When you decided to invest in an air conditioning unit, you probably did a lot of research. To know what kind of unit to choose, but also what measures of protection to take. Bringing a consistent gap in your budget, an AC improves your comfort during the hot season. Yet, what should you do to keep it safe during winter?
The potential answers to this question are somehow controversial. If you do a simple search online, you’ll see how opinions divide. Uninstalling your air conditioner for the winter is for sure a less practical option. Therefore, air conditioner covers sound like a pretty appealing alternative.
From benefits, main characteristics to disadvantages or risks, we analyze them all today. We put the air conditioner covers under the microscope and tell you all you need to know. And if you decide to get one for your AC unit, we’ve also prepared a review of the most recommended models. We’re sure you’ve chased your cooling unit long enough, so we want to save you from the trouble of an endless search.
Get ready to find out all the secrets existing under the cover. Offer you AC the best protection, for a longer life and constant top performance. Let’s get started!
Why Do You Need An Air Conditioner Cover?
Truth be told, there is always a probability you do not need one. Depending on how the climate is in your area, your air conditioning unit can be safe outside, all year long. Things get a bit more complicated and extra-care becomes essential if winter’s freezing.
So, one reason why you may need an air conditioner cover is to protect your unit from excessive moisture. For those of you living in areas where winter equals heavy snowfall or rain, prevention is key. Having snow or water infiltrating among your AC’s circuits is far from desirable. An adequate cover allows proper airflow and keeps excessive humidity under control. This way, your unit’s integrity and performance are for more years.
Another threat that lurks around the house and can cause damage to your AC are small animals. From mice to other tiny creatures, there are plenty of potential unwanted inhabitants. Nesting inside the exterior component of your air conditioner is already bad enough. Now imagine how things get worse, as these animals can start chewing on wires. You’d have to replace components all the time and cover unwanted costs. A suitable cover can block the access ways for rodents and other animals, to prevent them from making a nest.
One more aspect that can weigh in on your decision of covering your AC unit. Spending a consistent amount of money on a cooling system for your home means you want to avoid extra costs. To prolong its well-functioning and prevent unnecessary complications, a cover can be useful. Of course, you need to make sure the cover does more good than damage. And for that, keep reading our tips and recommendations below.
What Features To Look For In An Air Conditioner Cover?
With such a controversial topic, getting the best air conditioner cover can be tricky. If you decide to get this type of protection for your cooling unit, you need to know what to look for.
The quality of the material is the top of the list. Your air conditioner cover should be capable of facing all the weather extremities. From rain, strong wind or a lot of dust, down to strong UV radiation, you name it. Your AC is, by design, made to survive exterior factors like rain or sun heat. But if the climate in your area takes things up a notch, a cover can diminish the weather’s rage. On the other hand, the material should also be porous enough to allow a proper airflow through the AC unit. You don’t want to avoid the rain from coming in, nor the mold to grow inside.
Another aspect you should look for is the reliability of the cover. Check what kind of locking system it features and how secure it is. Consider any downsides that might derive from this. As an example, if your air conditioner cover uses metallic components, these can be prone to rust. Or in case of very strong winds, any movement of the metallic rings or cords can scratch or damage the AC exterior. As we mentioned, you want this cover to help you protect, no cause more trouble for your cooling device.
Aesthetics are another important detail to keep in mind. Decide if you want the air conditioner cover to be a mere complementary accessory or not. Most homeowners prefer this to easily blend in with the outside decorations. So, you should avoid compromising for a cheaper AC cover unless you’re willing to take that risk. Having an element that sticks out like a sore thumb can really ruin the mojo in your patio.
Size matters, in this case, as what is too much can lead to unwanted complications. Make sure to get a cover that is slightly smaller than the cabinet of your AC. This way, you know the interior of the unit still gets enough airflow. So mildew does not grow incessantly and the air pipes don’t get contaminated.
Verify the difficulty associated with the installation process. As easy at it may seem at first sight, putting on an air conditioner cover can easily escalate into a chore. Opt for a simple, easy to install version, if you don’t want to spend hours figuring out how to assemble it.
Check for covers that include a long-term warranty. It is the manufacturer’s promise of quality and saves you from the hassle of extra costs in extreme cases. Plus, you don’t want to be buying a new cover every year. A worthy investment should keep your AC cabinet protected for a few years.
Our 5 Most Recommended Air Conditioner Covers
So far, you’ve got a grip on how an air conditioner cover can prove beneficial for the integrity of your AC unit. Then, how about we take a closer look at some of the options available on the market? We’ve prepared a review of five most recommended covers. Check them out and see which one’s a match for your home.
One size fits and protects them all. The Sturdy Covers AC Defender comes in three sizes, ideal to keep your cooling unit safe in any season. Thanks to the PVC-coated mesh, this air conditioner cover keeps debris out but lets air in. Airflow-friendly, this cover ensures the electrical components of your AC stay dry. It is weather resistant and you can easily install it, as it comes with only 4 bungee hooks. Attach them to the sides of your unit and you know they will secure the cover for any conditions. Your air conditioner can now work free of debris or bugs for many seasons to come, as this mesh cover stops them all. Enjoy the long term warranty provided by the manufacturer, a guarantee for quality.
- universal fit (suitable for most standard-sized units)
- airflow friendly
- durable and weather-resistant PVC-coated mesh
- 3 years of warranty
- easy to install
- ideal to keep bugs and debris away.
- partial cover (only for the top)
- no UV protection
- metallic hooks (can cause damage if they rust).
If humidity is moderate in your area, but wind and snowfall are high, you need a top-notch ally to have your AC covered. Made of a lightweight, durable material, the Covermates Air Conditioner Cover is ideal. Easy to install, thanks to its simple design, it protects your cooling unit from top to bottom. The heavy-duty buckle strap, along with the elastic hem ensure the cover stays in place, even on windy days. If mold is your main concern, you should know this AC cover also has a mesh vent. So your unit gets enough airflow while debris, excessive moisture and UV rays are always kept at bay.
- durable 300D stock-dyed polyester
- available in various colors
- secure fit (heavy-duty buckle strap)
- airflow mesh
- 3 years of warranty
- water and UV resistant
- easy to install.
- common complaints regarding the size match
- some users accused the straps deteriorate fast.
For a unified look among your patio elements, check out this Classic Accessories item. The Ravenna AC Cover is part of a collection designed to protect your patio furniture. This water-resistant cover is both stylish and durable. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty. For easy installation and removal, it also features reinforced padded handles. And for improved ventilation, this air conditioner cover includes several self-supporting air vents. UV rays, excessive water, dirt and mold stand no chance to reach your AC unit with the Ravenna protection.
- lifetime limited warranty
- durable woven polyester fabric with added UV-stabilized coating
- reinforced padded handles for easy removal
- self-supporting air vents
- stylish design.
- some customers accused an ineffective securing system.
Versatile and efficient, the AmazonBasics Outdoor Air Conditioner Patio Cover offers long-term protection. Made of 100% woven polyester fabric, it is easy to install and adjust around your AC cabinet. You can also use it to cover other patio elements, depending on their size. The click-close straps help secure the cover for days when the light breeze is more of a strong wind gust.
You may need to make some slight adjustments to help the mesh vent flap stay open, for better airflow.
- durable woven polyester fabric
- easy to install
- interlocking seams for extra-strength
- adjustable click-close straps
- water and UV resistant.
- mesh vent flap does not stay open
- some customers complained about wrong size matching
- only one year of warranty.
One of the most popular Classic Accessories is the patio furniture, the Veranda AC Cover is perfect. Part of a large collection, this Classic Accessories product is stylish and practical. It includes padded handles that make installation and removal a breeze. And to keep condensation under control, the cover also has several air vents. Use the elastic hem cord to adjust how tight you want it around your air conditioner cabinet. The click-close straps ensure not even the windiest days are a threat.
- fashionable design
- made of heavyweight Gardelle woven polyester fabric
- water repellent
- three years warranty.
- secure straps
- airflow vents
- padded handles.
- not suitable for harsh winters (according to some customers).
Air Conditioner Cover – Benefits vs Drawbacks
Still, have some doubts about covering your air conditioner unit? Perhaps a quick overview of the main benefits and drawbacks will help you clear them.
BENEFITS OF USING AN AIR CONDITIONER COVER
- Extended life expectancy for your air conditioner
A cover ensures a better, prolonged performance for your AC unit. And it also keeps the cabinet looking as good as new, even after many seasons of using.
- Increased efficiency for your air conditioner
Keeping dirt, moisture or bugs out, an air conditioner cover protects the coil element. With a cleaner inside, your cooling unit can give its best results at any moment, even at the start of the season.
- Decreased costs for upkeeping
Less debris or moisture equals less malfunctions in your air conditioner. By using a proper cover, you can prevent additional costs for unwanted repairs. Keeping your unit protected helps you save money, by avoiding glitches.
DRAWBACKS OF USING AN AIR CONDITIONER COVER
- The inappropriate covering can trap moisture.
If you completely cover the unit and airflow is poor, rust and corrosion can attack from the inside. Excessive moisture can affect the integrity of the electrical wiring or circuit boards. Mold and mildew also thrive in conditions of high humidity. If mold infiltrates in your air conditioner, it can block the evaporator coils. Not to mention it will make its way inside your home and contaminate the air you breathe.
- A completely sealed unit welcomes rodents.
Having your AC unit covered can seem as an invitation for rodents or other small animals to nest inside. This is not as cute as it may sound, since these animals can chew the wires and other components of your unit. Not to mention how damaging their debris can be for the internal elements.
- An air conditioner cover is an additional cost.
If you don’t have the budget to get a high-quality cover from the first time, you can end up in a vicious circle. You may have to get a new cover year after year, to replace the faulty one. And this extra cost is something you may not actually want or be able to afford.
Getting an air conditioner cover is a controversial move. It can prove highly beneficial for your unit, if it has to face extreme weather conditions. However, many manufacturers do not necessarily recommend it. If you use the air conditioner all year round, then it is, for sure, built to withstand all weather challenges.
For those who want to help conserve the integrity of their units during the offseason, a cover can be the answer. We advise you to always check the manufacturer’s recommendations. And we hope today’s article managed to clear some of your doubts away. If your air conditioner needs coverage, one of our five most recommended models should be a good fit. Let us know in the comments if you support the idea of using an air conditioner cover or not. Until our next article, stay cool and enjoy the season!