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Should You Cover Your Outside Unit?

I was walking my dog yesterday in a high end neighborhood, and I noticed these two outside HVAC units were covered. I’ve never covered mine, so I asked Rob Gault owner of Atlas LC Heating and Air Conditioning about this.

Rob said he would not recommend covering an outdoor A/C unit for three reasons. 1. The covers often trap moisture under them and rust the electronics. 2 The units are designed to be uncovered outside. 3.  If they’re covered all winter sometimes people forget to uncover them when they need to crank the AC which can damage the system.

I explained to Rob that the unit outside my house runs even in the winter, and he explained to me that I have, “a heat pump which runs year round to provide both heating and cooling. Outdoor heat pumps and AC units look identical to the naked eye. However, a heat pump contains additional parts such as a reversing valve to allow it to provide heating as well as cooling. Such units should never be covered up unless they were temporarily shut off for exterior house painting, cleaning, or any construction that could damage the units.”

I asked Rob about their signature product the Groundhog Geothermal Heat Pump. He explained that, “the Atlas Groundhog Heat Pump is similar to a traditional heat pump with the exception of a ground loop that allows it to extract additional heat from the ground. It adds efficiency to the system in both heating and cooling mode, and should not be covered.”

So there ya have it, no need to cover things that are designed to be outdoors, indeed covering them could cause problems. If you have any questions about your HVAC system give us a call at 703-335-1730. We are always happy to hear from you.