Your Air Conditioner Condenser: Cover It When the Weather Turns Cold or Let It Alone?It’s still warm outside, but winter is surely on its way. Are you ready? As the temperatures start to cool down, you should be getting your home set for the winter chill. Part of your upkeep should include preparing to turn off your A/C for the year. When you think of the upcoming snow and ice, you may worry that leaving your air conditioner condenser out in the open may damage it. If you choose to cover it, however, there’s a correct way, which will protect the equipment, and a wrong way, which may damage the equipment.

First thing, take a few minutes to make sure the unit is clean and that the area is free of obstructions. If you perform this maintenance sooner rather than later, you can enjoy better airflow into the condensing unit while you’re still using your A/C. Consider getting a tune-up of your cooling system, so you’re ready to go when spring comes next year. Once you’re ready to turn off the A/C, consider a cover. Many experts say that no cover is necessary to sufficiently protect your condensing unit from the elements, while others suggest some sort of cover, as long as it’s done right. If you must cover it, you have two choices:

  • Place a sturdy plywood board on top of the condenser cabinet, and set some bricks on top to weigh it down.
  • Or buy a fabric cover especially designed for your air conditioner condenser. It has ventilation and will leave a small area open near the ground to allow more airflow into the condenser.

It may be tempting to save money by covering the condensing unit with plastic or tarpaulin, but this is unwise. If you wrap your air conditioner condenser tightly and restrict airflow, condensation inside the condenser won’t have any way to evaporate or escape. This may cause stainless steel components in the condensing unit to rust, resulting in expensive repairs. If you want to cover your condenser but are unsure how, it’s a wise investment to seek professional assistance.

When you need expert advice about preparing your HVAC or plumbing system for winter, join the many satisfied customers of Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve served the greater Indianapolis area for the past 40 years.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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