MISHAWAKA/FORT WAYNE/PLYMOUTH, IN; ST. JOSEPH/NILES, MI — Each fall, Home Comfort Experts is asked over and over whether homeowners should cover the outdoor condenser unit of their air conditioner.
The quick answer is YES! But a tight-fitting cap on the top is a better option to prevent debris and ice from getting inside, without making it attractive to rodents.
Drive through any Indiana or Michigan neighborhood this fall and you will find many fully wrapped and bungeed ac conditioner units.
Did you know this is actually bad for the lifetime of your air conditioner?
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Today’s air conditioning units are made to withstand the rigors of Indiana and Michigan weather, autumn leaves, cottonwood fluff in the spring, small rodents and neighborhood dogs. A good quality unit needs a professional tune-up once a year to clean it up and check all the many parts and circuits that keep you comfortable in hotter temperatures.
Still, winterizing your home each fall is every homeowners responsibility: turning off outdoor spigots, bringing in patio furniture and ensuring chipmunks don’t move into your air conditioner are among the list.
When you buy a box store air conditioner cover, you actually encourage rodents to move in. The large outdoor condenser houses the compressor unit and a lot of open space. This part of your air conditioner is known as the “hot side.” It ejects heat from the system, and in turn, from your home, keeping you cool. All that open space makes a great spot for critters. Most Home Comfort Experts technicians have stories of finding snakes, rabbits, chipmunks and more during a regular spring tune up, especially on older systems.
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When you wrap the entire condenser, you create a protected habitat for wire-chewing animals.
Additionally, fully covering the unit allows for mold and mildew to grow on the compressor, which can create problems in your home when you turn on the AC next year.
Allowing the condenser to breathe and drain actually keeps the unit cleaner and more operational.
Tightly cap just the top to prevent major collection of leaves and other debris and ice formation inside the unit. Learn more and purchase this type of AC cover here.
If you have any other questions, check out our cooling page here. Or contact us at callhomecomfort.com