There's a hack going around Minnesota again this summer that says putting an umbrella or tent over your air conditioner will make it run better. But does it actually work?

While summer isn't even a whole week old, some parts of the North Star State have already been dealing with warmer temperatures and super-high humidity already. And, with July and August still ahead, most of us will likely also experience those elements of a Minnesota summer in the not-too-distant future.

When that happens, it means air conditioners across the Land of 10,000 Lakes have been working hard to keep our houses and offices cool. So does a hack making the rounds about covering your a/c unit with an umbrella or tent make it more efficient?

This story from Piggie Harris at Kiss 103.1 in Killeen, Texas-- where dealing with heat and humidity is something they do every day-- says that 'tenting' or putting an umbrella over your air conditioner is a hack that has 'many proven benefits.'

Photo by Piggie Harris/Kiss 103.1
Photo by Piggie Harris/Kiss 103.1

Harris notes that 'once you cover your air conditioner, it gives the air conditioner shade, which allows it to cool off and prevent anything happening to your air conditioner pipes like freezing.'

However, I'm guessing not too many a/c units in the Bold North (or Texas, for that matter) are freezing up right now because they're not properly shaded. Air conditioners DO freeze up, of course, but as this story notes, freeze-ups are usually caused by clogged filters or trying to operate the a/c when it's too cool outside.

READ MORE: The Ideal Temp to Set Your AC At For Cool Comfort

& Energy Efficiency in Minnesota

And, in fact, THIS story from WBRC-TV 6 in Birmingham, Alabama (where they're also used to some punishing heat and humidity) says that tenting or covering your a/c with an umbrella can actually make things WORSE.

That's because air conditioning units are usually designed to draw air from the sides, cool indoor spaces, and then expel hot air from the top. But if you have an umbrella or tent that's placed too low over the top of your a/c unit, it can actually cause it to work much harder, seeing as 'all of the hot air it’s discharging out the top gets looped right back down to the unit and it can’t dissipate that heat,' WBRC says.

The story did say that an a/c unit operating in the shade-- like from an awning on the house or pergola that's placed well above the fan-- can sometimes operate around 3% more efficiently. So perhaps THAT's where the hack originated. But overall, it's best to NOT put an umbrella over your a/c here in Minnesota or anywhere else.

Meanwhile, all the rain and storms that have hit Minnesota over the past few weeks have led to catastrophic flooding in some parts of the state. In other parts, though, it means that after several drought years, many waterfalls are back flowing again. Keep scrolling to check out some waterfalls that are Minnesota's most magical!

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8 Awe-Inspiring Waterfalls of Minnesota. How Many Have You Seen?

Everyone talks about Minnesota's 10,000 lakes, but not as much is said about our magnificent waterfalls. Our state parks and forests feature so many beautiful waterfalls. Add these 10 waterfalls to your must-see list.

Gallery Credit: Brooks O'Brian

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