Should I invest in an Air Conditioner cover?

Each year, you watch your neighbor put on a cover for his air conditioning unit. It has become some sort of annual ritual, and now you are wondering if you are missing out on something.

Experts are divided when it comes to the idea of covering air conditioning units as part of an effort to winterize a home. Before you go out and buy an air conditioner cover, it is worthwhile to know what its advantages and disadvantages are. Knowing these ahead of time will help you make an informed choice.


Why buy and use an air conditioner cover? Advocates say that using a cover will help protect the paint of the AC system’s outdoor unit. Furthermore, the cover will help protect the outdoor unit from rain, snow, and ice and help prevent leaves, branches and other debris from getting into the fins of the outdoor unit.


On the converse side, there are experts who argue that covers are an unnecessary expense that homeowners can do without.

One reason behind that argument is that covers can facilitate condensation underneath it. In turn, the presence of moisture can lead to rust. Apart from that, mold and mildew can also form underneath the cover.

Finally, a covered air conditioner becomes the perfect shelter for vermin, insects, and other small animals seeking refuge from the cold winter. Come springtime, you might need to call in the professionals to help you deal with this problem, leading to added costs.

Our verdict

Indeed, there are points worth considering from each camp. However, we believe that air conditioners are not essential for the protection of an AC’s outdoor unit.

Certainly, if you live in an area where you will be using the air conditioner for most of the year, there is no sense in buying and using a cover for your air conditioner.

However, if you live in an area where temperatures can reach sub-zero levels and snow can accumulate, you might be concerned about potential damage to your air conditioner.

But instead of using a cover to protect your AC, we recommend using a piece of plywood placed over the outdoor unit. This simple solution can do the same (if not a better) job of protecting your air conditioner from snow and ice. You can enjoy the benefits of an air-conditioner cover without the associated hassles.

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