Come see us in Booth #329 at the Total Home & Garden Show in Fairfield, CA, on March 31, April 1, and April 2, 2017. Go to http://totalhomeandgardenshow.com to learn more.
It rains quite a bit in the Vacaville/Fairfield area and many people want to know if they need to take measures to protect the outside component of their heat pump or A/C system from the rain.
Should You Cover Your Air Conditioner?
In a word: No. There are two distinct sections of a split-system heat pump or air conditioner. The outside portion is the condenser/compressor, and the indoor portion is the air handler that includes the evaporator coil.
The outdoor portion of an A/C system is built to withstand the rain, and even severe rainfall will not damage it. Flooding is different, though. If your air conditioner’s outside unit becomes partially or fully submerged, it probably will be destroyed.
Your air conditioner does not need any form of special protection, assuming you are not in some extreme situation that is, though some experts suggest it’s not a bad idea to cover it during the winter, even with a plywood board weighted down with a couple of bricks. Any other type of cover should approved by the manufacturer of your A/C system. It should have small openings to allow air circulation in the outside unit, to prevent moisture from becoming trapped and damaging sensitive internal parts. Of course, you shouldn’t cover the condenser/compressor if there’s any chance you’ll be using it.
People also want to know if they can continue using their A/C or heat pump when it’s raining. The answer is: Yes, you can use these systems, even during heavy rain. Keep your systems in good working order and the rain will not damage them. For more on how weather can affect the outside unit of your heat pump or A/C system and other questions related to home comfort issues in our area, please contact us.
When replacing your home’s heating and cooling unit, it’s critical to also address your duct system. Ductwork is responsible for distributing air throughout the home, which is a function that directly impacts the central unit’s performance. By addressing your ductwork in unison with central unit replacement, you can ensure proper functioning of your HVAC system as a whole.
To understand the crucial role ductwork plays in HVAC unit efficiency, you’ll need to learn a little bit about how it works. A duct system has two sides: the “return,” which is responsible for drawing in air and pushing it through the central unit, and the “supply,” which carries the air into each individual room throughout the home.
Since an HVAC unit has a specific airflow design, when the ductwork’s return is undersized, it restricts the amount of air the unit is able to draw in and push through to the supply side. This causes the unit to work harder than it’s designed to, which hampers efficient performance and creates potential mechanical problems. So, when replacing your central unit, it’s important to assess your ductwork and make sure it’s properly sized—only then will it be able to achieve the level of efficiency you’re looking for.
To maximize the efficiency of your heating and cooling system, you’ll want to address a couple of basic maintenance aspects. In this video, Diamond Certified Expert Contributor Gil Medrano, owner of All Weather Heating, Air & Solar, discusses the importance of air conditioner and heater maintenance: