If you have a central or ductless HVAC system, you may have heard the phrase “line set covers” or “line hides.” Line set covers are important for protecting your HVAC system and ensuring it works properly. They extend the life of your system and help you get more energy efficiency for your money.
Below, we discuss different types of line hides, why you should have them, and how to choose the best line set covers for your needs.
The Importance of Line Set Covers For Your HVAC System
Few people think about line covers when they consider heating and cooling systems. They’re just aesthetic, right? Not necessarily. Line set covers actually have a lot of utility and play an important role in protecting the various components of your HVAC system.
If you opt out of having them installed, your refrigerant lines remain exposed to destructive elements and pests. You can lose heating and cooling efficiency if this happens, or you may even need to repair or replace your HVAC. Line hides are critical for protecting your investment into quality heat and AC.
What Are Line Set Covers?
Line set covers are exactly what they sound like – covers that go over the thin pipes or “lines” that connect the indoor evaporator coil to the outdoor condenser unit. The line set consists of two copper tubes, one for refrigerant and one for suction, which are both surrounded by insulation.
Line hides are designed to protect the line set from damage by weather or UV rays and also helps to prevent pests and other animals from nesting in the line set, which could cause major problems down the road. For example, a line hide would prevent squirrels from nesting near your refrigerant lines for warmth or chewing at the tubing. These accessories might seem optional, but they are an important part of keeping your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently.
How Line Set Covers Work
Line set covers work by providing a barrier between the elements and your line set. They’re usually made out of weather-resistant materials like vinyl or aluminum, and they fit snugly around both lines. Most line set covers also have a UV-resistant coating to further protect against sun damage. Quality insulation helps keep the refrigerant from getting too cold or too hot, which affects the performance and energy efficiency of your HVAC system.
Why You Need Line Set Covers
There are three main reasons why homeowners need line set covers for their HVAC systems — protection from weather damage, protection from pests and animals, and improved energy efficiency.
Weather damage is one of the most common causes of HVAC problems. Outdoor condensers are outside in the elements day and night, and line sets are particularly vulnerable because they’re located outside where they’re exposed to all sorts of weather conditions.
Extreme heat, cold, wind, and rain can all take a toll on the tubing and insulation over time, causing leaks or even complete system failure. Ideally, your lines will be protected and insulated from heat and cold, and your outdoor condenser will be located somewhere level and away from foliage and debris.
Pests and animals can also be a problem for HVAC systems. They can nest in your line set, chew on the tubing, and ultimately damage the lines to the point of needing a full replacement. Line set covers help prevent this from happening by creating a barrier that pests and animals cannot chew through or penetrate.
Insulating your line set can also reduce heat loss through the refrigerant tubing, which helps to save energy. Covered lines retain heat better as the refrigerant travels between the indoor and outdoor units, reducing the total cost of heating or cooling your home. If you have a ductless system, this is an important part of maintaining its superior energy efficiency.
Types Of Line Set Covers
Not all line covers are created equally. You can find covers in a wide variety of different materials, sizes, and shapes. Which you choose has an impact on how effective the covers actually are at keeping moisture, pests, and debris away, as well as how much energy they really help you save. Your HVAC professional can help you decide which material is the right choice based on your home’s exterior, budget, and individual needs.
Foam Line Set Covers
Foam line set covers are commonly used by homeowners with DIY HVAC projects because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Foam line set covers come in a variety of sizes to fit most standard HVAC systems, and they can be cut to fit custom applications. Foam line set covers work by insulating the air ducts and preventing heat loss.
If you’re looking for the least expensive — and least attractive — way to insulate your lines, foam covers may work. However, foam is not as durable as metal or PVC and it can absorb moisture if it’s not treated with an anti-mildew agent.
Metal Line Set Covers
Metal line set covers are a more popular choice because they provide a better seal against temperature changes. These covers come in a variety of sizes to fit most standard HVAC systems, and they can be cut to fit custom applications. This material works by reflecting the sun away from your lines and protecting them from moisture.
They’re also fire-resistant, but it’s important to note that metal can corrode over time if exposed to chemicals and salty sea air. Metal line set covers are typically available in either aluminum or steel. Aluminum tends to be less expensive than steel, but it’s also not as durable and doesn’t last as long.
Steel is more expensive than aluminum, but it’s significantly more durable and will last much longer before needing to be repaired or replaced. If steel line hides are hit with rocks or other debris during a storm, they are less likely to bend or dent than aluminum or thinner, lower-quality sheet metal.
If you’re looking for the most effective way to protect the different parts of your HVAC system, steel line set covers are a good option. They can secure your refrigerant lines indefinitely and generally don’t need to be repaired, maintained, or replaced.
However, if you’re on a budget, aluminum may be the better choice for you. Although they may dent if hit directly by hail or a golf ball, they offer better performance than having your lines exposed to the elements. Your HVAC professional can make recommendations based on your available funds and project needs.
PVC Line Set Covers
PVC line set covers offer another great option for your home’s heating and cooling system. Although they are a type of plastic, they are designed to be unobtrusive and durable, providing an attractive way to protect your HVAC lines from weather and pests.
PVC offers superior resistance to UV radiation compared to other types of line set cover materials. This means they will not degrade as quickly when exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time. This helps them maintain their shape and structure over the years and offers easy cleanability and affordability.
This material also has a good resistance to chemicals, which prevents them from being corroded or damaged like metal line set covers might be if exposed to solvents or harsh cleaning products. It does a good job of insulating lines against harsh winter temperatures in New York and protecting them from the blazing sun during the summer.
Choosing the Best HVAC Line Set Covers
When selecting line hides for your HVAC system, you should consider the material and what kind of covers would match your home and provide the most protection. This is important for several reasons. You want a material that will withstand the elements. Line set covers are exposed to the elements 24/7, so you need to make sure they’re made from a durable material that won’t crack or fade in the sun or rust after a rainstorm.
You also want to select a material that is fire-resistant. Line set covers are close to your home’s HVAC unit, which can be a potential fire hazard, especially if it’s an older central HVAC system. Your line set covers can be installed to complement the exterior of your home, but you also want to make sure the covers you select will do its job protecting your lines.
If you’re not sure what type of cover you need for your line set, it’s best to contact an HVAC professional for help. They will be able to assess your needs and recommend the best option for your home or business. If you’re unsure about which company to contact, your local HVAC contractor’s association can help you find a reputable one in your area.
Call Jones Services For HVAC Help Today
If you’re considering investing in line set covers for your HVAC system, Jones Services can help. Line set covers are important for protecting your entire system and ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently. Our team of experts can help you choose the right line set covers for your home or business, and we’ll even install them for you.
For more information, or to schedule a time for us to come to your location for a quote, give us a call today at [hls_phone_number]. Serving Goshen, New York and surrounding areas.