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Air conditioners, be it a window unit or centrally-installed unit, are subject to wear and tear when exposed to extreme weather conditions and temperatures. Window units are also prone to permit cold air to enter the house, leading to higher utility bills.
In winter, it is difficult to remove and store your window unit air conditioner in the attic. You might also worry about protecting your outdoor unit from the elements. To avoid such maintenance issues and ensure that your air conditioner stays intact for the summer, we have gathered information, reviews, pros and cons about using an air conditioner cover.
This article would be most useful to those who see value in using a cover for the air conditioner during times when it is not in use. Though your air conditioning unit is built to bear and deal with the winter conditions, we are attempting to share the most appropriate circumstances when you need to choose an air conditioning cover.
Comparison Chart of the Best Air Conditioner Covers – Outside Units
Sturdy Covers AC Defender
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Classic Accessories Ravenna Square
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When Should You Use an Air Conditioner Cover For Your Outdoor Unit?
As we mentioned earlier, your outdoor air conditioner unit is already designed to withstand the extreme conditions of winter, but you may want to consider using a cover during the maintenance season. This saves your air conditioner from extreme weather.
When we say extreme weather, we are not just talking about snowy winters, but something more. If you are residing in those cold northern states of the US or Canada, then you may consider using a cover. If your region is prone to hail storm, blizzards, or any other unpredictable winter calamity, then you would prefer using an air conditioner cover.
But there’s also risks when you choose to cover your outdoor unit:
- Rodent and pest infestation
- Growth of Mold and Mildew
- Seepage of moisture causing the air conditioner to rust
- Dirt settled over time could be sucked in while in use.
We don’t recommend using a cover all winter long - that brings risk, and your unit doesn’t need the protection. Save it and install it when those rough patches are coming.
What to Look For When Buying
Air conditioner covers help in preserving your air conditioner for the next hot season,so you want to purchase a cover that ensures durability and safety. Here are some factors that we have listed down for you, that would help in making a smart purchase decision.
Since it is recommended to use a cover to save your air conditioner from extreme cold winter disasters, ensure that it is waterproof. It should not allow water to settle and seep into the A/C. This helps in keeping away moisture, mold and mildew.
Easy to Install
Look for installation instructions while purchasing a cover. Review them before you make a purchase decision.
What Size of AC Cover Do I Need?
Before you pick a cover for your air conditioner, you really need to look at the size of your unit. The size of the cover, very obviously, depends upon the size of the air conditioner. It is better to measure the dimensions of your air conditioner yourself, rather than to rely on the mentioned dimensions since they aren’t always the most accurate.
Another thing that you need to keep in mind is that you should always pick a cover that is the right size for the dimensions of your AC. If there is none that corresponds with the given dimensions, choose a bigger unit that’s closest to the size of your AC.
Aerated and Porous
While you need to look for an intact cover, it should also be well-aerated and have enough porous material to allow air to flow in and out. This helps in keeping away any stench that can occur.
The warranty of the cover speaks for this. Yes, your cover needs to come with a warranty period stating that it is durable for a minimal period. A good warranty would last for a minimum of 2 years.
This is most important for window units. Based on the region you live in, you would sometimes need insulated cover to keep away the cold. Check if covers come with this feature.
Quick Take: Best Air Conditioner Covers
These are our recommendations for the best air conditioner covers:
Review of the Best Air Conditioner Covers
Checking around for the best AC covers is time-consuming and confusing. We made that job easy for you, by listing some of the most bought and appreciated covers in the market.
Sturdy Covers AC Defender
This product is made from strong PVC-coated material designed to keep moisture from getting into the important electrical bits in your AC. It protects against both snow and rain. The design incorporates a clever meshwork in the material that allows for some breathability. This keeps moisture from accumulating on the inside of the cover in the form of condensation, which could cause rust on the coils and encourage the growth of mold or mildew. You can use this cover all year round.
This also keeps out other debris that could harm your AC unit. This includes bugs, sticks, yard trimmings, grass clippings, leaves, and dirt. The design incorporates the use of four bungee hooks that fasten to the sides of the unit and hold it in place. These hooks are attached to the cover with a strong fastener cord, which can withstand all but the harshest of conditions. It comes in three sizes and is a universal fit, meaning it fits on to most standard air conditioners, up to 28 inches by 28 inches.
The Sturdy Covers AC Defender does all this while remaining lightweight, measuring in at only 1.19 pounds. The manufacturers are a family-owned business, willing to back their belief in the product with a three-year warranty.
This product is meant for outdoor AC units. There have been complaints that the attached cords are sometimes shorter than customers thought they would be, but they work perfectly all the same.
If you’re looking for an AC cover that works across all seasons, this is the one to get. The aspect of breathability – while still remaining repellent to moisture and debris – is a big talking point.
This cover is built to be both lightweight and strong. As such, the main material is commercial-grade, 12-gauge vinyl, with the second layer of protection of woven polyester.
They incorporated a mesh in the design, to allow for better air flow through the unit once the cover is in place. Flowing air prevents the growth of mold and mildew inside your unit. The mesh is covered throughout by polyester and is too fine to let in bugs and small rodents.
The vinyl is resistant to both water and puncturing, something that could happen when putting it on or taking it off. It’s also resistant to animal scratches, which are bound to happen with outdoor covers. Curious birds, lizards, and small mammals such as raccoons are especially prone to “visit”. The cover is resistant to the effects of sunlight, including fading and brittleness after continued use.
This cover is easy to use; you simply tug it over the unit like you’re putting on a sweater. The elastic hem will hold it in place. There are straps to help with the fitting, by adjusting the cover to sit snugly on the unit. It has double-stitched seams to prevent dust and dirt from clinging which also makes it a breeze to clean.
The cover comes in different sizes, in case you have a smaller or larger air conditioner. And although this product is designed to be an AC cover, some people use it to cover boxes, toolkits, and grills of a certain size.
The combination of breathability and proven resistance is a great selling point for this product. There have been complaints that the cover is a bit too light for places with harsh winters, but it’s otherwise a great AC shielding option.
Best for the Money:
Classic Accessories Ravenna Square
Measuring 2.7 pounds, this is a lightweight cover that can be used on both furniture and air conditioners. It comes in two shapes for this purpose, with a round 34’’ diameter by 30’’ high cover for furniture, and a square 34"x34"x30" cover for AC units. It’s made from a patented polyester weave called Gardelle One, which has been treated with a coating to give it UV resistance and also has a water-resistant laminated backing.
It’s easy to use with reinforced padded handles. The handles make it easier to remove the cover when not in use. The double-stitched seams offer additional support and give it a certain stylish look. It comes with structured mesh vents, designed to stay open and reduce the chances of wind lifting it off. They also prevent the growth of either mold or mildew. The mesh vents are gusseted and self-supporting for this purpose.
There are adjustable webbing belts that give the product a certain tailored look. A patented attachment system with an adjustable belted hem keeps the product secure against heavy wind. This attachment system comes with a custom color buckle as well. The product is secured at the bottom of the unit by an advanced hem cord elastic which is designed to stay on even in heavy wind.
It comes in understated colors such as espresso, mushroom, and dark taupe. These are easy to maintain, as dirt is not prominently visible on them. There have been complaints that the product isn’t ideal for harsh winters. The weight of the snow and extreme wind are likely to cause a tear in the cover’s fabric.
This is an AC cover with so many great features it’s tough to pick just one. The functionality alone is stellar. From the patented polyester weave to the handles, they’ve thought of everything. There’s a concern about its stability in harsh winter, so people living in places like Chicago, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis might want to be attentive.
Made from commercial grade 400D woven polyester, this is a heavy AC cover built to take a beating from the elements. The material is resistant to tearing and to the deteriorative properties of UV light. It won’t fade or become brittle with continued use. It’s also resistant to water and keeps the important coils in your AC unit from both freezing and rust. It works on all standard AC units up to including 34” long x 34” wide x 30” high including, Frigidaire, Lennox, Trane, Bryant, Coleman, Carrier, and American Standard, among others
It weighs four pounds, which is significantly more than most of the options in the market. The army green color makes it harder for dirt to be seen from afar, which is a desirable quality in an outdoor product, especially since it’s unlikely to be washed more than once a season. The cleaning process is also easy, requiring a quick hose down with soap.
This product is designed to be adjustable, with Velcro sides that open. The styling accommodates air conditioners that have pipes or hoses coming out from the top or bottom. Using it is as easy as putting it on the air conditioning unit and tightening the drawstring cord. The cord pulls any excess material and snugly secures the cover, shielding your AC through heavy storms. It has a cord lock to keep it in place.
This is one of the few products customers have attested works even in heavy winter. This is mainly thanks to the heavy-duty material, the build quality, and the long-lasting double stitching.
Part of the Amazon home staple, this is designed to fit a wide range of air conditioners. It’s made from 100% polyester, which protects from dirt and dilutes the effects of the sun as well. It’s waterproof to keep out rainwater and snow, is built with durability in mind, and comes with interlocking seams that are harder to weaken and rip over time.
It’s easy to use and slips on the AC unit easily. There are loop handles to help in the removal, and in making any adjustments to the fit as well. It has click-close straps that fit securely around the unit and make it harder for strong winds to rip it off. It’s easy to clean, requiring a simple wipe down with a damp cloth to take care of most of the dirt.
There have been two main complaints about the product, however, with some customers claiming it doesn’t fit smaller air conditioners as well as it should. It’s also been known to pool rainwater at the center of the cover, meaning you have put something underneath to encourage runoff. A soccer ball works just fine. Place the ball on top of the air conditioning unit, but under the cover for best results. The white color has also been termed garish by some people.
Being part of Amazon’s in-house product line, there’s a certain quality guarantee. The straps work great for some time, but the plastic heads get weaker and break over time.
Pros and Cons of Getting an AC Cover
Every product in the market comes with a set of pros and cons, and so do AC covers. Whether the pros of the item make it worth buying regardless of the cons is a decision that you make for yourself. In order to help you decide, here are some pros and cons of investing in an AC cover
Let’s first take a look at the pros
Over time, a great amount of dust can find a place in your air conditioner. This gathered dust proves to be damaging for your unit. With a cover for your air conditioner, you will ensure that your unit is protected from all such particles that may impair the functionality of your air conditioner.
Better Energy Consumption
As mentioned above, without any cover, a lot of dust may layer up in your air conditioner. This dust can prevent your air conditioner from performing the best. It requires a lot more energy to provide the same functionality, which may add to your electricity bill. So an AC cover may also contribute to better energy consumption.
On the other hand, there are some limitations to deal with, which include:
Air conditioners themselves are expensive products. Getting a cover for them is an extra expense. While some users may find the unit worth the expense, others feel that the quality of build of air conditioners don’t really require the extra expense of an AC cover.
The needs for external air conditioning units vary. Also, only use covers for external units when necessary. Be sure to invest in a cover that serves a purpose beyond looking good, too. Covers can help prolong the life of your unit and keep your utility bills down when used appropriately.
People Also Ask
There are chances that you still have some questions in your mind about these units. Before you invest in one of them, it is important that all these questions be answered. To help you out, here are some of the most frequently asked questions by other users.
How Do I Cover My Air Conditioner For the Winter?
Winters are the harshest of the seasons. Everything needs protection from the cold and the snow. And your AC is not different. If you are wondering about how to cover your AC, you simply need to invest in an AC cover. There are a great number of them out there, just make sure you choose one that is breathable for your unit.
How Much Does an Air Conditioner Cover Cost?
There are a lot of different types of air conditioner covers available in the market. Their price varies from product to product and manufacturer to manufacturer. If you want a general estimate, then an average unit would cost about $4,500, but the process can range from $3,500 to $6,000.
Should My AC Unit be in the Shade?
There are certain things that need to be taken care of while placing your air conditioner. One of the important factors is sunlight. Keeping the air conditioning unit in the shade is important, but it must be kept in mind that too much shade isn’t too good either. It could restrict airflow and cause the unit to heat up and damage.
Should I Cover My AC Unit in the Summer?
During the summer season, there isn’t snow and water that the unit needs to be protected from, but there are other factors that could damage the AC. These include dust, pollen, and other smaller particles. Even excessive sunlight could prove to be harmful to your unit.