Should You Cover Your HVAC Unit During Winter?

Winterizing HVAC Units

An HVAC professional from Ardmore Fresh Air will tell you that covering an outdoor unit isn't absolutely necessary. However, it's something that can be done if you prefer to make this part of your seasonal routine. Before you decide whether or not to cover your HVAC unit during winter, take a moment to discover the advantages and disadvantages associated with doing so.

Advantages of Covering an Outdoor Unit During Winter

Specially designed covers for outdoor units are usually fairly affordable, so that's definitely a pro. Also, covering up your unit protects the air conditioner coils, which means they'll likely run more efficiently the next time you're ready to run the AC part of your system.

A covered unit also gives you protection against falling debris. This can be a good thing if your home is nearly a wooded area or in an area that's often exposed directly to high winds. Additionally, a cover will keep water from accumulating on coils and freezing when temperatures drop.

Reasons to Not Cover Your Unit Any Time

The most compelling reason not to cover your outdoor unit during the winter months or any time of the year is because manufacturers don't recommend it. This is because a typical comfort system is designed to withstand exposure to the elements fairly well throughout the year. You may even have some issues with your warranty if damage occurs that's likely related to issues with a covered unit.

Additionally, covering your unit could create the perfect environment for mold growth. Trapped moisture could also affect your unit's wiring and other electrical components. Some other drawbacks associated with covering an outdoor unit include:

  • Preventing rain from naturally keeping your outdoor unit clean.
  • Reducing natural drainage by blocking water runoff routes.
  • Providing a cozy spot for animals to nest during the winter months – which could contribute to damage from animals biting wires and the accumulation of feces and other debris.

It's Up to You

Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages associated with covering a cooling unit in the winter months, the final decision is yours. But if you happen to have a heat pump, DO NOT cover the outdoor components. Heat pumps are designed to run year-round, so covering anything up is a fire and safety hazard!

Call Us Today

An HVAC professional from Ardmore Fresh Air will gladly walk you through the pros and cons associated with covering an HVAC unit during winter and answer any questions you may have about the care and maintenance. Give us a call today for more information, or to schedule an appointment.


Contact Ardmore Fresh Air at (847) 792-1019 for your next appointment or any questions regarding our blog articles! In a hurry? Schedule your appointment online now.