There are covers on the market designed specifically for air conditioners – but covering your air conditioner is actually unnecessary. Your air conditioner’s condenser, which is the component that sits outside, was built for the outdoors and can withstand freezing temperatures along with harsh weather. In fact, covering your cooling unit over the fall, winter, and early spring can actually cause problems, such as:
- An air conditioner cover can cause mold and mildew growth. A cover can trap moisture within your air conditioner, while preventing air from flowing through the unit. Your cover actually creates the perfect conditions for mold and mildew to grow on the evaporator coils. Mold and mildew will reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner, cause indoor air quality issues, and will require professional air conditioner coil cleaning to remove. Remember, your air conditioner is exposed to moisture all the time, through rain and humidity, but the moisture doesn’t cause problems because there is plenty of air flow under normal operating conditions – so there’s no need to cover it to keep water out!
- A covered air conditioner creates a great nesting spot for rodents. If you put a cover on your exterior air conditioner to protect it from the elements, your unit will then have the ability to offer those same protections to small critters. Mice and other rodents may nest within your condenser – they can cause damage to the components within the unit and leave behind debris that will hamper system performance if not found.
In fact, no air conditioner manufacturers offer specific recommendations regarding covering the system’s outdoor unit. If you still feel like you need to cover your unit to protect against falling debris over the winter season, lay a piece of plywood over the top of the unit – this will keep out falling sticks and leaves while allowing air to flow through the unit to prevent moisture buildup and nesting.
For friendly and professional advice on the sales, service and maintenance of HVAC equipment; contact Parkers Heating and Cooling today or call us at (615) 355-9137.