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Covering Your Air Conditioner in the Fall

Covering Your Air Conditioner

When you’re finished using your air conditioner for the summer and ready to turn it off in the fall, a cover can help keep it in good condition. Covering your Spring Lake, North Carolina, home’s air conditioner can extend your HVAC system’s life and help you avoid expensive, inconvenient repairs.

If you have a window or wall air conditioner, you should remove and cover it until spring. A cover is also a good idea for your window or wall unit if it’s not removable. Most air conditioner covers are relatively inexpensive, but the wrong type can cause instead of prevent problems.

Outdoor Air Conditioners

Your outdoor AC unit can withstand rain and some snow. But hail, heavy snow, or high winds can damage the fan or the evaporator coils. Also, outdoor ACs can’t keep leaves, seeds, nuts, twigs, grass clippings and other debris from getting inside. This can cause serious damage, reduce your unit’s efficiency and increase your utility bills. An air conditioner covered in leaves and twigs is unsightly, as well.

In the summer and early fall, when you’re using your unit, check it once per week for debris. If needed, use a garden hose to remove dirt, leaves and other contaminants. Don’t use a power washer or scrub your outdoor air conditioner; you can damage it by accident. If a hose doesn’t remove all the debris, call a professional to maintain your unit. In the fall, you can cover your unit and forget about it until spring.

However, you should only cover your air conditioner for a long period of disuse. Heat pumps also have outdoor units. They work all year, so remember to cover them during severe weather. Minimize debris from impacting your heat pump or air conditioner by trimming trees and shrubs near your unit.

Window or Wall Air Conditioners

Window and wall air conditioning units use a fan to move air into your home from outside and cool it with refrigerant. This is similar to the way central air conditioners work. However, cold air and gusts of wind can flow through the vents on a window or wall air conditioner even when it’s turned off in winter, wasting energy and increasing your heating bill.

Covering your air conditioner prevents this and helps you save money and keep your home more comfortable. Many covers for these types of air conditioners are available, and you can choose a cover that matches your decor to make your home look better in fall and winter.

Types of Air Conditioner Covers

The least expensive type of air conditioner cover, often called a dust cover, is a waterproof tarp that protects outdoor units from leaves and other debris as well as heavy snow. However, it doesn’t provide much protection from hail or large branches, and it can’t prevent heat loss through window or wall units. Covering the top of your outdoor unit with a piece of plywood and weighing it down with a few bricks will protect it from falling objects during storms. However, this is unsightly and may not last until spring.

A thick, insulated vinyl cover provides protection from heavy debris, and you can leave it in place. Insulated covers are also best for window units because they block drafts well. Many different sizes are available, but you may need to have a cover for your window or wall unit custom made. Metal covers are more expensive, but they offer better protection from falling debris.

Adding Permanent Protection

Build a roof over your outdoor HVAC unit for protection all year. This also keeps pests or mold from getting into a temporary cover and damaging your air conditioner before spring. A larger roof is a great place to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends, or you can simply move your outdoor unit to an existing porch or patio.

Bass Air Conditioning is a Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer with more than 60 years of HVAC experience. We can help you install, maintain, and repair a variety of heating and cooling equipment. Call us at (910) 672-8885  for outstanding service.

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