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I have an Carrier air heat pump at the back of my house (installed 1 year ago). It is generally fine and stays defrosted with the smaller amounts of ice/snow. With a larger amount of snow, should I consider building a temporary lean-to above it to keep snow away from the unit? If so, how high above the unit should it be to not impede air flow?

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The cross sectional area of the side openings should be at least as large as the area of the fan exhaust. –  Dan D. Feb 12 at 19:18

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I out up an inexpensive metal awning over my propane grill, so we could use it all winter. It is tilted enough that snow does not built up on it significantly. I think I got the awning from Home Depot.

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