Three Reasons Why You Will Want To Cover Your Air Conditioning Unit In Winter

Posted on: 7 January 2015

Your neighbors cover their outdoor central air units with a tarp and bungee cords every fall in preparation for winter. You have always left yours open to the elements, wondering what the fuss is about. There are actually some very good reasons why your neighbors prepare their air conditioners every year, and maybe you will want to follow suit if you know why.

1. Preventing Rust to Major Components

Perhaps the most logical and valid reason for covering your central air unit in the fall is to prevent rust damage to some of the major components, such as the fan. Despite the fact that your unit spends the entire year exposed to the elements, freezing rain and snow are more damaging to these parts than a humid summer rain because they can cause parts to rust faster and break more easily. A tarp insulates and protects your unit from this type of damage.

2. Insulating the Refrigeration Components

Extremely cold temperatures can damage the compressor and/or the condenser in your central air unit. This may seem illogical, since both of these parts create refrigerated air, but the drop in external temperatures and/or the formation of ice crystals on these parts can cause them to bust, break down or burst. Wrapping the unit in potato sack material and/or a tarp can prevent damage to the condenser and compressor.

3. Keeping Fall and Winter Debris out

Leaves, twigs, nuts that squirrels are trying to hide-- all of these are things which can slide in between the slats of your unit's exterior cover. Over time, the buildup of the outdoor debris makes your unit work harder and less efficient. Covering it in the fall before the leaves start trickling down will keep the debris of the next two seasons out and your air conditioning will run more smoothly when you need it to and prevent expensive repair calls.

When You Have Never Covered Your Central Air Unit Before

You might want to call for air conditioning service like Coastal Heating and Cooling in the early fall. An HVAC technician can remove former years' debris, trim back weed and plant growth from around the unit, perform maintenance on it, and show you the proper way to cover it for the colder months. He or she can also explain many other reasons why you want to protect and care for your unit, regardless of its age, which can be very useful information for the future.