Should You Cover Your Air Conditioner During Winter?

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Your AC unit is designed to function even when it rains or snows. The main reason is to protect it from all of the debris that will fall out of the trees in your yard.

Now that the hot summer is over, everyone is preparing for the cold season, one way or another. You are surely enjoying the cool weather, but take time to make sure that your air conditioning is ready before winter starts.

Protect Your Unit from Debris

Some people think that the exterior air conditioner unit should be covered once summer is over to protect it from the weather. However, your AC unit is designed to function even when it rains or snows. The main reason is to protect it from all of the debris that will fall out of the trees in your yard.

Autumn is when leaves, nuts, sticks, and all sorts of debris start falling off trees. The wind intensifies, blowing around dirt, which can have a detrimental effect on the unit. Not only can it clog your fan and drain pipe, but it will hold moisture in, causing corrosion and rust inside the components of the unit.

How to Cover Your Air Conditioning Unit for the Fall

If you decide to cover your air conditioner this fall, here is the correct way to do it:

  • Never cover your unit completely, thinking that it will be best protected like that. You want air to circulate freely through the unit but prevent the debris from entering it. The best option is to use a cover for the top of your unit. For extra protection, choose a cover slightly bigger than the unit’s surface, as it will act as a roof. Don’t cover the sides, as you will create more moisture inside, and it will lead to rust and corrosion, just like trapped debris would.
  • If you are unsure what to use to cover your unit when needed, go with a breathable fabric like thick tent fabric or something similar. For a more permanent solution, you can build a roof attached to your building to protect the unit from above. Shrubbery and trees can protect the unit from the sides, but they shouldn’t be placed too close to the unit. Otherwise, they will produce debris.

How Long Should the Unit Stay Covered?

Once the fall is over and there’s no more debris in your yard, you can remove your unit’s cover. If you are worried about snow, remember that the exterior unit is designed to function perfectly even in the snow. Covering it will only promote excess moisture and it will even invite pests like rodents or snakes inside the sheltered unit.

It’s also a good idea to schedule a maintenance check once the cold season is over to ensure everything is running properly. Call Thomas Hoffmann Air Conditioning & Heating for repairs or installation.

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