Should You Cover Your Air Conditioner in the Winter

Air conditioners play a significant role in maintaining our indoor comfort. Still, as winter approaches in Colorado Springs, many homeowners find themselves wondering if they should be covering their air conditioners during the colder months. In this blog, the AC repair experts from One Source Home Service will explore the reasoning behind covering air conditioners and determine whether doing so is a good idea. We will explore the arguments for and against this practice and also provide you with some tips on alternative DIY methods that you can use instead of covers.

Why Should You Cover Your AC Unit in the Winter?

Colorado Springs gets chilly during the winter months, and the impulse to protect our outdoor assets, including air conditioners, is natural. After all, the AC is not a cheap amenity, and frost can do quite a lot of damage. Air conditioner covers are commonly used for several reasons:

Protection Against Snow and Ice

A/C unit winter covers to protect the unit from accumulating snow and ice, preventing potential damage. The ice buildup on coils or fan blades can lead to efficiency and, in extreme cases, cause mechanical issues.

Shielding from Debris and Leaves

Fallen leaves, twigs, and other debris can enter the air conditioning unit. Covers act as a barrier, preventing debris from entering and potentially causing damage or clogging.

Preventing Potential Damage From Winter Weather

Colorado Springs experiences harsh winter conditions at times, including freezing temperatures and wind. These conditions can be rather harsh on outdoor appliances. Many people believe that covers provide a protective layer, guarding against the elements and prolonging the life of the air conditioner.

Pros: Should I Cover MY AC Unit in the Winter?

There are many arguments in favor of covering air conditioners during the winter weather. These arguments include the need to preserve exterior components and the need to ensure optimal performance in the spring.

Preserving the Exterior Components

Without an A/C unit winter cover, air conditioners are exposed to the elements, leading to rust and corrosion. Those who are in favor of covers argue that this protection helps maintain the aesthetic appeal of the unit.

Ensuring Optimal Performance in the Spring

Many people who favor covering the AC believe that protecting the unit during the winter months minimizes the need for extensive maintenance when spring arrives. Covers enhance efficiency by guarding many of the unit components from wear and tear caused by the winter weather.

Cons: Should You Cover Your AC Unit?

While the reasons for covering air conditioners are valid and essential, there are still people who would argue that doing so is a bad idea. Those against covering air conditioners during the winter months are concerned about trapped moisture within the unit and the lack of natural ventilation.

Trapping Moisture 

Opponents of covering air conditioners argue that cover contract moisture, creating a humid environment beneath the many components in the AC unit. This trapped moisture may contribute to rust formation in the internal components of the air conditioner.

Lack of Natural Ventilation

Many experts believe that covering air conditioners can prevent natural ventilation, which causes a whole host of issues. Proper airflow is essential for the air conditioning system because it prevents condensation and maintains a healthy environment inside the unit.

Expert Opinions: A/C Unit Winter Cover Practices

While both sides of the argument provide excellent points and concerns about covering the air conditioning system in the winter, there is still an expert opinion from professional HVAC technicians and manufacturers about this topic.

Insights From HVAC Professionals

Many HVAC professionals, such as AC installation and repair techs, advise against covering air conditioners. This is because modern units are designed to withstand various weather conditions. Your HVAC installation technician will likely offer the opinion that if the AC is installed correctly and maintained according to schedule, it will withstand any weather conditions. Proper installation and maintenance are far more critical for the longevity of your AC rather than a weatherproof cover.

Manufacturer Recommendations

Many manufacturers will provide guidelines regarding winter care for their specific units. We recommend locating the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific AC to read up on these recommendations so that you don’t void the warranty or cause harm to the AC.

How to Cover AC Unit: Alternative DIY Methods

If you’re hesitant about covering your air conditioner or do not want to spend money on a cover, there are alternative ways you could protect your AC during the winter months.

Elevate the HVAC Unit

You can raise the air conditioner above ground level to prevent snow and ice accumulation. This DIY approach promotes airflow while offering protection from direct contact with the ground.

Install a Piece of Plywood or Board

Place a piece of plywood or board over the AC unit to shield against falling debris. This will allow protection without completely closing off the unit.

Seasonal Maintenance Tips 

Whether you choose to cover your air conditioner or not, there are essential maintenance steps to follow during winter:

General Winter Maintenance

Take the steps to clean the unit of any debris, leaves, or dirt to ensure that there are no restrictions on the airflow. Trim any branches of plants around the unit to prevent damage from falling limbs.

Steps to Take in Preparation for Winter

We highly recommend that you consider scheduling a professional HVAC maintenance check before the winter sets in. Also, take the time to insulate exposed pipes to prevent freezing, ensuring that your HVAC system is prepared for the winter frost.

Get Your AC Ready for the Winter!

Whether you’re unsure about covering your AC unit for the winter, how to winterize your furnace, or need general maintenance assistance, you can rely on one source home service for top-notch HVAC services.

Contact One Source Home Service today to schedule your appointment with Colorado Springs’ top HVAC repair technicians.

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