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Hot Topics: Covers an AC compressor

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Original post: Covers top of outdoor A / C condenser

BeingCareful88 Member

Now that the summer is over I would like to cover the top of my outdoor AC capacitor as below linked image with a fabric cover until summer 2020 to reduce leaves, insects, rain moisture and snow from entering the condenser unit. I have a split system, and the heater runs on gas so when my heater is on the condenser fan will not spin. It will only spin when I have AC on. Is it okey?

 a covered AC condenser

Now that the summer begins 2020 can I cover the top of it with a network cover that allows ventilation throughout the summer? Even in the summer, bugs and leaves can fall into the condenser unit. I would like to keep the inside of the AC condenser as clean as possible.

Since I have already invested in fabric and mesh protection, I want to use them. Your opinions are appreciated.

GregH Super Moderator

I would not recommend fabric as a cover for the top.

It will hold moisture and encourage roasting.

You would be better off using waterproof protection so that water runs off it.

Also, do not put anything over the air outlet because it will limit the air flow and cause it to overheat slightly.

You will also find that debris can come in from the bottom and would be trapped by further screening.

man Member

All I use is a piece of plywood cut to the right size and tied with ropes over the winter.

In the summer, I do not recommend anything on the capacitor because it will reduce the air flow.

PJmax Group moderator

Your image shows a plastic sheet. It's good for winter. Covering the top prevents debris from falling down but allows airflow through the unit to reduce rust from condensation.

As the others have mentioned …. do not use any coverage during operation.

BeingCareful88 Thread Starter

Yes, you are right. What I have in the picture is a plastic sheet that is advertised as waterproof and snow-proof. So you recommend I only use the plastic plate in WINTER? Right?

Would it be okay now to put a net cover that allows airflows during SPRING, and FALL to reduce debris from entering? It sounds like during the summer, I shouldn't put anything on. Not even the mains that allow airflow. I noticed that even that grid lifts up a little as the fan in the condenser spins to blow out the air during the summer.

PJmax Group Moderator

DO NOT use Coverage when the unit is operating and producing cold air.

BeingCareful88 Thread Starter

Ok, then it would be ok and not cause any damage if I cover the top of the black plastic tarp AC compressor in the fall, winter and spring and remove it in the summer when I turn on the AC? As of today, October 19, I have the black plastic disc on top of the AC compressor, just like the picture in this thread.

Or do I use the black plastic bulb only in winter, and use plastic mask protectors that allow airflow during the fall and spring to reduce debris entering the AC compressor?

Norm201 Member

All installers will recommend just putting a plywood top over the condenser in winter to protect and ice or snow from falling in from the top. Keep the sides open for airflow. If a large amount of leaves or debris penetrates from the sides, you can block something like deer to prevent it. But in most cases it is not a problem. You do not need any contrast. I use a 3×3 piece of wood with an old 4×4 post to prevent the wind from blowing.

jannyrobert Member

There is a reason to cover your air conditioner after the summer, and it's not just for the winter. As we said before, your unit is built to withstand rain and snow, but it is not built to hold leaves, seeds or nuts.

Therefore, you only want to cover your system during the fall. When leaves or seeds enter your air conditioner, they can create a place where moisture accumulates, which then causes corrosion. It can even block any moisture drainage that your system has built into.

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