Surprise! I'm an Air Conditioner Compressor Killer

10 Comments Read/write comments

hvac air conditioner heat pump condensing unit cover stupid idea

Let's face it. Some ideas are just plain stupid. The photo below shows one of them. The product description says, "Use to decoratively cover up A/C units..." Yes, they include heat pumps, too. What do you think will happen if you put that over the condensing unit of your air conditioner?


Now, I understand the desire to make things look nice. I have a wife who loves it when I zhoozh (one of those words that's meant to be heard, not written, and therefore can be spelled however I want) the pillows on the sofa and who is eternally hopeful that men (or at least this particular man) will one day be able to see the difference between clear and muddy colors.

But really — A decorative cover for your air conditioner?! That's just insane.

Seems like I just went through something similar with my article about condensers in attics and garages, but I guess it bears repeating.

Your AC's condensing unit dumps the heat from your home into the outside air.

To work at the proper rate and efficiency, it requires a certain amount of air flow.

This cover will restrict air flow.

If the condenser gets too little air, the compressor could overheat and die.

You don't want that to happen to your compressor, do you?


Related Articles

An Easy Way to Save Money — Let Your Air Conditioner Breathe!

The Magic of Cold, Part 1 - How Your Air Conditioner Works

Does a Heat Pump or Air Conditioner Condenser Need to Go Outdoors?



I hate to give out the link to the website where you can buy this atrocity, but I assume you'll use it only to satisfy your curiosity and not to buy one for your air conditioner. Right? Promise? OK, you can find it at a place called Menards.



Think how decorative it will look when it's covered in dirt from constant air flowing through it. It will act like a giant filter.

Curt Kinder

Compressors don't die - they are murdered, generally by a lack of airflow through the air handler. It's a slow death. 
This is a new way of killing a compressor without the bother of entering the home - how convenient! 
Meanwhile, before it dies, it'll be a summer of single digit SEERs and a winter of horrible HSPF, punctuated by LOTS of defrost cycles. 
But why have an ugly condensing unit in your yard when, for an amazingly low price (I won't bother to look, though), you can have BOTH a fake ugly dead bush AND a dead compressor? 
High power and repair bills are a minor inconvenience, but hey, at least it's green!

Thomas Billups

Anyone seen the movie Idiocracy? I think these were used in that flick.


@Thomas Billups 
Idiocracy was a great flick! It was supposed to occur in the future, when we self-select to breed a race of stupid humans, but I think we have aready done that! 

Matt Porth

This is on the Home Depot Website: "Equipment operation is not effected based on field testing and certification by ASHRAE, NEBB and LEED engineering firm" 

Paul Szymkiewicz

And it has a 4.3 / 5 rating at HD's site. Sometimes it's like being in the world of don Quijote de la Mancha.

Cameron Taylor

At first I thought this thing was just a fake plastic shrub one could place in front of a condenser to screen it from view. But when I saw that it is intended to go OVER a condenser and completely enshroud it, my stupidity alarm went off! Whoever dreamed up this obscenity to compressor longevity obviously has no clue about air recirculation, let alone restricting airflow on both the intake and discharge sides of the condenser.  
I want this thing brought up on charges for compressor homicide.


The picture associated with this post made me laugh! Common sense isn't a trait we all possess.

John Bronikowski

This is a WINTER cover. Not defending it, but up here in the north, we get WINTER - 8 feet of snow, temperatures below ZERO and people put protective covers on their AC condensers to keep the snow and varmints out. Although many manufacturers do not recommend winter covers, water that freezes on the coils can do damage to the unit as it expands...