With winter approaching, some homeowners may be starting to wonder if they should put a cover for their air conditioner condenser. It's only natural to want to protect your air conditioner when snow and rain are on the way.
Should you buy an air conditioner cover for your outdoor condenser?
Air conditioner covers actually don't do anything to protect the condenser. In fact, air conditioner covers can do harm to your condenser. By trapping in cold air and moisture, air conditioner covers create the perfect environment for rust and corrosion on your condenser.
Air conditioner condensers are built to have good air circulation, not to be water-tight. Even if your air conditioner condenser fills up with snow this winter, or gets rained on over and over again, this is the kind of environment that air conditioner condensers are built to withstand. What they can't withstand are enclosed, humid environments. Left alone and uncovered, your condenser will dry out before it begins to rust. Covered up, it may remain wet all winter long.
Should you do anything to protect your air conditioner condenser this winter?
If your home has problems with icicles hanging from the eaves over the condenser, you can put a wooden board directly over the top of the condenser to prevent the icicles from falling inside or on the top of your condenser. The board will protect your condenser while still allowing air to flow into and out of the condenser.
Also, clean out the inside of your condenser at the end of the autumn, once all the leaves have fallen off of the trees and blown away. Leaves trapped inside your condenser and inside the condenser fins can trap moisture inside the unit, causing the parts to rust.
To clean out the inside of the condenser, cut the power to the air conditioner and remove the lid from the top of the condenser, using a screw driver. Next, use a shop vacuum to suck out any loose leaves inside the unit. Finally, spray down the inside of the condenser with a strong jet of water. This will help loosen any debris on the internal parts of the condenser. Spray the water pointing outward so that it dislodges debris stuck in the fins.
If there are still leaves stuck in the air conditioner fins when you're done, use a condenser fin comb to scrape out the remaining leaves.When you're done, put the lid back on the condenser and turn on the power to the unit.
Doing this can help you avoid air conditioner repair. However, if your air conditioner has already started to rust inside because you've used an air conditioner cover in the past, contact a repair person (such as one from Pristine Air Conditioning Corp) for assistance.