Cover AC Unit in Winter? – What Does the Mfr Say To Do?
"When you opened up and read the owner's manual about covering your AC unit in winter, what was the manufacturer's recommendation?”
Cover AC Unit in Winter - Simple Question - Not-so-Simple Answer
QUESTION: "Tim, I want your opinion. Is it a good idea to cover my AC unit in winter?" Joseph D., Pingree Grove, IL
This is a question that Joe submitted to the Ask Tim page on my website while his AC unit was working hard in the first few weeks of July. He was looking ahead, and that’s a very good idea. It’s a very valid question that I receive quite often. It’s also part of a deeply disturbing trend I’m witnessing.
Here’s how I answered Joe, “When you opened up and read the owners manual about covering your AC unit in winter, what was the manufacturer's recommendation?”
Does my answer make sense to you? After all, Joe wanted my opinion.
Joe and I had another brief exchange and my last message to him was, “My opinion doesn’t matter. I don’t support the warranty. There’s only one source for the correct answer - the manufacturer.”
Can the Cover Hurt the AC Unit?
Yes, a cover can cause condensation to form under the cover. The relative humidity can skyrocket to near 100% on sunny days when the sun heats up the covered AC unit.
What Do the AC Unit Manufacturers Say To Do?
The AC unit manufacturers tell you what to do in your owner's manual. Read it and see if they say to cover it and with what exact cover.
Will It Hurt the AC Unit if it Comes on While Covered?
Yes, your AC unit will not be able to get access to the thousands of cubic feet of air it needs to flow over the outside coil.
Why Should I Read the Owner's Manual?
The owner's manual will ensure your AC unit works as efficiently as possible and that you service and care for it correctly.
Have you read many owners manuals? If it's really important to do something to keep the warranty in force or to make sure the product performs well, you'll see text telling you what you should do.
Changing oil and air filters in cars and trucks is a good example. You see this in manuals.
If the AC unit should be covered in the winter, the manufacturer will say so in the manual.
All of your questions about what to do with a product, how to care for the product, how to install the product, etc. should be answered by the company that made the product. Start taking the time to read the full label on products. Invest the time to read an owner's manual. It will pay off in spades.
It’s foolhardy on your part to follow the advice of some invisible person online that will never come to your home to install a new product when their advice falls flat.