Pros & Cons of Covering or Wrapping Up an Outdoor AC for Winter
It’s important to take care of your home’s systems. They keep you comfortable and will continue doing their job for many years as long as you take care of them. While there are many important maintenance tasks homeowners should be sure to take care of – such as changing the air filter on a regular schedule, you may have heard of some tasks that you aren’t sure about. Whether or not to cover your air conditioner over the winter months may be one of them.
Should you cover your air conditioner in the winter?
While the answer is not black-and-white, if you are going to only read this far than the answer is: probably not.
That may seem like an unexpected answer because you can find a whole bunch of AC unit wraps made specifically to cover an outdoor air conditioner (aka the condenser) during the cold weather. For only 20 or 30 bucks, it seems like a smart buy to have something protecting your air conditioner.
Covering your air conditioner can cause problems. However, if you do it correctly, it could possibly be a good idea for your home. Continue reading on before deciding whether to buy an AC wrap for your unit.
Reasons To Cover Your Air Conditioner in the Off Season
An AC wrap will protect it from dirt, debris, snow, and ice. Here in Kansas, we see a lot of problems with leaves and dirt and all that pollen getting stuck in air conditioners. It is a good idea to clean an outdoor air conditioner and its coils when the unit is covered in this muck. So obviously having a cover on all winter will make that spring cleaning task pretty quick and easy!
An AC cover will protect it from potential hazards. But in this case, we are speaking about covering the top of the unit with something hard, not simply covering it in a fabric wrap.
Putting a cover over your AC unit is definitely a good idea if your air conditioner sits in area under where icicles form. If a large enough icicle falls on an AC, it can damage the unit. If that’s your situation, you may want to put a piece of plywood over the top of it.
Reasons why you should Not Cover your Outdoor AC
While those wraps can be handy from keeping debris out, having an air conditioner under a wrap can actually attract animals to it. If you wrap your AC, you are likely creating a welcoming home to mice and other rodents. They may take up your AC as their winter home to stay warm. And while they’re there, those small animals may nibble on your wires and damage your AC.
Obviously, some wraps are made better than others, so getting one that is designed to keep even the smallest and most persistent creatures out would be ideal.
Another reason why you shouldn’t need to wrap an AC is for the simple reason that it was designed to be outdoors. It was built to withstand the conditions. While covering it for part of the year may keep it from getting as much rust or damage, that won’t make up for the potential hazards that wrapping it can cause.
Outdoor AC Wrap Warning
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you choose to cover your air conditioner, be sure to uncover before your AC needs to start working again.
You are going to have a lot of problems on your hands if you don’t uncover it before it starts working to cool your home. In fact, you may notice your air conditioning unit isn’t working at all because it’s covered up.
If you find your AC isn’t working, give Frederick a call for a quick repair at (316) 262-3713.
Good AC Maintenance: Give Your Unit Enough Space
Your air conditioner unit needs some space to properly work. It is moving air around and needs to have room around each side. When landscaping or decorating, be careful to avoid putting anything within 2-3 feet of an outdoor unit.
If you are planting something, make sure that it will not grow too close to a unit over time. It can be a good thing for plants and trees to shade an AC unit, but they should not get closer than two or three feet from the air conditioner itself.
Spring is the best time to have your AC tune-up and maintained. Get a professional maintenance tune-up from the Wichita cooling pros at Frederick Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. Our team is trained and experienced in servicing any time of air conditioning system. Give us a call today to schedule your cooling maintenance at (316) 262-3713, or you can conveniently request service by sending us a message online.