Central Air Conditioner Cover
Protection for condenser unit

Central air conditioner cover

I had seen this on some homeowner’s condenser units and I’m going to discuss the advantage and disadvantage to having a central ac cover.

They should call it condenser units cover; instead, air conditioner cover.

By the way, the air conditioning covers are not meant for Heat Pump. Heat Pump needs the condenser unit for winter season.

Should I cover my central ac unit?

air conditioner condenser

This is what we’re trying to protect with a cover

This is quite hard to answers; the condensers are designed to withstand all kind of weather. Except to our dog’s urine, we will discuss that late on.

Condenser unit is a component that is high pressure and temperature in a regular central air conditioner unit. It means no common weather could hurt it. Perhaps a 5 pound hail may bend the guard and damage the fins. (By the way, I hadn’t see 5 pound hail yet!)

Some air conditioning brands does not recommend covering our central air conditioning units. However, Trane sells ac cover for the outdoor units.

The only part that needs protection is the aluminum coil. That is one of the reasons central air conditioner cover is useful for. It prevents dust, seeds, grass, foliage and other foreign material from clogged the aluminum fins. It is a protection for the aluminum coil from small particle. That is it.

Advantage to air conditioning cover

Yes, it good ideas to have a central air conditioning cover. Here why, central air conditioner units operated on the ideas of heat transfer.

Condenser coil is a heat exchanger that transfers heat to the surrounding air. If the condenser coil is dirty, it acts as an insulator.

It reduces the efficiency of the central air conditioning unit by having dirty condenser coil or the evaporator coils.

The condenser unit does not need the cover; it’s the coils that need protection.

Having air conditioning cover reduces the amount of dirt or debris from clogging the aluminum fins. This is return save you money. This does not mean our condenser unit does not need check up by technician.

Central air conditioner cover is like two-edged sword. If we use the wrong material to cover the condenser unit, it will hurt the condenser in long term. If we have the correct material for the cover it’ll help.

Will air conditioner cover stop copper thieves?

No, it’ll not stop thieve from stealing the copper. Someone ask this question and I was trying so hard not to laugh.

Empty rental house or for sale house is primary target for thieves. They will steal the entire condenser unit or just the copper.

Male dog and condenser unit

A lot of homeowner does not realize that a dog’s urine wills destroy the aluminum fines. I’m not sure if an air conditioning covers will be useful against dog’s urine. We need to find that out from cover’s manufacture.

Dog’s urine reacts with the aluminum fin and we will see a crumble and corrosive surrounding the urine’s area. If we were to run central ac unit with collapse fins, it’ll consume a lot of energy.

No, we can’t just replace the corrosive aluminum! We will have to replace the entire condenser unit. This could cause thousand of dollar in part and labor.

The best solution is to have chain link fence surround the condenser unit. The chain link fence height should be few inches higher than the dog height. It’s best to have a moveable fence, instead the permanent one.

If we have a dog and we don’t protect our condenser unit. This is what it will look like, if a dog were to piss on it.

Dog condenser

Here is another condenser unit cause by dog urine.

Dog conderser unit

Here damage dog’s urine cause to coils video

Disadvantage to central air conditioner cover

The bigger problem with air conditioner cover is moisture. If we were to cover the condenser unit from top to bottom, moisture could trap within the condenser unit and it will lead to rust.

The aluminum fins may not rust, but the electrical parts within the condenser unit will.

Some company designed a special material to prevent moisture from building inside the cover. All the cover manufacture seems to claim they have special material for the cover. We will have to find that out.

By putting on central air conditioner cover; we also created a warm environment within the condenser unit. Since, I’m not an expert on insect. I wouldn’t know what types of insect would attract to warm environment. It could be anything.

If we decided to have cover for our condenser unit, make sure to buy the air conditioning covers with vent in it. It also good ideas to check the air conditioning covers monthly to make sure there is no insect or animal living in it.

Having air conditioner cover does not mean our condenser unit does not require maintenance. It meant we could reduce the cost of maintenance.

In my honor opinion, the only protection the condenser unit need is from our dog. We can’t call our home insurance and said “my dog pisses on my outside unit and I need you guy to pay for it.” It wouldn’t works. If it was damage by storm or tree, they may pay for it. But not from dog pisses. (Correct me if I’m wrong on this.)

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