Best Window Air Conditioner (AC) Covers of 2020

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There are two main temperature adjustments you’ll probably make to your AC unit. In the spring, you’ll lower the air conditioner settings to make it cooler. In the fall, you’ll raise your central heating temp to make your home warmer. These are preparatory maintenance steps for summer heat and winter cold.

When your unit isn’t in use (e.g. the AC during winter or the heater during summer), you should invest in a cover.  Your AC can withstand harsh weather conditions including rain, sleet, and snow, but they’re not built keep out things like leaves, nuts, and seeds.

This is why covering your AC during fall is essential. It prevents damage from shedding trees, fallen twigs, dried out shrubs, and wind-swept plant parts.

Comparison Chart of the Best Window Air Conditioner (AC) Covers

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • For Window Units 10, 000 BTUs and Over
  • Made From Heavy-Duty Polyethylene for Better Protection
  • Best Outdoor Air Conditioner Cover as Selected By Our Team
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Made From Vinyl With a Fleece Liner
  • Fits AC Units between 5,000 and 8,000 BTUs
  • Our Pick for Second Best Offering For Outdoor Units
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Fits Around Most Standard Home Air Conditioners
  • Made From Reusable Plastic so it’s Kinder on the Environment
  • Selected By Our Team as Offering the Best Value for the Money
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Selected as Our best Indoor Option
  • Device Comes With a White Foam Sheet
  • Versatile Sizing Suitable for Most Standard AC Units
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews
  • Runner-Up in the Indoor Category
  • Fabric is Easy to Clean and Has a Drawstring
  • Fits Small and Medium Air Conditioners (Up to 10,000 BTUs)
View Latest Price →Read Customer Reviews

Are All Air Conditioner Covers The Same?

The simple answer is, no. AC covers come in different sizes and are made from different materials. They’re also made to suit different needs. Versions made for indoor AC units can’t be used outside and won’t have the same qualities. Outdoor models, for instance, should be waterproof, which isn’t necessarily a requirement indoors.

BNYD Outdoor Air Conditioner Cover

Outdoor AC covers are weather-resistant. They’re made from hard durable plastic or reinforced polyethylene. Indoor unit covers – on the other hand – can be made from different fabrics, such as cotton. Styles will be different depending on the manufacturer as well. Some manufactures will emphasize design over functionality, while others will go for a more reasonable balance.

Are Covers Essential for AC Units?

Yes, they are. They help protect your unit from heavy debris such as leaves, small branches, ice, sticks, nuts, and seeds. Most standard AC units offer some protection against the elements, but during winter and fall, windy conditions push these bits of dirt at higher speeds and with greater force. Meaning, they could still cause harm.

AC covers, especially during winter, help protect your inner AC components from excess moisture. If water gets into the unit, it could damage your coils by rusting or freezing them, which could render the unit unusable. These also protect against the growth of harmful mildew and mold inside your air conditioning unit.

These products lower your power bill by protecting your home from a draft and reducing your heating expenses. That said, AC covers are pointless if they’re not properly installed. Follow instructions carefully or watch a video tutorial. Alternatively, have your supplier send a technician to install the cover. This prevents you from voiding any warranties.

How to Choose a Cover For Your Air Conditioner

If you’ve never purchased an AC cover before, here are a few things to look out for.

Size

Measure the height, width, and depth of your AC unit. (Or check your instruction booklet.) Compare these measurements with your intended cover’s dimensions to ensure it fits. Alternatively, opt for a one-size-fits-all option, or one that can be adjusted via straps or drawstrings.

Twin Draft Guard Air Conditioner Cover can be adjusted via drawstrings.

Function

Indoor and outdoor AC units have different needs when it comes to covers. Outdoor units – for instance – will prioritize water resistance and ease of cleaning, while for indoor units, insulation is more important.

Material

Outdoor unit covers are generally made from harder, more durable materials that can bear the brunt of the elements. These are mainly derivatives of plastic or polyethylene. Indoor covers use of some type of cloth as the main base, ranging from nylon to cotton.

Quick Take: Best Indoor and Outdoor AC Covers

Review of the Best Indoor and Outdoor AC Covers

There are many options for AC unit covers in the market today, but not all of them are quality products and you can’t always tell by looking. It’s even harder if you’re buying online and can’t touch or feel the product to verify its build.  This is why we’ve curated a list of our top picks to help you out.

BNYD Air Conditioner Heavy Duty AC Outdoor Window Unit Cover Small 27' x 18' x 16' (Medium)

PROS

  • Conserves Energy
  • Mildew and Water-Resistant
  • Protects Against Drafts, Dust, and Moisture
  • Comes With Elastic Straps for a More Secure Fit
  • Durable By Design Thanks to the Reinforced Polyethylene

CONS

  • Complaints About it Being a Bit Lighter Than Most Customers Thought

Our Review

One of the most important qualities of a good AC cover is how it fits. BNYD has solved this problem by including an elastic strap which allows you to securely slip it onto your unit. The strap keeps the product from being ripped off by strong winds and its elastic band allows it to fit over different AC sizes, ranging from 10,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) to 15,000 BTUs (medium to large air conditioners).

This measures 18×27×16 inches. The band also makes it easy to remove it when needed. The BNYD Outdoor Air Conditioner Cover comes in colors that easily blend into the surroundings. It doesn’t distort the color scheme of your home, whether outside or indoors. BNYD’s cover is made from durable, reinforced polyethylene, a lightweight material that’s easy to clean.

This product protects your AC from seeds, nuts, bugs, leaves, hair, fur, and cold air. It also prevents heat loss during the winter. This saves you money on heating bills, by reducing energy requirements for the unit. The cover is waterproof and crack-resistant, offering additional protection from rain, sleet, and snow.  To store the cover, just fold it over. It occupies minimal space in this way.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a window AC cover that does the job with minimal fuss, this is it. The elastic band is a big selling point, as it allows you to give it a snug, custom fit.

A/C Safe Exterior Cover for Small Window Air Conditioners, Neutral color

PROS

  • Washable
  • Easy to Install and Fit
  • Resistant to Mold and Mildew
  • Withstands Subzero Temperatures
  • 10-Year Limited Warranty on the Product

CONS

  • Does Not Come With a Bottom Cover
  • Straps Don’t Hold Against Strong Winds and Have to Be Tightened Every Day

Our Review

Made in the United States, this is an AC cover that suits the 12-14”×18-21”×14” range, which is typically between 5,000 and 8,000 BTUs. Its stand-out feature is build quality, made from automotive-grade vinyl exteriors with a pure fleece lining on the inside. The fleece provides added padding during the cold season and eliminates cold drafts, lowering your heating costs.

The fabric is well-stitched, with quality workmanship all around. Seams are fully welted, giving a custom-made appearance without compromising on neatness. This is also backed by a ten-year limited warranty.

The straps could use a little more work; strong winds do tend to blow them open, and people in windy places (such as Colorado and Chicago for instance) will need to tighten them at least once a day.

It’s washable, so getting rid of any dirt, dust, and animal droppings is easy. Being well-stitched, it folds easily to allow for tight-quarters storage when not in use. Apart from being water-resistant, this cover also protects against sunlight, mold, mildew, and extreme temperature. It’s one of the few products on the market where the manufacturer guarantees resistance to sub-zero weather, offering ‘cover’ from ice and frost.

That said, be careful when putting away your AC. Why? For people that remove their AC unit and lock it away until summer, the cover only protects the area that sticks out when the AC is installed. It only fits the extruding bits of your AC, because it doesn’t have a bottom layer of fabric, so dirt and moisture can slip in from below.

Bottom Line

There are many good talking points about the A/C Safe AC-511 Air Conditioner Exterior Cover. The combination of the waterproof vinyl and fleece padding seem to work well. However, you shouldn’t use this product while the AC is on.

Duck Brand Standard Window Air Conditioner Cover, 27-Inch x 18-Inch x 25-Inch, 283581

PROS

  • Economical Yet Effective
  • Easy to Cut, Size, and Re-Use
  • Durable and Keeps Out Ice, Leaves, and Dirt
  • Comes With Fasteners and Straps to Secure it

CONS

  • Some People Have a Hard Time Cutting the Fabric Evenly

Our Review

The Duck Brand is well known for its affordable, high-quality products and this AC cover is no exception. It’s made from heavy-duty reusable plastic, ensuring continued service for a long time. It protects your AC from dirt, ice, leaves, and various other debris, like hair and fur. The material is easy to clean and doesn’t take up any space in storage.

The Duck Brand Standard Window Air Conditioner Cover comes with straps and fasteners attached. The straps securely wrap around the AC cover, pulling from different directions. And its installation process is a fun DIY endeavor for a lazy weekend. Simply remove the worn out plastic sides from the unit using common household tools. In most cases, you’ll only need screwdrivers to take the AC plastic covers apart.

You then cut the hard side panels, which you’ll attach to your AC. Use sheet metal scissors for best results. The cover’s side panels are made to fit your AC’s foam panels, and should, therefore, be cut exactly to the height of the unit.

Don’t make any alterations to the width of the panels during the sizing process. The product’s peel-back adhesive sticks strongly to the foam. This is designed to be compatible with other Duck Brand weatherization merchandise, such as AC replacement filters and insulating seals.

Bottom Line

Some people may not appreciate the do-it-yourself aspect of this cover, but the functionality for its price point make it the best value for money.

Best Indoor Cover:
Endcraft Indoor AC Cover

Indoor Air Conditioner Cover (Beige) (Large - 18 -20'H x 26 -28'W x 2'D)

PROS

  • Comes With Strong Elastic for Easy Fitting
  • Customizable for Standard-Sized AC Units
  • Easy to Clean, Pleasant-Looking Beige Cover
  • Strong and Durable Foam and Cover Material
  • Protects Against Dust, Leaves, Seeds, and Nuts

CONS

  • The Foam is Sometimes a Little Bigger Than the Cover and Sticks Out

Our Review

When you open this box, you find a sheet of foam, a beige cover, and white tape. The installation process is pretty easy and requires no specialized equipment.

Take the foam sheet and place it over your AC unit. Then, hold it down and secure it using the white tape. This will insulate your unit from cold during winter and prevent a cold draft. You then place the cover over the unit and your work is done.

It is held in place by a strong elastic band that keeps dust, seeds, nuts, and leaves, as well as hair, fur, and moisture from attacking the AC. This is washable and both the foam and the cover are durable and reusable. The entire ensemble is quite pleasant to look at once installed.  

That said, there have been a couple of concerns about the installation process. The white tape sometimes leaves a residue when it’s time to remove it. This residue is hard to get rid of, so you may want to look for substitute tape. The second concern is the foam sheet and the cover don’t come in matching dimensions.

Bottom Line

This cover has minimal moving parts and its combination of simplicity and functionality make it the best indoor option.

Twin Draft Guard Air Conditioner Cover

PROS

  • Keeps Out Unwanted Debris
  • Easy to Clean Durable Material
  • Adjusts to Fit Units up to 20 Inches High and 28 Inches Wide
  • Fits AC Units Below 10,000 BTUs Thanks to the Adjustable Drawstring

CONS

  • The Fabric Has Been Known to Fray in Houses That Own Pets, Especially Cats

Our Review

This indoor AC cover is made from a soft, yet durable, polyester-cotton blend. It’s easy to clean, reusable, and washing machine safe. It doesn't need any tools to install – simply yank the fabric over the AC unit and pull on the drawstring.

Drawstrings do sometimes result in a poor fit, especially over smaller units, since some of the fabric stays unused. The unit comes with clasps, but they’re still not helpful for smaller AC units.

The cover comes in beige, which blends nicely with its surroundings. It’s a color choice doesn’t show dirt as plainly as brighter shades (such as white). This, however, limits people who like a splash of color in their homes. For them, a flamboyant AC cover would work better.

There have been some complaints about the product staying on during strong gales. Sometimes, even with the drawstring pulled tight, the cover slips off.

During these strong winds, chilly air passes through the fabric and introduces unwelcome drafts into your home. Some customers have tried adding a strip of rubber around the inner edge of the cover, to help with the fitting problem. A bit more elasticity in the drawstring would also be good, especially when fitting onto smaller units

Bottom Line

This is a product designed purely for simplicity. It works fine for the most part, although there are some kinks that need ironing out. For example, it’s pushed as an anti-draft cover, but it can’t effectively withstand strong winds.

Conclusion

It’s evident that AC covers are important and they help prolong the life of your AC unit. They keep out leaves, nuts, and seeds, and add a layer of protection against moisture and cold. Your choice of cover will depend on the type of unit you have, your insulation needs, and your budget. Make sure that the product you select is reusable and resistant to moisture, especially if it’s being used as an outside cover. With all those conditions in mind, we recommend BNYD’s cover as your safest bet.