Home owners often ask whether or not they need to cover up their air conditioners during the winter months. This is an understandable question because most folks in the PNW only use their air conditioners three to four months out of the year.
The short and sweet answer is, no. You typically do not need to cover up your air conditioner during the winter. HVAC equipment is built to withstand almost all harsh weather conditions and temperatures. There is no significant reason to cover your A/C unit and covering it won’t prolong its life or improve its performance.
In actuality, covering your A/C may do more harm than good. Covering your unit doesn’t prevent moisture from doing damage. Instead, a cover can trap moisture and cause mold and mildew growth by blocking proper air flow. Covering your unit may lead to rodents and other animals seeking shelter, and thus, wreaking havoc on electrical components like wires and Freon lines.
In some rare cases, it may be a smart idea to use a cover on your A/C unit. You should cover your air conditioner if your area is expecting or experiencing the following weather:
Hail Storms – During the rare occurrence of a hail storm, cover your A/C to prevent hail from pelting, and potentially damaging, the unit.
Blizzards – On the occasion your area experiences blizzard conditions, use a cover to keep excess snow from damaging your A/C unit. If too much snow accumulates inside the unit and then freezes over, you could be looking at damage to your air conditioner’s coils.
The best way to care for your air conditioner isn’t by throwing a cover over it during the winter. In fact, you may be losing up to 5% of your unit’s efficiency, if it is not being properly maintained. This means calling in Columbia Heating and Cooling to perform a thorough, full-service tune-up. AC tune ups begin in the spring! Have questions in the meantime? Contact one of our HVAC experts today!