Why you should protect your Outdoor Air Conditioning Unit during the winter?

Many people have asked if it is necessary to cover the outdoor condensing unit of the AC. The answer is, yes. The outdoor unit needs to be protected during this season. In this article, we’ll talk about how to cover the unit the right way. We’ll also talk about the wrong way to cover the unit so that you know what to avoid.

Why you should protect your Outdoor Air Conditioning Unit during the winter?

Here are four reasons to protect your air conditioner during the winter.

  1. If the outdoor unit is left uncovered, dried leaves and flying debris can get caught into the fins of the condenser coil, thereby causing a severe problem in the whole system.
  2. If left unprotected, snow can cover the outdoor unit. Although It’s ok to have a small layer of frost on the outdoor unit, don’t let it become a thick layer of snow or ice. Allowing it to stay can bring damage to the fan blades and coil fins.
  3. Falling ice can hit and damage the body of the unit, or even worse, damage the sensitive coil fins.
  4. Dripping water can get into the unit. When this happens and the temperature drops, that water turns to ice and damage the fins of the unit.

How to cover the outdoor AC unit for the winter?

In covering the outdoor unit, it must be done in a way that it doesn’t trap moisture inside. Here’s how to do it:

  • Cover the unit with a breathable material.
  • Cover the top of the unit with plywood to shield it from snow and ice. You could use a brick or block to hold the plywood in place.
  • If possible, install a wood awning or shelter attached to the building that covers the top of the unit.
  • Plant flowers and small trees around the unit to protect from wind and blowing snow.
  • Build a shelter for the unit to protect in winter and shade in summer. But, ensure that you have adequate clearance around the air conditioner for airflow. You may need the help of a professional to get this done.

What not to do 

Avoid wrapping the outdoor unit with plastic because plastic does not breathe. Even though the plastic cover will protect the unit from falling leaves and snow, they also trap condensation from escaping. This can cause rust or mold growth inside the unit.

The professionals at Arctic Plumbing and Air are here to help you protect your AC unit during this season. We can also fix any heating issues in your home to keep you warm throughout the winter.