Should My Air Conditioner Be Covered After Summer?

When Should Your A/C Be Covered?

In a perfect world, your air conditioner should ideally be serviced in the spring and your heating unit, the time is typically in the fall. In addition to this maintenance schedule, many wonder if they should cover up the outside air conditioner once the cold weather hits.

When Should Your A/C Be Covered?

There is a good reason why your air conditioner should be covered once summer comes to an end, and it is not only for the winter. Your unit has been designed to withstand snow and rain, but it has not been built for keeping nuts, seeds, or leaves out.


ac units outside


Therefore, your system should be covered only during the fall months. When seeds or leaves get inside of your air conditioner, a place can be created where moisture is collected, and this can cause corrosion. It may even block any built-in moisture drainage that your system has.

If you are going to cover your air conditioner, cover the top only. If you make a cover, it should only come down about 6 inches on the sides. Do not completely cover it. This can cause problems. When your unit is completely covered, your unit will end up trapping moisture inside which can cause corrosion and rust.

Why Your Air Conditioner Does Not Need to Be Covered

People frequently cover certain items around their houses in order to keep the elements out. For example, lawn furniture and swimming pools, especially when you do not have a storage shed or garage to store them in. If you are wondering whether your outside air conditioner should be covered or not, a cover is not required.

Some people think that covering their air conditioner unit will protect it from:


When the unit is on, it sucks in air. That brings in dirt as well. When it is turned off, no debris or dirt can get inside.

Cold Weather, Ice, and Snow

Outdoor cooling units have been designed to withstand severe winter weather conditions, so a cover is not needed.


Water (moisture) can freeze the condenser coils on an air conditioner. Over time, this can cause damage. However, moisture cannot be kept out all of the time. Moisture will seep in somehow, whether from the wind or humidity in the air.

When your air conditioner has a cover on it, moisture is actually trapped inside. and that can create mold. For that reason, it is much better to use no cover.


Small animals will not be kept away by a cover. The opposite is true. If an animal is trying to get out of the cold weather, a cover can provide a new winter home to them. Keep in mind that small animals such as rodents are well-known for being able to find a way into really small spaces.


air conditioning fan


Keep in mind that your air conditioner has been designed already to protect against normal winter conditions. So you don’t need to cover it up for reasons that you might think. Your unit only needs to be covered during the fall. We have custom-sized, attractive covers that work perfectly on the units we install.

For all of your heating and cooling needs contact the pros at JD Swallow, we’re happy to help!

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