Home Repair & Maintenance Ideas and Tips

Should I Cover My A/C Unit in the Winter?

Most units are built to withstand the elements and don't need to be covered. Learn the positive and negative effects of AC covers.

Air conditioner in the snow

The winter months are filled with excitement and merriment. There are school carnivals and plays to attend, as well as festive parties and holiday get-togethers. It's also off-season for many appliances, including your air conditioning unit. You may have heard that covering your air conditioner with a cover during the winter helps protect your unit, but that's actually a myth and can actually cause more harm than good. The last thing you want is to uncover a major issue with your air conditioner once spring rolls around. 

Your A/C is Made to Withstand the Elements

Your A/C compressor sits adjacent to your home, just a few feet away from the exterior walls and often directly under your roof, so units are already somewhat protected. Additionally, air conditioner units are built with quality materials that were created to withstand the winter elements. Models from the top brands are made with weather-resistant materials, such as stainless steel, aluminum and copper and are built to endure whatever harsh weather comes their way.

Negative Side Effects of a Air Conditioner Covers

Though you might expect a cover to have the benefit of protecting your A/C unit, water and moisture can still penetrate your air conditioner through evaporation. A bit of moisture in your air conditioner unit may not seem like a big deal initially, but it can lead to the development of mold and mildew. It can also disrupt the function of the condenser unit and block airflow into the home. When air isn’t able to flow freely, it creates an environment in which mold and mildew are able to infiltrate your home's interior. Though this doesn't always cause health issues, it does create efficiency problems for your A/C air conditioner and a frustrating situation for you to clean up.

Air Conditioner Covers May Cause Pest Problems

Covering your air conditioner unit can invite unwelcome guests to make a home inside the cover during the cold winter months. Rodents, lizards and other pests can create nests in the space between the unit and the cover and have been known to chew through wires and strip parts of them to create their shelters. Not only does that create an unpleasant discovery come spring, it also creates an expensive one! 

This winter, skip the air conditioner cover and enjoy the season. Air conditioners can seem vulnerable, but they are strong appliances that can be dependable and highly functional for years if cared for properly. Learn what you can do to care for your air conditioning unit and help avoid breakdowns

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