Is It Recommended To Cover Your Air Conditioner?
One question we get frequently from homeowners is, "do you recommend covering an air conditioning unit during the fall/winter season?"
You may have heard different suggestions on this topic. There is one side to the story which encourages you to cover your air conditioner, stating that a protective barrier on the A/C unit can help ward off unwanted debris, such as leaves, seeds, twigs, and other seasonal elements that can impact the internal condition of your A/C unit.
The other side of the argument, which is where we and many other experts stand, warns that wrapping the system is potentially more detrimental to it's operation and life span than leaving it exposed. When you wrap/cover an air conditioner during it's off season, you run the risk of your air conditioner rusting and your coils corroding. Because moisture can become trapped within the unit when it is covered, a tarped A/C often causes more harm than good.
For these reasons, we do not recommend covering an air conditioner.
Take these two arguments into consideration when you are deciding whether or not to cover your air conditioner, then evaluate the type of outdoor unit that you have:
Air Conditioners With No Protective Top
If your air conditioner looks like the above photo with an open top, it is more common to think that you should want to cover it. While it is not necessary and we advise against buying a full cover for the unit, if you are adamant about adding protection, you could lay a barrier, such as a board, on top of it to help protect the top of the unit from collecting debris. Leave the sides of the unit unwrapped so that air can move through the system, keeping it dry and with minimum moisture collecting within.
Air Conditioners With A Protective Top
If your air conditioner has a plastic top, like the Trane WeatherGuard Top above, rest assured that it is built to project the top of the system from collecting debris and other winter elements. Newer air conditioning systems that are built this way have taken into consideration the fall/winter conditions and are made to endure the season with no additional covering.
Heat Pump Systems that Heat and Cool
If your outdoor unit is a heat pump, which means it functions as an air conditioner in the summer and can also supply heat to your home in the fall and mild winter temperatures, do not cover the system. Depending on the settings of your system, if the temperature outside goes above 35+ degrees, that heat pump is likely to be operating, and having it covered would be harmful to the unit.
If you have heating needs throughout the rest of the winter season, trust the fast, friendly team at Logan A/C & Heat Services!