Should You Cover Your Air Conditioner for the Winter?

Winter has finally reached the Triad; are you ready? Hopefully, you’ve already had Johns Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning do our seasonal maintenance on your HVAC system. But now the question arises: should you cover your air conditioning unit for the winter?Should I cover my air conditioner in the winter?

This is a question that has been hotly debated for years, and there’s not exactly a simple answer. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of covering your air conditioner, and to decide on the best choice for you.

Reasons to Cover Your Air Conditioner

  • It keeps falling snow and ice out of the unit.
  • It keeps leaves and debris from clogging the unit.
  • It keeps water off the coils, where it can freeze and damage them.

Reasons Not to Cover Your Air Conditioner

  • Even with a cover, moisture from condensation can get into your air conditioning unit, causing damage. This is why seasonal maintenance is so important.
  • The moisture from condensation can breed mold and mildew, which can also damage your system and degrade air quality.
  • Covering your air conditioning unit can create a lovely haven for mice and other animals to make a winter nest.

What’s the Bottom Line?

In the Triad, we don’t often experience extended harsh winters. However, blizzards and hailstorms are the two weather events that warrant covering your air conditioning unit. If such a storm is in the forecast, cover your unit before the storm starts, and remove it afterwards. In the case of a blizzard (extremely rare in the southeast), take a few minutes to brush the snow from around the base of the unit.

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