Summer is nearly over, the nights are getting shorter, the air is getting cooler, and the leaves are starting to hit the ground. That means you won’t be using the air conditioner as often as you were just a few weeks ago and as the temperature drops you won’t be using it at all until next summer rolls around.
Since the unit won’t be seeing any use during that time, does it make sense to cover it up? You do it with other things like your pool or patio furniture. A cover is a great way to keep both well protected when the thermometer drops and the elements start to act up.
But what about your air conditioner? Shouldn’t that also be protected with some sort of cover? With the fall weather approaching and winter just around the corner, most people believe that covering their unit is the best way to keep it safe.
However, that way of thinking isn’t always the best plan of action. Here are some of the do’s and dont’s that we recommend when it comes to safeguarding your air conditioner after summer comes to an end.
Reasons Not to Cover
So you’re convinced you need to cover your air conditioner now that you need to keep your home warm instead of cool it down. But what are the reasons behind that thinking?
You want to keep dirt and debris out of it? Your air conditioner already pulls all that stuff in when it’s operating normally. The only way to keep those things out is to leave it shut off.
You’re afraid of snow and ice damaging it somehow? Don’t be, your unit has been manufactured to sustain both in the coldest of climates.
You’ve been convinced, somehow, that moisture getting inside the unit could negatively affect it? A cover isn’t going to prevent that from happening, moisture is getting in whether you want or not, that’s the weather’s decision, not yours. Even worse, a cover is actually going to promote moisture not prevent it.
Now these are all specific reasons not to cover the unit, but another thing to keep in mind is the time of year during which you may want to consider doing just that. As you may have garnered by now, winter is not the time to cover your unit. In fact, it’s going to be much better off if you leave it uncovered when the air turns cold and the nights long.
Reasons to Cover
With all that being said, it isn’t necessarily a bad idea to cover the unit after the summer. Doing so will actually be beneficial but only right after the summer is over and the fall season is emerging.
Why? Because the trees are going to be dropping all kinds of things besides leaves. Seeds and sticks are also likely to fall to the ground and these things can find their way into the unit. That’s not an ideal situation for the long-term operation of your air conditioner and when the trees are shedding their various accoutrements, a cover can be useful for keeping it safe from all this detritus.
Not only is it a bad idea to have all of this various debris stuck in the unit but these items can promote moisture which can also be harmful to the inside of the air conditioner. If that gets to be too bad, you’re going to be calling an hvac repair technician to come out and fix the problem.
You better believe that is going to cost a pretty penny.
So while covering the air conditioner for the winter isn’t really all that necessary, you should cover it in the fall.
A Word about Air Conditioner Covers
If you’re planning on using a cover be very particular about the cover you do place on the unit. You should be careful that you are only covering the top portion of the unit and not the entire thing. It is not a good idea to enclose the unit entirely under a cover, no matter what type of material your cover has been made from.
This is because when you cover the entire unit you are giving moisture a chance to develop. This happens more often in enclosed spaces and that’s why you should only have a cover that protects the top of the unit. You don’t want mold or rust to develop from excessive moisture inside the unit.
So always be sure that your unit has enough airflow moving through it to stop that from happening.