover your outdoor HVAC unit, it’s important to think about what’s inside of it. There are various electrical components like wiring and circuit boards that are very sensitive to moisture. There are metal components that are prone to rust and corrosion.
If you opt for covering your outdoor HVAC unit, it will allow any moisture that is currently inside of the unit to be trapped there. This means that your electrical and metal components will be exposed to excess moisture. This will likely result in corrosion of these components over the winter months.
It’s All About Airflow
Your outdoor HVAC unit is specifically designed with grates to let the outside air adequately flow through the unit. This fresh air reaches all the internal components of your unit. If you were to cover it, you would obstruct this free flow of air, which can lead to unwanted mold growth on the internal components of your device.
Don’t Give Rodents a Home
During the colder winter months, many rodents seek shelter in places that are free of wind and adverse weather. If you put a cover over your outside HVAC unit, it creates the perfect environment for rodents. Don’t be surprised if you find a couple of rodents trying to seek shelter in your HVAC unit when it’s covered.
Your Unit Is Built to Last
While you may be fearful thinking about the nasty winter elements reaching the inside of your outdoor HVAC unit, that doesn’t mean that it needs to be covered. In fact, most manufacturers don’t recommend covering their outdoor HVAC units. These companies produce HVAC units that are built to withstand the harsh winter environment. The machines don’t need any sort of added coverage.
They Still Need Maintenance
Even though these HVAC units are made to last through bad weather, that doesn’t mean that they don’t require maintenance from time to time. Just like you would during the summer months, it’s best to clear out the space around your HVAC unit. Any debris like leaves or twigs that end up against the exterior of your unit should be removed. Additionally, you’ll want to remove snow that is pushed up against your HVAC unit to ensure there is a free flow of fresh air coming into it.
The Debris Problem
As you’ve learned so far, your HVAC system is built to withstand the elements of winter. However, leaves and other debris that make their way inside of your unit via the opening at the top can wreak havoc on your system. If you consistently clean off the top of your unit every few days, you won’t have to worry about covering it.
However, if you don’t want to have to worry about removing loose debris from the top of your outdoor HVAC unit throughout the fall and winter months, you may want to consider just a top cover. Debris is more likely to enter through the top of your HVAC unit as the slates allow for gravity to naturally move the debris downward.
Acceptable Top Covers
It’s very crucial to state that any cover you get for your outdoor HVAC unit should only cover the top portion of it. You don’t want it to extend any further than 6 inches down any of the sides of your device. This could restrict airflow and lead to unwanted rust and corrosion on the inside of your unit.
The best type of cover that you can purchase for your HVAC unit is a mesh cover. This still allows a free flow of air to your system without allowing unwanted debris, like leaves and twigs, from falling inside of it. You can find many of these mesh tops at your local hardware store or online.
Quality HVAC Services
Simmons Heating & Cooling provides quality heating and cooling services for the Chesapeake, VA, region. We’re also available for all of your generator, indoor air quality, air purification, ductless mini split system, ductwork, geothermal, water heater, and boiler services. Call us today to get the professional assistance that you need!