Winters are unpredictable in Berks County. Some years we barely see any snow. Other years, our yards and air conditioning units get buried in a few feet of snow. In mid to late fall, many B&L Ott customers begin to winterize their homes. They clean up leaves, store away their gardening tools and break out the shovels.
When it comes to HVAC systems, many B&L Ott customers begin to prepare their furnace for winter. It is important to remember to take care of the rest of your HVAC system, though. You should winterize your air conditioner to ensure that it will be in working order for next season. When it comes to the outdoor condenser, many B&L Ott customers wonder if they should cover their unit. Each customer may have their own preference, but if you are unsure, this B&L Ott guide will help you decide.
What Elements Can Your Air Conditioner Handle?
Outdoor air conditioning units are built to withstand high and low temperatures but may struggle with other natural elements. They can handle small to average amounts rain and snow. However, your B&L Ott system may run into problems when it encounters harsh Berks County weather such as ice and wind storms. If too much debris or precipitation gets into your system, it can damage the parts. Weather can also affect your systems efficiency and cause your energy bills to increase. If you encounter a problem, contact B&L Ott for maintenance and repairs.
Reasons to Cover Your Air Conditioning Unit
Protection from Weather
Your B&L Ott outdoor condenser is designed to keep critical parts safe from precipitation. Yet, if extreme weather causes water to get into your system, that water can damage the machinery. Water is a fluid substance that doesn’t take much effort to move. If it getting into the crucial components of your system, it is likely to cause major problems. For instance, if water freezes on the coils, it will damage the coils and cause corrosion over time. Too much ice can also block air flow and ventilation which will increase your energy bills.
Protection from Foliage
Covering your system can protect it from falling branches in debris. If your Berks County home is surrounded by trees, you know how often limbs break under the weight of the snow. The branches can bring down power lines or break fences. If foliage falls onto your condenser, it can clog the ventilation. If a twig gets stuck between the moving components it can cause jams and breaks. B&L Ott recommends trimming trees and removing leaves near your system before winter begins.
Reasons Not to Cover Your Air Conditioning Unit
Animals See Covered Systems as Shelter
When you use a cover, small animals see your outdoor condenser as a shelter. The cover helps block the wind and keep precipitation out. It is a great place for animals to keep warm. This can be bad news for you, though. If they start building a nest, you may experience jams or poor ventilation. This can cost you in repairs. If you do encounter this problem, contact the specialists at B&L Ott for help.
Air conditioner covers decrease the air flow and ventilation of your B&L Ott condenser. When your system cannot ventilate properly, some moisture may get trapped in the unit. This provides conditions for mold and mildew to grow. However, with regular inspections and proper maintenance, you can help avoid these problems.
B&L Ott encourages our customers to cover their systems in the winter. We believe that protecting your system from the elements is the best way to prolong its life and keep it running efficiently. A popular solution is to place plywood on the top to block falling debris. This tactic still allows for proper ventilation.
When covering your system, you should never use plastic as it blocks the air flow. Whichever material you do use, make sure that it can breathe. Another solution is to build a shelter for your condenser. You can find a variety of designs online. If you are still unsure about what option is best for you, contact the professionals at B&L Ott. We answer your questions and address your concerns.