The cooler weather has arrived which means it is time to switch from using your AC to turning on the heat. Over the winter months, we can't forget about protecting our outdoor AC unit. Your air conditioning unit is made for the summer months, but it's actually built to survive the tough winter weather. Some people even find that their units work fine taking no precautions before winter. However, the outdoor components of the system can be damaged by debris, moisture build-up, and repeated freeze-and-thaw cycles. You could switch off the power to avoid accidentally turning it on during the winter. Turning your unit on could create a problem if it starts cycling water through the system and the water freezes. Here are the pros and cons of covering your AC unit this winter by the Lake of the Ozarks best heating and cooling company.
Pros On Covering Your AC Unit (Does Not Apply To Heat Pumps)
There are pros to covering your AC for the winter. While the cold itself won't hurt your system, the debris that accumulates over the season can. If you decide to cover your AC unit during the winter months, it is important to clean it up and remove any leaves or other gunk that has built up before stowing it. There are two ways you can cover an AC unit. First, you can place a piece of plywood over the top to keep icicles, branches, leaves and other things from falling in the top. Secondly, an AC cover from manufacturers can also keep debris out as well as lower the risk of damage to the metal from repeated freezing and thawing. Some may find covering your unit only during heavy snowstorms is the optimal answer. However, if you have a heat pump, it is important NOT to cover it during the winter months, as it works all year long. Here are the pros of covering your ac unit this winter.
- Covering your unit protects your unit from falling debris. It helps keep your overall unit cleaner and able to run efficiently when the warmer weather begins.
- Prevents water from getting into your unit and freezing. Water getting into your coils can cause damage over time. Covering your unit can help keep water out.
- Keeps your air conditioner coils a little cleaner. Keeping outside elements away from your coils will help keep your unit running efficiently.
There are cons to covering your AC for the winter. Your air conditioning unit is made for the summer months, but it's actually built to survive the tough winter weather. Some people even find that their units work fine taking no precautions before winter. By covering your unit you expose it to potential issues. Here are a few cons to covering your air conditioning unit.
- Mold and mildew can grow inside your unit. Due to moisture getting trapped, the unit won't have the ability to breathe causing mold and mildew growth. The unit is made to be open to the air to help prevent this type of growth. By covering your unit, and not uncovering it when the weather turns warmer, you could put your system at risk. This type of growth will block proper air flow to your system causing it to not function at full capacity.
- Animals may see shelter under the cover. When you cover your unit for the entire winter, you may find rodents taking shelter. This could lead to other issues like chewed electrical wires.
- Moisture can still get into your unit even if you cover it. Moisture can still find its way into your unit naturally still causing the same effect as having it uncovered.
- Debris can accumulate under the cover. You want to keep all the debris away from the unit at all times to ensure it will run efficiently next summer.
Check On Your Unit
It is important to periodically check on your AC unit throughout the winter season. If your AC is covered, it is important to make sure the cover is intact. In addition, it is important to check underneath the cover and clean out any debris that may have gotten in. If you did not cover it, it is important to check on your system after any snow storms to remove snow from the top to prevent water from getting into your system. It is also important to clear away any debris in and around the system.
Royal Heating & Air Can Help Protect Your HVAC System
Royal Heating & Air can help protect your AC or furnace this season, call the best heating and cooling company at the Lake of the Ozarks. Ensuring that your AC is protected this winter will help make sure that your AC is ready to work hard next summer. You can count on Royal Heating & Air to make sure your AC unit is ready when you need it. Call 573-480-4313 to schedule an appointment today!