Should I cover my AC unit?


There are a few home maintenance tasks that are seasonal, such as storing snow shovels and tuning up the lawnmower in the spring. Fall is a good time to look for and caulk any penetrations that a mouse will find.


Putting a cover on the AC unit should not be on the list.

There are a LOT of covers on the market. The prices range from $15 to $200. There is an online tutorial on how to make your own. Some even have the name of the AC manufacturer on them.

The sellers claim that covering the unit will protect it from damage caused by harsh elements and debris.

The truth is that the unit itself was designed to be outdoors, where weather is a part of life.

In fact, a cover could cause more damage, by trapping moisture and providing shelter for small animals. Mice and squirrels have been known to create havoc when they build nests.

If you just can’t stand by and watch snow and ice on the unit, fine. Take a small square of plywood and set it on top. Place a brick on that, to keep it from falling off.

An AC condenser unit cools refrigerant by moving a lot of air over thin metal fins, dispersing heat. So keeping the fins clean is very important. It’s also important to keep the area free from vegetation, leaves, building supplies and other blockages. You can learn about cleaning the unit by clicking HERE.

I always recommend having the furnace and AC unit tuned up by a professional once a year as preventative maintenance.