There are critical moments during the year when you need to carry out maintenance on your heating and cooling equipment. Typically, this would be spring for your AC system and fall for your heating equipment. Outside of the periods, some people may wonder if the need to cover up their outdoor air conditioning unit when the weather turns colder.

Covering Your Outdoor AC Unit

There are good reasons to cover up your outdoor air conditioner unit after the summer has ended. This isn’t just for winter; your equipment is built to withstand severe weather conditions including rain and snow. There are things that your equipment is not built to withstand, and they are seeds, leaves, and branches.

This is why many people don’t wait until winter to cover their units and prefer to cover in the fall. Of course, this is when many trees shed their leaves, and there a lot of seeds and nuts around that could make their way into your system. This may not seem like a big problem, but these kinds of organic material can create pockets of moisture where they land. This could lead to spots of corrosion in your unit that you definitely don’t want there. The debris could even block the moisture drainage in your system, and this could also cause problems later.

For these reasons, many people only cover their outdoor units in the fall, but it should be covered carefully. When you cover the outdoor AC unit, only cover the top part of the unit and come down the sides by around 6”. You can make your own cover if you like or there are plenty of commercial products on the market. If you cover the unit completely, the unit will have moisture trapped inside which could cause corrosion and rust issues later.

Not Covering Your Outdoor AC Unit

Some people, mistakenly cover things outside their home to keep the elements away, such as lawn furniture, static grills, and swimming pools. This is especially true if there is limited storage space for certain items that were used extensively during the summer months.

That being said, the outdoor AC unit does not require covering during the winter for a few good reasons. There is no need to protect your unit from regular dirt, this is sucked in all the time during regular use and when it’s turned off no dirt or debris is going to enter the unit. We have already covered the inclement weather above, and it is not going to damage your outdoor unit.

Some people, want to cover their unit to protect against moisture that can freeze the AC condenser coils. This can cause damage over time, but there is no way to keep moisture out of the unit all the time. Between the humidity in the air, or the wind, or the rain some moisture is going to get into the unit. If you have the unit covered, that moisture is trapped there; this can create mold or even corrosion.

Finally, some people think that covering their unit will prevent small animals, such as rodents and birds from seeking cover there in bad weather. In fact, the opposite is true, the cover will provide shelter for smaller fauna, and they will soon make themselves at home.