Skip to main content

Can I cover my HVAC unit?

July 3, 2019

Our customers in Los Angeles, California sometimes ask this question: Can I cover up an HVAC outdoor unit?

Reasons you might want to cover your HVAC Unit

If this is something you’ve never even considered, then the question may puzzle you. Perhaps you’ve never set foot to look at your outdoor system. However, there are many reasons that someone might want to cover their HVAC unit.

  • Property values depend heavily on a buyer’s first impression of the home. Savvy homeowners take great care to improve curb appeal, which can help drive up the cost of a home that is for sale.
  • Aesthetics are essential to our customers in LA. Your home should look and feel like the sanctuary it is. If the AC unit is in a prominent place on the property, like next to a pool, it can feel like an eyesore.
  • Proper care and maintenance of an air conditioning system is vital to their longevity. If there are trees or other landscaping that often cause debris to fall on or even inside an HVAC unit, you may be tempted to cover it up.

Ideally, it is best to keep your air conditioner unobstructed. But, we understand there are valid concerns and desires to wanting to conceal your condenser.

So, CAN I HIDE MY AIR CONDITIONER?

If you are seeking to hide your unit from view, then the answer is yes! You can hide your HVAC unit. However, that doesn’t mean you can build a box around your system. Air conditioning units require something called free airflow.

Talk Science to Me

The air around your HVAC system is the means for refrigerant to get cold. AC systems draw air across the condensing coils, using the temperature of the air to cool the fluid in the coil, and then shoots the hot exhaust air away.

If you block the airflow to the unit, the fan must work much harder to draw the appropriate amount of air across the coils. That could lead to higher energy bills and an increased likelihood that your unit will require repair sooner.

Separately, if you encase the unit, it could cause the air to shortcircuit. The warm exhaust air needs to be sent far away from the system so that it draws only cooler air across the coils. If warm air cannot escape to the environment, your system could have problems performing well, and after a small amount of time operating like this, the system is not able to cool at all.

In short, studies have shown that when shrubs, walls, or other objects are placed too close to a condensing unit it reduces system efficiency. If you can, leaving your AC condenser completely unobstructed is best.

Thinking of covering your HVAC unit for maintenance reasons?

If you want to cover your HVAC unit to keep the elements at bay, we have specific advice for you. You don’t need to do this! Air conditioning systems are built to endure harsh weather conditions, moisture, and even some debris.

Covering your AC unit with a tarp or other cover can cause other problems! For example, rodents seek shelter in covered areas like this during the colder months. Also, you might forget to remove the cover when you first turn on your AC, and that can cause big operational problems.

As long as you have your air conditioner serviced once a year, your system receives regularly cleaning. During our preventative maintenance visits, we rinse your unit and clean out any debris. So, make sure you take care of these visits before it starts to get hot here in southern California!

Guidelines: If you want to cover your HVAC unit

Ready to disguise your air conditioning system? Follow these essential guidelines:

  1. Service Area – remember that your system needs servicing by a certified technician at least once a year. Make sure that any barrier you create is simple to enter. Also, there should be at least 2-3 feet of clear area around the system.
  2. Choose appropriate landscaping – bushes are a popular option to hide A/C units. Be sure that you choose landscaping that doesn’t create a lot of debris, such as falling leaves, nuts, or fruit. Also, keep in mind that landscaping needs regular trimming to ensure it doesn’t encroach on your AC unit.
  3. Free Airflow – Be sure that the air conditioner has open space to encourage free airflow. If you choose fencing or other structural materials to cover your HVAC unit, be sure that there is plenty of slats or other open areas in the material. The ratio of open area to the material should be at least 50%, ideally higher. Walls or barriers should be placed no closer than 3 feet to the sides of the system.

Have a question about your AC?

Air conditioners are somewhat of a mystery to most homeowners. That’s where Brody Pennell, the experts is HVAC, come in. We’d be happy to answer any inquiries about your heating and cooling system. As the longest-standing Carrier dealer in Los Angeles, we have decades of experience in the industry. Give us a call anytime an HVAC concern comes to mind.


About The Author

Brody Pennell

Since 1945, Brody Pennell Heating & Air Conditioning is the committed to helping homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area experience total home comfort. In 2021, the readers of the Los Angeles Times voted Brody Pennell the Best HVAC Company in the area.

Request Service

Please fill out the form below to request an estimate or schedule service.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Google logo with 4.9 star rating
Facebook logo with 4.9 star rating
Yelp Logo with 4.8 star rating
Danny M.
1721524386
The company was able to book an appointment quickly (same day) to fix our AC. Richie arrived on time and was professional and thorough. He was able to repair the issue and provide recommendations on other options. Appreciate the quick turnaround and quality service.
Carly S.
1721497137
I had a wonderful experience! Ruben could not have been more helpful, professional, kind, experienced and communicative. My system is very old and he was extremely knowledgeable about the older system. He did a thorough check and answered all of my questions. Wonderful customer care as well. I can't recommend Ruben & Brody Pennell more!
Matthew M.
1721491356
Juan Romo showed up right on time and was in and out in 10 mins. Great experience with this company, would 100% use again
Patricia B.
1721459679
Maurice& Alberto.M were Lovely & very thorough.
Cheng L.
1721439994
Very friendly and professional. Took the time to explain every thing.
Jerry S. B.
1721428666
Giovanny Quintero was very helpful in making our decision to upgrade. He took very clear & comprehensive photos of the existing problems in our system & then provided an accurate assessment & description of what the problems meant & how they would develop & worsen with continued use. My wife & I were very impressed with Giovanny, he was very knowledgeable & personable.
Susan W.
1721415140
Jose and Anthony were gracious polite and knowledgeable. Very professional maintenance visit.
Michele A.
1721411971
Juan Molina provided excellent service. He was knowledgeable, thorough, and kind! Highly recommend Brody Pennell.
Jessi D.
1721410549
Professional, friendly, and efficient service visit from Ivan and Angel today!
Nick E.
1721351865
Brett and Ruben were great today. Great customer service. Thank you.
Margo P.
1721335286
Ivan and Giovanni Ponce
keely M.
1721334774
Rene Morales is always on-time and very professional. Brody Pennell provides great service.July 2024Rene does great work, quick, thorough, and efficient. I always ask for Rene when it's time for maintenance.
James T.
1721325973
Very knowledgeable . Very friendly answered all my questions
Amanda M.
1721256161
Daniel and Ashton are very professional and kind. They made the entire experience seamless. Thank you!
zubin H.
1721242345
Daniel Avila was my technician and he was great. Very informative and did a great job.
Oly O.
1721241510
Maurice & Alberto.m worked on our system and was very nice and hard working me and Patricia bell recommend them coming back!!
Adam Exler G.
1721241336
Armando was very thorough and checked all the boxes during my bi-annual service call. He quickly changed my filters and was very cordiale and easy to work with as well.10/10!
Kevin X.
1721235465
Ivan came and helped me fix my AC today and it was as pain free and quick as could be! He replaced a part for us the same day and was a professional, kind young man. Couldn’t be happier to have working AC in the summer sun :)
Nancy K.
1721176623
Did a great job. I’m very pleased
Ray B.
1721164859
The technician provided excellent service. He was knowledgeable, professional, thorough, efficient, clean and courteous. Thank you.
Liz R.
1721158020
Maurice and Christian F were so knowledgable and professional! They were also very pleasant!! Can only say great things about them!!
Shirley W.
1721154033
Angel O. and Alberta M. were just here to do the yearly maintenance on our A/C. They did a fabulous job! So thorough and extensive. They were thoughtful and respectful and answered all my questions. They adjusted vents that will make our summer more comfortable. Could not be happier with the work and workers!
Jay S.
1721107207
Maurice went the extra mile and did an excellent job with tune up of our A/C unit. He shared photos, explained everything he was doing, made proper recommendations! Thanks Maurice!
Curtis J.
1721099382
James provided diagnosis that was.consistent with.his estimateI am satisfied with his work
lisa V.
1721087697
Anthony Manzo was here today to service my HVAC unit! He was an absolute pleasure having him in my home. Anthony is a total pro. Very knowledgeable and informative. He is welcome back anytime future service calls. Same goes for Supervisor Ashton K who also inspected my AC unit and advised me on options to replace my very, VERY old AC. Thank you Ashton, Anthony and Brody Pennell.Diego and Jose just finished installing my new 3.5 Ton Carrier AC. What a job. They were both lovely and super hard workers. They answered my silly questions throughout the day. They did a great job. Thanks all!
Jennifer K.
1721087694
Jason did a very thorough job and was a delight to interact with
Marjaneh R.
1721087470
Mr. Juan Molina was prompt professional and easily explained the situation and offered practical solutions. ThankYou
Rick H.
1721082844
Very polite and competent technician!
DeAnna T.
1721074214
Daniel (service tech) was timely and efficient. He clearly explained all the items serviced in both units (including pictures) and made recommendations to keep them operational.
Mark H.
1721072960
Anthony Monzo and David Escamilla were fantastic. They were able to access systems in really challenging locations and provide explanations of what was happening complete with photos and videos they took. Highly recommend them.Follow-up... The next week, a team came to install the new system led by Christian. It was a very difficult project but they were very thorough. Steven came the following day to trouble shoot a few issues and the following day Jose Rivera and Alessandro wrapped up the project. All folks were very professional and made sure to leave the house clean.
Gianni F.
1721058841
Rene did a great job - very knowledgeable and even gave me tips not related to the job that needed to be done. Oh and also very friendly!
David O.
1721055919
3/22 - clean, fast, courteous job with Troy and Phil. Very polite and thorough! Another fantastic job by the people at BrodyYet another pleasant service experience with Marcos!!! Also told me about an air scrubber install that Brody can do as well.10/9: another great job by Steven7/11/24: just another shoutout to Jose Castillo
Kevin B.
1721011778
great service from Brody Pennell. In particular, the technician who stopped by, James Handy, was courteous, very thorough and professional. Appreciate the continued good service
Tasha M.
1721000061
David Escamilla was professional, answered all my questions and never made me feel rushed. He took the time to explain what he was seeing with my A/C and the recommendations he was making for it. He even was able to complete work that wasn't scheduled for that day but was needed to make my A/C run better. I would recommend him and Brody Pennell for anything related for your heating and air conditioning needs they are extremely professional and I always feels great when using their business.
Vincent B.
1720986498
The technician was very professional and knowledgeable he kept me up to date on any issues …and I would recommend them
Alex D.
1720980903
Shawn was very knowledgable and patient with our questions. Great job!
Sam A.
1720916043
Christy K.
1720898791
Two thumbs up to Kevin and Ariel! They were efficient and very professional. Highly recommend.
Mike T.
1720820653
Steven came by do perform our AC maintenance and was incredible.He went above and beyond to insure our system was taken care of. 10/10
Carol Ann S.
1720819066
ReneExcellent Performance
JoAnn M.
1720810817
Cesar Corrales and Phillip Y were efficient and informative and did an excellent job.
Monique H.
1720805709
Brody Pennell is a great company! Very professional! I will use them again!Anthony Manzo was excellent!
Bil B.
1720804315
I had a great experience with Rene on his service call today. He explained everything he was doing while I watched. He was thorough and efficient.
Joe R.
1720804108
The team did a fantastic job cleaning and fixing the drain noises from our bathroom. They were very considerate, polite of our time and space. Would highly recommend them!
Beverly M.
1720763616
Desi was very helpful in resolving our air conditioning issues.
K. Ron N.
1720739947
Very professional, knowledgeable, and prompt.
LisaGay H.
1720739277
Dean K.
1720736358
James H. was fantastic - arrived during the agreed window, polite and friendly, found our problem with our AC unit's power supply and made a simple fix quickly. And only charged us the call-out fee because of that, which was really appreciate. Great service !!
×
js_loader