Why Missourians are ‘Tenting’ Air Conditioners, But Shouldn’t
I've seen many posts being passed around on social media showing many are trying to beat the Missouri heat by putting tents over their air conditioners thinking it will save them money and help their cooling. There is science to prove this is a very bad idea.
There's a lot to unpack here, so let's start with what 'tenting' is and why many in Missouri are doing it. The concept is that some believe by putting a tent over an air conditioner will help the unit stay cool meaning it will have an easier time keeping their home cool. There's just one problem. It's simply not true and actually can be very bad.
I also happen to be a certified computer technician and many of the principles of managing heat of a computer apply here. Just like a computer, they need to remain cool to be safe and efficient. The problem with 'tenting' an air conditioner is that it potentially makes the air conditioner have a harder time expelling the warm air from a home. If you put a tent over the unit, you could inadvertently be cooking it with its own heat if it's positioned close enough to the vents.
This heating and air conditioning tech tested the theory of 'tenting' to see if it reduced the head pressure and power usage. Spoiler Alert: it didn't.
I understand the frustration with electric bills and trying to keep a home cool in this intense heat. But, don't believe the social media posts that claim this is effective. It's the complete opposite.