Your air conditioning treated you well by keeping you cool and comfortable in your home all summer long. Now it’s your turn to return the favor by protecting it over the winter. Covering the outdoor compressor is a quick, easy way to prevent damage to your AC over the next few months.
But be careful – if you cover it incorrectly you could be doing more harm than good. In this article, we’ll explain the right and wrong ways to winterize your air conditioning.
Why you should cover the outdoor air conditioning unit
If you want to maximize the performance and service life of your air conditioning, then you definitely will want to protect it from the harsh winter elements. By properly covering the outside condenser unit, you can prevent a few different issues, including:
- Leaves, garbage, and other debris from getting blown into the unit and damaging the condenser coils
- Ice falling from gutters or nearby tree branches and directly hitting unit
- Water dripping inside the unit – when the water freezes it expands and can cause damage to internal components
- Snow and ice accumulating on fan blades and coils
The right way to cover the AC
When covering and winterizing the air conditioning unit, the trick is to protect the surface of the unit without trapping moisture inside. This is best accomplished by:
- Covering the unit with a breathable material
- Shielding the top of the unit with a piece of plywood (be sure to weigh it down to the top of the unit with bricks, a sandbag, or other heavy object)
- Building an awning or shelter above the unit (search online for design ideas and instruction). If it will be a permanent structure, make sure it has enough clearance around the unit for airflow when in use next summer
The wrong way to cover the AC
The biggest “no-no” when it comes to covering an AC is using plastic. Because plastic is not breathable, it traps moisture inside the unit, which can result in mold, rust, and costly repairs come springtime. You may also find small animals and insects living under the refuge of the plastic covering.
When shopping for air conditioning covers, be sure to look at the type of material and avoid any product made from plastic.
The home HVAC experts
If you have any questions about your heating or cooling systems, you can trust the team at Liberty Plumbing. We aim to provide the highest level of service to the Murrieta and Winchester, CA, area. Give us a call today at (951) 760-4215.