Should You Cover Your AC Unit in the Winter

Everyone knows that air conditioners are a necessity during the hot summer months. Many homeowners are unsure about whether they should cover their A/C units when not in use during the winter months. Here is what you need to know if you want to purchase an AC cover for your unit.

Advantages of Covering the A/C Unit

Your A/C unit is protected from the weather thanks to its location and durability. Since it’s usually next to your home’s exterior walls and under the roof it has some protection. Top-of-the-line, weather-resistant air conditioners are made of materials like stainless steel and copper. They are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Despite the fact that A/C units are meant to last, leaves, snow, and ice can damage them over time. Covering your air conditioner will help keep leaves and seeds out. A strong, all-weather cover can help to reduce the additional weight on the coils.

Cons of Using an A/C Unit Cover

Moisture tends to get trapped inside of your air conditioner if you cover it. This can lead to multiple problems, including:

  • Rusty coils and other A/C components
  • Mold problems can restrict airflow through the coils, resulting in decreased performance.
  • Coils freezing together
  • Frozen coils
  • Electricity and circuit safety issues with your unit

The covers are also a magnet for rats and other creatures. In the winter, these animals are searching for warm places to nest, and they can fit within very small spaces. Your A/C unit may suffer severe damage if these animals begin to gnaw at its wiring.

Which Cover to Buy for Your A/C Unit

The top of the cooling unit can be covered with anything as basic as a sheet of plywood since it is the most important component to protect. You can also buy a cover that will shield the top and not come down no more than 6 inches on each side. It will keep most debris out and still let moisture drain through the sides. There are also covers made of mesh that prevent rats and other rodents from entering your A/C unit.

Get Regular Service For Your A/C Unit

Maintaining your air conditioning system regularly is the best way to keep it running smoothly over its lifespan. You should have your HVAC system inspected by a HVAC technician. They can also advise you on how to prevent problems with your air conditioner.