When you have an outdoor air conditioner, you may be wondering what to do about it when the weather turns. The truth of the matter is that plenty of people find that they can simply shut off the air conditioning unit at the end of the summer and then not think about it. This is not necessarily bad for your air conditioning unit, but should you cover it?
There are a few benefits for covering your air conditioning unit, and there is even more than one way to cover it. For example, if you cover your air conditioning unit with a canvas or vinyl cover, you can keep debris out of it, which leads to a clean start when the weather turns again. You can also protect your air conditioner from falling ice through using a simple sheet of plywood, metal or plastic held in place with a few sand bags.
For the most part, air conditioners do not need to be covered. They are built to withstand extreme temperature changes, and they are not going to be damaged by cold weather. Furthermore, there is the issue where covering an air conditioner leads to small animals nesting in it, which in turn damages the air conditioner heavily by the time spring rolls around.
If you wish to cover your air conditioner, choose a flat sheet of plywood or sturdy plastic that is cut to be a little larger on all sides than the top profile of your air conditioner unit. Lay it on top of the air conditioner unit and weigh it down with a few plastic bags filled with sand and twist-tied closed. If you want to be extra sure that the sand does not get out, double or triple bag the sand bags.
While a vinyl covering can keep debris off of the air conditioner, the issue of having small animals drawn to the protected space is one that can lead to problems. If you want to use a vinyl cover, choose one from the hardware store that fits well, and make sure that you check it routinely throughout the winter for unwanted guests!
Covering an air conditioner for winter is something that takes only a small amount of time. However, you need to choose a solution that is right for you and right for your circumstances. This is something that can make a huge difference to your peace of mind this winter.