Pros & Cons of Wrapping Up an Air Conditioner for Winter
Ask any air conditioner technician and they’ll tell you the key to having an air conditioner that lasts a LONG time is good maintenance. So, when you hear of different ways to protect your AC, like covering your outside AC unit over the winter, you may think it’s a good thing to do.
There are many important maintenance tasks homeowners should be sure to take care of. Changing the air filter on a regular schedule is probably the most important task you can do. But there are some AC maintenance tips you may hear that are not worth your time and effort. Sometimes these so-called great tips may cause you problems.
Covering up your air conditioner over the winter may be one of those tips you should probably ignore.
Why you should think twice about covering your air conditioner
It may seem like a good idea to buy one of the many available AC unit wraps made specifically to cover an outdoor air conditioner (aka the condenser) during the winter. For only 20 or 30 bucks, it may seem like a smart purchase for protecting your air conditioner.
If you do cover your AC correctly, it can be a good idea for your home. However, covering your air conditioner can cause problems.
Pros for Covering Your Air Conditioner
An AC wrap can protect your outside unit from dirt, debris, snow, and ice. Here in Kansas, we see a lot of problems with leaves and dirt getting stuck in air conditioners. You should clean your air conditioner and its coils when it gets covered in this muck. Having a cover on your AC all winter will make that spring cleaning task quick and easy.
However, there are some hazards most fabric AC wraps can’t protect our unit from. Ice falling on an AC can damage it. If your air conditioner sits under an area where icicles form, you may want to cover it, but not with a fabric wrap. Instead, put something hard over the top of the unit, such as a piece of plywood.
Cons for Covering Your Outdoor AC
While AC wraps can come in handy when it comes to keeping debris out, a wrapped air conditioner wrapped can attract animals. A wrap can be seen as a welcoming home to mice and other little creatures. These rodents may decide to make your AC their winter home. While they are huddled under the wrap staying warm, the small animals may nibble on the wires and damage your air conditioning unit. If you do choose to get an AC wrap, you will want to get one designed to keep small creatures out.
Another reason to not wrap an AC is that they are designed to be outdoors. The unit was built and tested to withstand the conditions. Covering an AC for part of the year may prevent some rust or damage, but it does not make up for the potential hazards that wrapping it can cause.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you cover your air conditioner, make sure you uncover it BEFORE your AC needs to start working again.
You will likely have a lot of problems on your hands if you don’t uncover an air conditioner before it gets hot and the AC starts up again. You may even find that your air conditioning unit isn’t working at all!
If you find your AC isn’t working, give Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning in Manhattan a call for a quick repair at (785) 776-5012.
Give Your AC Plenty of Space
Your outdoor unit needs space around it to properly work.
When landscaping or decorating, be careful to avoid putting anything within 2-3 feet of an outdoor unit. If you are planting something, make sure that it will not grow too close to a unit over time. Keep any nearby plants from getting no closer than two or three feet from the air conditioner itself.
Get a professional AC service from the experienced team at Standard Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. All our HVAC technicians are trained and experienced in servicing any type of air conditioning system.