Covering my Air Conditioner: should I?

 

July 2018

Before you know it, the summer will give way to the fall and for many of us, that means less use for our air conditioner. The fall is the perfect time to do maintenance to-dos when it comes to your HVAC system and a major question on that to-do list is whether or not you should cover your air conditioner.

Yes, cover your air conditioner

The short answer is ‘yes,’ you should, but not just because winter will be coming. While your system is built to deal with the rain and snow, it isn’t built to keep out things like leaves, seeds, and nuts.

For that reason, you’ll want to cover your air conditioner in the fall. When leaves and seeds get into your system they can trap moisture and that can cause corrosion. In some cases, it may even block moisture drainage that your system already has built in. In both situations, it can cause a whole host of issues with your system.

That being said make sure you only cover the top of your air conditioner. Covering it completely is asking for trouble – as you’ll create the same problem you’re trying to avoid – and that’s trapping moisture.

Nah, don’t worry about it

People always associate things outside that need to be covered as doing something that is protecting that particular thing. For example, swimming pools, lawn furniture – or even anything you put into a storage shed.

Specifically, when it comes to an outside air conditioner, you don’t need to worry about protecting it. Many of the things you are attempting to protect your system from, are just going to happen anyway or already are. A/C Units will suck in dirt. They are built to take on harsh winter conditions. And yes – moisture will always get in. Whether it’s humid or from rain, some will inevitably get in there. As for small animals? Whether you cover the unit or not – if they want in, they’re going to figure a way to get in there.

Always remember – you’re A/C unit is built to protect against many of the problems you’re going to consider. In fact, you don’t need to cover it for the reasons you think and you do need to cover it for many things you don’t think about. Cover up that unit in the fall, but for the rest of the year, let the air flow freely.

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