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Should I Cover My AC Unit Before Winter?

To cover or not to cover? This is one of the most frequently asked questions about what one should do with their outdoor A/C unit during the winter.

The answer? It's completely up to you. While it's not necessary to cover your A/C unit during the winter, there are some benefits if you do. Read on to decide which option is the best for you.

Your A/C unit is built to withstand the harsh outdoor elements like rain and snow. Some things it isn't protected against are leaves, nuts and other debris. This can cause moisture to collect or even block the built-in moisture drainage system. Since this is mainly a fall problem, the best time to cover would be during the fall months.

During the winter months, while it's impossible to keep out 100% moisture, using a cover could prevent water from resting on the coils and freezing; which could be potentially damaging.

Keep in mind while covering your A/C unit does have some small benefits, there are a few drawbacks.

Animals, like rodents, want to get out of the cold and a cover provides a spot for them to hide from the elements. This can lead to an expensive spring repair if they decide to chew through the wiring harness.

While covering your unit may keep out some moisture, it can backfire on you and trap it in as well. This can create a lot of humidity and lead to mold.

If you decide to use a cover, make sure it only comes down the sides no more than 6 inches, otherwise you're risking moisture problems. A simple piece of plywood over the top will work just fine. It blocks debris while leaving the sides open to keep from moisture build-up.

Your A/C unit is a strong appliance that can be dependable and highly functional for years if cared for properly with annual preventative maintenance. For more questions call 72 Degrees Comfort Company at 515-965-7272 or email us at

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