Air Conditioner Cover: Is an Outdoor HVAC Unit Cover Really Worth It?

With the harsh winter weather conditions looming ahead, the last thing most Las Vegas residents have on their minds is running their air conditioners. Since most air conditioners utilize both an indoor and an outdoor unit to condition air, it makes sense to want to try and protect the outdoor unit while it’s not in use.

After all, your indoor unit has full protection throughout the winter, so doesn’t your outdoor unit deserve the same level of care? Unfortunately, the truth is that the answer to this question is somewhat complicated. It is, in many ways, based on personal preference.

What Are the Benefits of Using an HVAC Outdoor Unit Cover in the Coming Season?

There are many benefits of using an HVAC outdoor unit cover in the coming season. For starters, you can expect your HVAC to run more efficiently and effectively with a cover. This is because the cover keeps out dirt, debris, leaves, rodents, and other things that could cause your unit to break down.

Another benefit of using a cover is that it will help reduce energy costs. This will also help extend its life and keep you from having to replace the unit as often.

Lastly, if you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, such as heavy rains, snowstorms, or drastic heat waves, you’ll want to protect your outdoor unit. You can protect your unit from these elements by using a cover.

The HVAC outdoor unit cover is designed to protect your home’s central air conditioning and heat pump system from the elements. These outdoor air conditioner covers are made from durable materials that withstand harsh weather conditions, including rain, direct sunlight, and snow. In addition to protecting your HVAC system from these elements, the cover will keep debris from entering the unit.

The benefits of using an outdoor air conditioner cover include:

  • Protecting your HVAC system from moisture damage
  • Preventing dirt, leaves, and debris from entering the unit
  • Reducing energy costs by keeping the inside of your home at a consistent temperature during cold months (when heating systems are in use)
  • Keeping noise levels low
  • Protects against rust and corrosion
  • Helps prolong the life of your unit
  • Easier to clean than other parts of your HVAC system
  • Can be installed easily by yourself or with help
  • Protection from the sun, rain, and moisture
  • Prevents mold and mildew with proper airflow

Why Is There an Outdoor Unit?

If you’re new to the world of HVAC systems, you’re probably wondering why there’s an outdoor HVAC unit in the first place. The key to answering this question is understanding how air conditioners work.

Air conditioners don’t make the air in your home cooler. Instead, they pull heat out of the air in your home and then transfer that heat outside. This process changes the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant.

The aim is to get it colder than the surrounding air inside your home.

The outdoor unit’s purpose is to increase the temperature of the refrigerant and then help the refrigerant expel its heat into the outside air. Since the heat goes outside, this unit has to be physically present outside: explaining its location.

How Should I Prepare?

If you choose to cover your outdoor HVAC unit, it’s important to make some basic preparations to ensure good results. For starters, you’ll want to confirm you don’t use your outdoor unit during the harsh winter.

If you have an air-source heat pump, your outdoor unit does double duty and works during the winter to extract heat from the air and send it into your home. These units are especially common in Las Vegas, so it’s important to keep this in mind. Then, assuming you have a typical air conditioner, you can continue the covering process.

It’s also a good idea to check and make sure that there are no leaves or other debris in the bottom of the outdoor unit. Normally, this debris isn’t a problem. However, with a cover on your outdoor unit, the unit won’t be able to breathe as well. This means any moisture that gets into your unit will moisten the debris and potentially cause rust.

With the debris gone, the risk of rust will be much lower. Finally, make sure to cut power to the outdoor unit so that you don’t accidentally turn it on in the spring when the cover is still on.

What Is the Best Kind of Cover?

Although it’s perfectly fine for your outdoor AC unit to spend the winter uncovered, you may still want to cover it for one reason or another. If so, our team at The Cooling Company recommends that you purchase a breathable central air conditioner cover made from stretchable fabric.

The cover must be breathable to ensure that both the cover and the outdoor unit can dry easily. Remember, they’re outside. So they’re going to be directly in the dew or rain.

The cover should also be stretchable to ensure a tight fit over your outdoor unit. A tight-fitting cover will help to prevent leaves from blowing between the cover and the unit and causing rust.

Maintaining The Outdoor Unit’s Appearance

Some people choose to use an AC cover over their outdoor AC unit to maintain the unit’s exterior appearance. This is probably the most valid of all the reasons to use a cover.

After all, if leaves or other debris adhere to your unit during the winter, they could leave prints on the unit that could be permanent.

Additionally, covering your unit during the winter months greatly reduces the amount of UV exposure that your unit receives.

The manufacturer of your outdoor unit wants the unit to look great for as long as possible. After all, one of the best advertisements for their company is to have a great-looking HVAC unit in your yard.

HVAC manufacturers go to great lengths to coat their outdoor units with weather-resistant finishes. It’s important they can stand up to extreme conditions. Plus, the unit is made from tough metal. So you can pressure wash the unit if it gets dirty because you don’t cover it.

Outdoor Unit Care Tips

Whether or not you choose to cover your outdoor unit, that’s up to you. However, there are other steps you can take to care for your outdoor HVAC unit. One critical component of this process is keeping the unit clean.

Check if the sides and top of the unit are exceptionally clogged with dust and debris. If this is the case, the unit won’t be able to expel heat efficiently. So, your system will have to work harder to cool your home.

Using a standard garden hose, you can easily clean your unit. Clean the fins on the side and under the bottom of your outdoor unit anytime it gets dirty.

Additionally, if your outdoor unit is located in a grassy area, don’t let it get overgrown. You’ll want to keep the grass at a reasonable height so the unit can breathe adequately.

You can also perform a visual inspection to ensure that the fins aren’t bent. Also, use this opportunity to ensure the fan blades aren’t chipped or bent. If you notice any problems, you’ll want to contact The Cooling Company to make sure these issues are corrected before they cause your compressor to overheat and fail.

Moisture Retention

One of the biggest risks of using a cover is moisture retention. Under normal circumstances, your outdoor HVAC unit is quite good at drying out after it gets wet. It is designed with an angled bottom.

There are also drain holes to ensure that water exits the unit as soon as it enters. Plus, even if it has a little standing water, it can still operate safely.

When you put a cover on the entire unit, you risk interrupting this process. Part of what allows the unit to dry out quickly is moisture evaporation through the top and sides.

However, if you block the top and sides with a cover, the evaporation will slow down or stop. This means that water sits in the unit longer than it should. That’s why we at The Cooling Company highly recommend that you use a breathable cover if you feel that a cover is necessary.

We’ve Got What It Takes

At The Cooling Company, we want to be your ally in your quest toward greater home comfort.

That’s why we offer the following:

  • repairs
  • maintenance
  • installation services for air conditioners and furnaces
  • ductwork replacement
  • thermostat installation
  • and more

Living in the desert, winter can be cold. The changes in the climate can cause your outdoor HVAC unit to get damaged by the elements. Without proper protection, your unit can become damaged by the sun’s rays, heavy rain, ice, snow, and other outside factors.

Depending on where you live, many different outdoor covers are available. Different sizes, colors, and types of material. The type of material it is made from is an important factor. If you have an HVAC unit that needs to be protected from the elements, it is important to understand what type of cover would work best for your specific needs and budget before making a purchase.

The Cooling Company Can Help You Choose the Best Cover for Your Needs

The Cooling Company offers a variety of different types of covers for both residential and commercial customers in Vegas and surrounding areas. Our team has over 50 years of combined experience in providing excellent customer service to residents throughout our area. Call The Cooling Company for all your commercial and residential needs.

We can help you with:

  • choosing the right cover
  • additional assistance with any other HVAC related questions you may have regarding things like system installation project plans
  • questions on existing system maintenance requirements during regular seasonal maintenance checkups

We take pride in our experienced technicians and our focus on superior customer service. These are just two of the many qualities that helps us to stand out for our Las Vegas customers. We are grateful for our clients consistently leaving us five-star reviews.

Is An Outdoor HVAC Unit Cover Really Worth It?

We’re going to make this really simple for you: Yes, it is worth it.

  1. It will keep your unit running at peak performance, so you don’t have to worry about paying extra on your energy bill to keep it cool.
  2. It will help protect your unit from rain, snow, sun, and other harsh weather conditions.
  3. It can prevent vandalism and theft of your unit. If you live in a high-crime area or have had issues with theft in the past. Getting an outdoor HVAC cover is a great way to secure your investment for years to come!
  4. If you ever want to move the unit or sell it, having a cover on it will make it much easier for potential buyers to see how well-maintained the unit is (and, therefore, how much they could expect from it).

Contact the professional HVAC technicians at The Cooling Company today for more information on protecting your HVAC equipment.