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Prepping Your Air Conditioner for Winter: Cover the Condenser or Leave It Alone?

Posted on October 8, 2013

Wichita homeowners are anticipating that nip in the air and beginning to undertake their fall and winter home-maintenance projects. As you look around your yard, you may be wondering if protecting your air conditioner condenser from the elements is something you should be doing. Should you cover your condenser or leave it alone? Here’s some guidance.

Wrapping Your Condenser

It might seem to make sense that wrapping your condenser would protect it from the snow and ice during the winter months. But this can actually cause more problems than it solves. Wrapping a condenser can trap moisture inside the unit. This can cause your expensive components to rust. Further, a securely covered condenser can look like a perfect hideaway to rodents and other pests seeking shelter during the coldest months of the year. And they can chew away components including your wiring.

The Solution?

Many HVAC professionals recommend doing nothing at all. But if you think it’s absolutely necessary to give your air conditioner condenser some sort of protection during the winter months, here are a couple of options:

  • A sheet of plywood: Cover the top of your condenser with plywood, weighing it down (but not with something that’s too heavy) to keep it secure. This will keep the ice and snow off the top of your condenser.
  • A vented cover: Specially made condenser covers with opening for ventilation are available. These allow your system to breathe but don’t trap any moisture.

Talk with your HVAC-system professional, and follow his recommendations. At Comfort Systems, we’re happy to answer your fall home-maintenance questions. Give us a call. We’ve been serving Wichita-area homeowners since 1956.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  

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