Should I Cover My Air Conditioner for the Fall and Winter?

Sep 21, 2021

As the temperatures cool down again, you might be wondering if you should cover your outdoor air conditioner for the winter. This measure is meant to protect your equipment from debris and frost. However, for most homeowners, the short answer is no—you should not cover your air conditioning unit. The professionals at Newcomb and Company are here with insight.

Reason 1: Air Conditioner and Heat Pump

Most homes and businesses in the south rely on heat pumps for warmth in the winter. Unlike furnaces, heat pumps and air conditioners use the same outdoor equipment. If your home uses a heat pump, covering your outdoor air conditioner could damage your unit and impact its performance in the winter. If you decide to cover your outdoor unit, it is vital that you first ensure this equipment will not be providing your heat in the fall or winter. You can read more about the differences between heat pumps and furnaces here.

Reason 2: Rust and Mold Growth

Even homes that have furnace heaters should think twice about covering their outdoor AC equipment. While these covers are supposed to protect your air conditioner, they often do more harm than good. One of the most harmful factors is the risk of rust, corrosion, and mold growth.

Water can penetrate even the most weatherproof covers with rain, frost, condensation, and evaporation. The dark, moist environment of your covered system creates a perfect storm for harmful rust, corrosion, and mold. Mold can slow down your air conditioner and create inefficiencies until you have your unit professionally cleaned. Rust and corrosion can do lasting damage to your equipment that will require repair or replacement.

Reason 3: Cost vs. Reward

Air conditioner covers are supposed to help protect your air conditioner from frost, wind, critters, and debris. However, your outdoor AC equipment is designed to withstand the elements. Manufacturers design HVAC systems with weather-resistant materials. In fact, your air conditioner is meant to have continuous access to open air. Investing in expensive air conditioning covers can waste your time and money.

Reason 4: Critters

While homeowners may try to keep critters out with AC covers, it can have the opposite effect. Critters are more likely to seek shelter in covered areas. This fact makes your covered AC system a welcoming place for small rodents, spiders, and other inhabitants that can sneak their way inside. Meanwhile, your uncovered air conditioning system is a less inviting place for critters in the winter.

The Solution: Seasonal HVAC Maintenance

Rather than risk it by covering your unit, you can keep it protected with manufacturer-recommended maintenance. During seasonal maintenance visits, a professional will clean and inspect your coils and other outdoor equipment. This service removes debris and ensures your unit is ready to go before turning your air conditioner on next year. It also helps you catch air conditioner troubles early to avoid costly repairs.

Newcomb and Company HVAC Repairs and Maintenance

This winter, skip the cover and call Newcomb and Company instead! Our experts will provide seasonal care to your heating and air conditioning systems. The professionals at Newcomb and Company proudly serve Raleigh, Wilmington, and surrounding areas like Garner, Clayton, Knightdale, Leland, Carolina Beach, and beyond. Make your appointment today for the solution to your heating and air conditioning repair, maintenance, and replacement needs!

Need help? Call now.