Is It Safe For Illinois To ‘Tent’ Air Conditioning Units This Week?
When temperatures get this hot in Illinois and Wisconsin and we have extremely high energy prices, some residents of the Stateline may try anything to save money.
'Life Hack' Claims to Save Money and Keep Home Cool
What appears to have started on social media in the Summer of 2022, the viral post claimed to have found a way for people to "lower their energy bills, as well as the temperature in their homes" just by using a simple, easy-to-find device.
According to a story on Snopes, the way to get better efficiency from your AC unit was by "placing an umbrella or canopy over their outdoor AC units."
In the social media post, a Texas resident said the temperature inside their home was 88 degrees before they placed a basic blue canopy tent over their air conditioning unit and it dropped to 75 degrees "just with a little shade added."
Some HVAC Professionals Say Not to Shade Your AC Unit
According to an HVAC pro who was interviewed in Texas, covering the air conditioning unit with an umbrella or canopy could actually cause the unit to work harder.
You’re basically choking off the unit and overheating it because the hot air that's expelled that is supposed to cool down the refrigerant in your coils goes up and just gets recycled back in. -James Russell, owner of Aire Serv of Lubbock.
An Alabama HVAC owner also discouraged homeowners from covering their air conditioners.
It can actually make your air conditioner work harder. If you put a tent above it and the tent is low, all of that hot air it’s discharging out the top gets looped right back down to the unit and it can’t dissipate that heat. -Kerry Adkins, owner of OnTime Service
According to Snopes, it is "mostly false" that covering your air conditioning unit with an umbrella or canopy will "help improve efficiency and lower energy costs."