Posted on: 12 May 2015
Some people may choose to use a decorative cover on their air conditioning unit to make it more attractive, while others may use it to reduce the noise from the compressor. Whatever the reason is, you shouldn't do it. This article will shed some light on why decorative covers and enclosures should be avoided, and how the outcome of these items, when used, are actually similar to the outcome of a dirty unit.
Air Conditioners Need Room to Breathe
Your home's HVAC unit, especially the one outside, needs space. It needs room around it so that it can breathe properly and function efficiently. A decorative cover can essentially strangle the A/C system, resulting in the death of your unit.
How a Central HVAC Unit Works
In order to fully understand that an air conditioner needs breathing room, you need to know how the unit works. Your central HVAC system has a unit indoors and one outdoors. The unit indoors will absorb heat from the indoor air and transfer it to the outside unit. The unit outside will then get rid of the heat into the outside air.
However, it can't do this if there is not adequate airflow. This is one of the reasons the unit has a fan. Decorative covers restrict the airflow that the unit needs to disperse that heat. In addition, if there is not enough airflow, the compressor could overheat and need to be replaced, which is expensive since it is the most integral part of the HVAC unit.
How a Dirty Outside Unit Has a Similar Consequence
Believe it or not, a decorative cover isn't the only way that airflow can be restricted. All it takes is a few small tree branches and dirt that has been blown into the unit to cause it to work inefficiently, which increase your energy bills and results in gradual damage to the A/C unit. It's hard to keep your A/C unit from getting dirty, but it is easy to keep it clean by hosing it off and picking away any debris built-up.
Regardless, if you want to ensure that your air conditioner is up and running when you need it most, you need to avoid decorative unit covers and ensure that the unit undergoes an annual check-up and cleaning by a professional. This will not only guarantee that the unit is able to get adequate airflow, but it will also help reduce your overall energy costs.Share