Should air conditioners be covered in winter?

Why an air conditioner can and cannot be covered in the winter and fall seasons, and what are some of the damages this can cause for AC owners?


An air conditioner is usually intended for use over the summer periods, when the climate can be hotter and more unbearable than usual. But when the winter approaches, air conditioner owners tend to ask themselves how they can better take care of their units in the colder winter months.

Most air conditioner owners have asked themselves if the right approach to the safekeeping of their units means covering them in the winter to prevent them from getting any damage from the extremes of the colder climate. A sudden shift which can be caused by rain and even snowy, icy weather conditions.

Covering air conditioners in winter

Cooler conditions of the winter without a doubt come with some extremes, such as drastic declines in temperatures, rain and snow conditions. For air conditioner users, this can raise questions as to whether they need to take measures to ensure the prevention of any damage to their units from these weather conditions.

This can be in the form of prevention of excessive ice build-up on units that can be potentially damaging to certain vital components of the air conditioner. One of the measures people take is to cover their units throughout the winter season.

Should air conditioners be covered in winter?

The big question then becomes, is it good to even cover an air conditioner in the winter? The answer can be both yes and no. In this case, it will depend on a number of factors and considerations as to how it should be done properly to not cause any unnecessary damage, since it is possible to end up causing damage by covering a unit when there might not have been a need to.

Air conditioners are actually built to be able to handle the harshest weather conditions, so in some cases there is no need to cover units.

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However, one can cover their unit in winter, provided that the covering or fabric is breathable and does not lock in moisture as this can negatively affect the unit. On the other hand, covering a unit is recommended more in the fall season against falling leaves.

How covering your unit can cause excessive moisture

Covering an air conditioner may not help with keeping water from getting into the unit through evaporation, as the cover will not allow the water to escape.

Trapped moisture in an air conditioner can be bad news, as it can disrupt how the unit functions by affecting the condenser, blocking airflow to the home. A move which can further lead to the development of mildew and mold into the home.

So, not only will you be dealing with efficiency issues of the air conditioner, you may have to deal with health issues from mold.

What is an alternative to covering your air conditioning unit?

Besides getting a cover for your air conditioner, owners can use an accessory that is meant to attach to the top of the unit to create a barrier to protect against the build-up of debris and dirt, help with the airflow and with redirecting the accumulation of water to escape the unit. These accessories are usually available with the manufacturer.

So, air conditioner owners can consult with their product manufacturer to see if an all-weather protective attachment is available for their unit instead of resorting for a breathable wrap.

How air conditioner covers can attract unwanted pests

In as much as covering your air conditioner can provide some form of protection, it can actually invite unwanted problems such as pests that include rodents.

In the winter season, most small animals will be looking for warmer spaces to use as shelters and a covered air conditioner can be the perfect place for a tiny animal to keep warm and move in. These animals can create homes inside the air conditioner such as nests, causing all forms of damaging obstructions in the unit. Others can resort to chewing on vital wires.


Protecting vital household appliances in the different seasons can help to sustain their longevity in the long run. However, with some appliances it is important to know that certain protective measures may not be necessary but could end up only doing more harm than good, especially when covering appliances.

The same can be especially said for air conditioners. Some owners of air conditioners might think that covering their units in the winter will protect it from the extreme cold elements, but there are certain factors to consider before opting to cover a unit that could save you damage costs.

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