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Should You Cover Your Air Conditioner Unit?

Published April 26, 2022
Written by Eric Smith
Should You Cover Your Air Conditioner Unit?

To Cover or Not to Cover? 

I get a lot of questions this time of year from our clients on the subject of covering an air conditioner. 

By wrapping an air conditioner with an old grill cover or a tarp, you’re stopping the wind from blowing through the unit. You’re essentially adding an insulating blanket around the AC to protect it from the elements.

However, mice and other rodents are on the hunt for a warm place to hunker down for the winter and somehow or another, covered air conditioners seem to turn into Mouse Motel’s. Yet when mice take up residency in your AC, they eventually begin to dine on the plastic coating on all the wiring inside the unit causing the electrical wires to short out and cause serious damage.

There is no guaranteed way to keep mice out of any AC, but we find far fewer AC units with wire damage when the AC is left uncovered. 

Protecting Your AC Unit

If you wish to do something to help protect your AC from winter’s snow, cutting a piece of plywood or other material to place over the top is ok. This can be a good compromise to a “full wrap” of the unit. The wood roof will keep leaves, fall debris, and snow from getting inside but still allow air flow through the unit to keep it dry and cool in an attempt to keep rodents out.

Prepare for Spring

One more thing… If you do decide to wrap or place anything over the top of your AC this fall, make sure to remember to take it off before running the AC next spring! Turning on a wrapped or covered AC can cause major damage to the machine.

Have a question or need help? Austin Plumbing Heating & Air are experts in HVAC service and replacement serving all of Waukesha County and Washington County. Our number one priority is providing the highest level of service!

About The Author: Eric Smith
Eric Smith is a 3rd generation State of Wisconsin Master Plumber, Water Well Pump Installer, Plumbing Contractor, Water Well Contractor, HVAC Contractor and Water Treatment Expert and the owner of Austin Plumbing, Heating & Air.