Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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?

share|improve this question
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 '14 at 19:18
Top blower? How much "larger" snow can you reasonably expect? Three inches? Fourteen feet? Would you consider building a permanent decorative/protective gazebo around the unit? – TDHofstetter Aug 19 '14 at 2:23

There are several advantages to having a permanent roof over an outdoor heat pump:

  • keeps direct sunlight off during cooling season
  • keeps rain, leaves, twigs, and branches further away and keeps the unit cleaner
  • no freezing rain can put the blower out of balance with lopsided icing
  • keeps snow away from the top and sides where it would impede airflow
  • possibly provide some noise reduction

The first installation manual I could find says (page 7) there should be a 48 inch (120 cm) minimum space above the unit.

Depending on the typical maximum snow accumulation, I would extend the roof out at least three feet from the edges of the unit. This also avoids the problem of the roof supports from blocking service access (some units have hinged panel doors).

share|improve this answer

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.

share|improve this answer

protected by Community Feb 6 '15 at 15:37

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.