Winter AC Prep: Why You Should Cover Your Unit (And How To Do It Properly)

air conditioner installation

Fall is officially upon us, which means homeowners will soon be turning up the heat. But before you do, you’ll need to properly prepare for the winter to come. While furnace repairs might be at the top of your HVAC services priority list, you’ll need to give some thought to your air conditioner, too. This is particularly true if you recently invested in air conditioner installation or your unit is on the older side. Covering your unit is a must for preventing unnecessary air conditioner repairs in the future. Let’s take a closer look at why you should cover your unit and how to go about doing so.

Do you really need to cover your air conditioner unit?

In a word, yes. Covering your unit will protect it from leaves, debris, ice, snow, wind, animal activity, and more. While the average expected lifespan of a central air conditioner is approximately 20 years, it might be a lot shorter if you fail to take care of it properly. At best, dust and dirt will clog your unit; at worst, ice and snow can cause internal damage. By covering it, you’ll protect your investment and provide your own peace of mind throughout the season.

How should you cover your unit?

If you’ve recently had air conditioner installation or repairs performed, you’ll want to keep your unit in good working condition for as long as possible. You should use a cover made out of breathable material. Do NOT use a plastic cover, as they trap condensation and can lead to mold growth or additional animal activity. Once you place your breathable cover over your unit, you should place plywood on top to further shield it from snow and ice. You can then place rocks or bricks on top to secure the plywood. You may also want to consider planting shrubs around the unit for additional coverage if you live in an area prone to snow. However, homeowners should contact their heating and cooling companies prior to doing so, as bushes and trees can be problematic for air flow or cause debris concerns if placed improperly.

What else should you do before winter arrives?

This is a great time to have both your air conditioner and furnace inspected. That way, you can take care of potential repairs in the off season, before you’re in dire need of either heating or cooling. If you haven’t scheduled your yearly maintenance yet, don’t delay; otherwise, small HVAC repairs can turn into a need for complete replacement before you know it.
Whether you think there’s a problem with your heating system or you want to make sure your new air conditioner installation stays in tip-top shape for many years to come, technicians are here to help. Be sure to schedule an appointment early so you aren’t left out in the cold this season!

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