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Why do Trane, Ruud, Goodman, etc. put those horrible covers on their A/C compressors?

DanInNapervilleDanInNaperville Posts: 20Member
It makes it impossible to check, much less clean, the cooling fins.
I think Goodman calls theirs an acoustic cover - which makes sense since once the compressor burns out from trying to shed heat through a thick layer of dandelion, milkweed, and cottonwood seeds, it gets downright silent.
I have a 30 year old weather king unit that I can check with a glance and clean with a shop vac in about 3 minutes.
The 4 year old Ruud sitting next to it requires the removal of 34 screws of differing lengths just to check whether or not the unit's clogged.
Why are they designed that way? Is it so they'll burn out and the company can sell another unit? During cottonwood season I sometimes have to clean off the units twice in a week. You can't even check the Ruud, and I've seen almost all of the alternatives using the same awful design (weather king was bought out by Rheem and now uses the same horrible case design).
Is MrCool the only one left making a coil guard that doesn't block easy inspection? It seems to be a pretty marginal company in terms of size and options, but it's better than something that runs at about 2 SEER because the coil is blocked.


  • newagedawnnewagedawn Posts: 543Member
    welcome to my world, get over it
    "The bitter taste of a poor install lasts far longer than the JOY of the lowest price"
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Posts: 1,184Member
    Because people want quiet.
    No biggie.
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 7,164Member
    What about making a cover out of some porous cloth to go over the whole unit? That cover will catch all the fluff, and can easily be cleaned, instead of having to dismantle the metal cover.—NBC
  • DanInNapervilleDanInNaperville Posts: 20Member

    What about making a cover out of some porous cloth to go over the whole unit? That cover will catch all the fluff, and can easily be cleaned, instead of having to dismantle the metal cover.—NBC

    Maybe nylon screen over a frame? It would have to be something that would neither fall apart nor clog up when wet.
  • GBartGBart Posts: 329Member
    edited June 18

    Scroll compressors are noisy, without them you'd be looking at 80-100db, with them 50-60db.

    There shouldn't be any reason to remove them to clean a coil.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Posts: 4,360Member
    I think we are talking about two different covers.
    Gbart, I believe, is talking about the soft "cozy" cover right over the compressor for noise.

    Dan, I believe, is referring to the tight louvers on the outer jacket.
    Rheen/Ruud had these years ago. For a really good clean the entire jacket needed to come off. If it was washed yearly then the backwash from inside out was usually enough. Needing to lift the fan grill only for that.
    I always advise people to shut the AC off while mowing the grass...….that usually is forgotten.
    If you had the hailstorms we get in the Midwest, as a homeowner you are glad for the real steel guarding the Al fins.

    And then my own question is what do you do with none guarded micro channel coil after a good (bad) hailstorm?
  • GBartGBart Posts: 329Member
    edited June 20
    Aye that is what I was talking about.

    There's a huge difference between a condenser and a compressor.
  • DanInNapervilleDanInNaperville Posts: 20Member
    JUGHNE said:

    And then my own question is what do you do with none guarded micro channel coil after a good (bad) hailstorm?

    That's a good point. At my previous house, I went with a Kenmore (rebranded Heil) over a Trane (both offered at same price, same specs, same installation cost) because the kenmore had an open wire case over the coils and the Trane has one of those cabinets. We had a number of hailstorms over the years but nothing more than an inch. It was never a problem but if it were big enough hail, at some point it certainly would have caused damage (but it was never an issue in ~20 years of having that unit and my homeowners insurance does cover hail damage).
    What the insurance would not cover would be burnout from a blocked (therefore improperly maintained) compressor/condenser unit.
    The guy that Sears sent out was really helpful but was surprised that I wanted the Kenmore (Heil). Trane was doing a lot of advertising at the time and apparently considered to be a premium unit. It was only because there was sale on the Trane that the two systems were the same cost and he said that most of his customers had gone with Trane even when it was costing somewhat more.
    But a clogged unit is useless, no matter how great when first installed.
    He also refused to sell me a larger (more expensive) unit until I told him we were about to put a 700 sq ft addition onto the house and tie it into the unit (which I never got around to). His load calculation said we would be OK (actually better off) with a smaller less expensive unit and he didn't want to sell me the bigger one. Good guys and they did an excellent job on the installation, too. Never had an issue with it in all those years other than the condensation line clogging a couple times (we have cats that shed a lot of hair that gets into things) and I cleared that in 30 seconds with a coat hanger.
  • ChrisJChrisJ Posts: 8,899Member
    edited June 23
    As has been mentioned, the acoustic cover on the compressor it self is for noise. Also, in my opinion, it should stop, or at least greatly reduce sweating as it keeps most of the air off of the compressor shell. The compressor is cooled by return gas, not surrounding air.

    As far as the louvered shell around the condenser, that's to protect the condenser. Is it really necessary, I have no idea. I guess it depends on what goes on in your yard or around the unit. It's probably primarily a selling feature and perhaps even more cosmetic than functional.

    Why is your unit getting dirty so fast that this is a problem? Is it near a clothes dryer vent?

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment

    Steam system pictures
    Central air project pictures
  • DanInNapervilleDanInNaperville Posts: 20Member
    Nearby cottonwood trees seems to be the cause of the occasional "instant" clog. During the couple of weeks during which they spread their dandelion like cotton seeds the condenser fins can require cleaning every few days - a real headache if there's a full cover. For a non handy homeowner, I imagine having central A/C is basically not possible.
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