covering air condtioners

just wondering if i should put a cover over my air conditioner for my central air? i have seen some people put the covers on, but someone told me the best thing to do is just put a piece of wood over the top, and let the rest breath?
whats your opinions?
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Abbacus wrote:

I do it to mine to keep fall leaves out, snow and water off. It also helps if any ice might fall off of your roof if you have that problem. You do have a small risk of making a comfy home for a rodent, but for the most part you are only helping the unit.
kirb
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Here in NY, all I do is cover it w/ a piece of wood and a brick to hold it down. CG

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That's what I do in GA with 1 addition. I put a 2X under the edge next to the house so the piece of ply slopes so everything runs/slides off.
Tom J
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AC compressor should be on some sort of poured slab. Slab should be thick enough not to walk or crack. Compressor should be bolted to the slab in some fashion connecting its frame to the slab. Slab should be far enough away from the house to avoid rain and snow from the house roof. Avoid putting any cover over it as the internals may deteriorate more quickly due to contained moisture content.
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Dont cover it. You do not want to have moisture in there. These things were engineered to be outside without cover.
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Dan J.S. wrote:

you mean like all the rain and snow that falls in there all winter? Hell of a lot dryer in there with cover on.
Kirb
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

What about the spring and summer rains?
Like Dan said, they're engineered to get wet AND to dry out quickly. If you put a cover on it you will defeat the ability to dry out and rust will set in from all the moisture trapped inside
The only reason to put a cover over (not touching the top of the unit) would be to keep debris like leaves, pine needles and sticks from getting in and causing the bottom to rust if not removed.
Dan.....too
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wrote:

Turn the fan on for 10-15 minutes. That should help dry it out quickly.
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I'm not a role model, and up until the last year or so I didn't have any leaves.
I live in Baltimore. Plenty of rain and fairly high humidity at least half of the year. I never did anything, and about 15 years into it, I had some left over spray paint that matched my previous car. So I took off the AC covers and painted the dull grey to be Chrysler glossy mink brown. I painted the outdoor AC fuse box too. It looked great and they basically match the house, although the house is flat and not glossy.. I painted the electric meter box with the house paint., and it looks good too.
After 24 years, there is no rust in the floor of the compressor and only the tiniest bit of rust on the edge or corner of a cover panel or two. In 5 or 10 more years, I'll paint it again.
What I do regret is not trying to bolt the compressor to the slab when I first bought the house. It's moved about 5 inches in the last 25 years and is now at an angle, and sticks a little over the slab's edge at one corner. I'm convinced that if I push it back, it will cause a leak in one of the two main pipes..
I only use the AC about one month a year so it should last a another 5 or 10 or 20 years. The next compressor I'm going to bolt to the slab.
The collar on the plastic motor cover broke off several years ago. Sunlight I guess. It rattled until it got up to speed. After a year or two, I replaced it with a cover from a neighbor's unit when he got a new one. No more problem (I also kept his capacitor and his fan motor in case those fail.)
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let me know if you have posted also.
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i put a board with brick on it to keep leaves out ,but leave the sides open.
http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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