Should I Cover My Air Conditioner for Winter?




Last Updated on February 1, 2021

Now, when it comes to winterizing HVAC units, many people ask the same question: “should I cover my air conditioner for winter?” If you are too, then let this article help you out. 

The winter season can cause several problems for your home. When the temperature starts to drip, you have to pay close attention to your plumbing pipes. You have to clear the snow from your driveway and pathway. You also have to ensure that you and your family have sufficient heating. On top of that, you need to protect some of the fixtures, appliances, or systems that won’t be used during the cold weather – and this includes your air conditioner. 

As soon as the weather turns cold, your central air conditioner would be on standby. But if you want it to work efficiently the next time, you will have to make sure that it is ready for the winter. This means cutting the power supply and removing leaves and twigs.

Should I Cover My Air Conditioner for Winter? – The Answer Provided By Manufacturers

Most manufacturers do not recommend covering your air conditioner for winter. This is because outdoor cooling units are designed to endure just that – the outdoor conditions. Almost all models today have built-in protection to withstand ice, snow, and extreme cold temperatures. 

Should I Cover My Air Conditioner for Winter? – The Answer Provided By Homeowners

For most homeowners, covering their air conditioners provides them with peace of mind, especially when there’s a major storm coming. Furthermore, AC covers are easily accessible and inexpensive. Thus, making them a reasonable option. 

That said, we understand that it can be difficult to make up your mind, especially since air conditioners are a major appliance. Any damages caused with or without a cover can be a major problem. So to help you weigh your options, here’s a list of the advantages and disadvantages of using a cover.  

Disadvantages of Covering Your Air Conditioner in Winter

  • Can trap moisture inside, causing rust and corrosion to your system. This trapped moisture can also freeze on the coils, which eventually causes damage to your unit. Additionally, this can encourage mold and mildew to grow. 
  • When AC’s are covered, this creates a warm, dry, and relatively safe environment, which is irresistible to rodents that are looking for a home during winter. Once settled in, they can chew up your wires for their nests. 

Advantages of Covering Your Air Conditioner in Winter

  • Protects your unit from falling ice, which can damage the exterior and coil fins of your unit. 
  • Help keep the coils cleaner, which makes them work more efficiently later on. 
  • Prevents water from staying on the coils, which usually freezes in cold temperatures.
  • Prevents leaves and heavy debris from getting caught in your condenser coil. 

When to Cover Your Air Conditioner

Going back to the question: “should I cover my air conditioner in winter?” The answer is yes. When you cover your air conditioner during the winter, you can safeguard it and make it last longer. However, doing so isn’t always necessary. 

Generally, if you live in an area with high humidity or experience a lot of precipitation, don’t cover your air conditioner. Under such conditions, moisture can be trapped under the cover, causing more damage to your unit. 

So when is it necessary? If there are advisories on major storms and harsh weather conditions, you can take extra precautions by covering your air conditioner. This can include hail storms, wind storms, and blizzards. Then once the weather has passed, you can remove the cover. Doing this allows you to enjoy the benefits of using a cover without causing damages to your AC. 

Ultimately, the decision to use a cover depends on you and whether you think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages or vice versa. But if you do decide to cover your unit, just make sure that you do it right and that you use the right item. Here are some cover ideas that you can use to get the job done and prevent damages to your system. 

How to Cover Your Air Conditioner for Winter

1. Use a plywood

Baltic Birch Plywood, 6 mm 1/4 x 12 x 24 Inch Craft Wood, Box of 12 B/BB Grade Baltic Birch Sheets, Perfect for Laser, CNC Cutting and Wood Burning, by Woodpeckers
  • STRONG, DURABLE, HEAVY-DUTY – These craft wood pieces of multi-coated Baltic Birch plywood offer exceptional durability, rigidity, and stability for all your woodworking needs. The surfaces provide...
  • BEAUTIFUL WOOD, BEAUTIFUL PROJECT- Russian-grown Baltic Birch plywood is prized by woodworkers everywhere. Manufactured using the latest methods in wood production, this hardwood from the snowy...
  • CHOOSE LASER CUTTER WOOD – The layers of the Baltic Birch sheets of thick plywood are designed to smoothly glide through laser cutters and scroll saws, making it the ideal thin wood sheets for...
  • GRADE B/BB – Graded according to the Russian Baltic plywood standard as B/BB, this hardwood has a single piece face and a back veneer. The face veneer has a smooth surface with a light uniform color...

Simply putting plywood on top of your air conditioner can protect it from falling ice, snow, and other debris. But make sure to put in some bricks or rocks to hold it in place. While this may not look as appealing as most of the covers you see in the market, it is highly effective. Moreover, it will not cause your unit any damages. 

If you don’t want plywood, you can use metal instead. You can also use plastic, just don’t cover the sides to keep rodents and moisture out. 

2.  Jeacent Air Conditioner Cover

Jeacent Air Conditioner Cover for Outside Units, Heavy Duty Winter Top
  • Premium A/C cover - the top cover for outside units, size 36'' x 36''. US Patent Pending. All Rights Reserved.
  • Ventilation - allow air flow, prevent moisture and condensation build up
  • Prolong A/C life - preventing leaf, rust, debris, minimize electrical failures
  • Heavy Duty and Waterproof - with UV-stabilized coating and Water-resistant laminated backing for winter

For a better-looking cover, you can use the Jeacent Air Conditioner Cover from Amazon. It is a heavy-duty top cover that can keep pine needles, twigs, leaves, and other debris out of your AC. In the winter, it can protect your unit from falling icicles, rain, and snow – which can enter and accumulate inside the AC.

The Jeacent Air Conditioner Winter Top does not cover the sides of your unit. Thus, allowing air to freely flow and prevent moisture and condensation to build up. It is also durable and puncture-resistant. Plus, it’s incredibly easy to install. 

3. Covermates Air Conditioner Cover

Covermates Air Conditioner Cover - Light Weight Material, Weather Resistant, Elastic Hem, AC & Equipment - Green
  • DURABLE FEATURES: Polyester lining, elastic hem, touch fastener closure to accommodate wires, mesh vent
  • TOUGH MATERIAL: Made from water resistant 12-gauge commercial vinyl for durable dirt, water, and UV-protection material for year-round coverage.
  • SATISFACTION WARRANTY: 2-year manufacturer warranty
  • COVER SIZE: 30W x 30D x 32H

If you are more interested in keeping your whole unit covered, you can give Covermates Air Conditioner Cover a try. It is durable, UV-resistant, water-resistant, and designed to endure the elements year-round. However, it’s best to use it during fall, winter, or when there is debris everywhere. 

The Covermates Cover is a good choice since it has mesh vents. This will allow airflow and prevent moisture from building up. It also has an elastic hem, which helps it stay in place even in windy conditions. 

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