Should I Cover My AC’s Condenser Unit When It’s Cold Outside?

A thermostat in the snow

For those of us who call the Sunshine State home, we’re lucky enough to experience mild temperatures almost year-round. While cold weather isn’t too common, the temperature can drop below freezing a few times each year.

When the weather drops below freezing, vulnerable plants move inside and the ‘heat’ setting on your thermostat becomes your new best friend… but do you need to protect your AC’s condenser unit too?

Do I Really Need to Cover My AC Unit When It’s Cold?

Yes and no. Air conditioning units are built to withstand inclement weather, so when temperatures drop (especially in Florida), it isn’t necessary to cover the outdoor unit.

This would be a different scenario for states that experience real winters where the air conditioning units are subjected to heavy snow and ice. While as Floridians we don’t need to cover their AC units when it’s cold, there are some precautionary measures you should take during inclement weather to ensure your AC unit is protected.

Protect Your AC Unit from Scary Weather in a Few Easy Steps:

1. Clear any organic debris around the AC unit.

Before a cold front (or a big rainstorm), you can protect your AC unit by clearing any debris that may have accumulated around the unit. This includes any branches, leaves, weeds or other organic matter that may have grown around.

2. Clear the non-organic debris too.

Before a storm where winds may be strong, make sure there isn’t anything surrounding your AC unit that could potentially damage it. This includes anything from lawn chairs and outdoor furniture to children’s toys.

3. Turn off the power to the air conditioner.

During a cold snap, you likely won’t be using your AC as much. When you’re not using your air conditioner, shut off the power supply to the unit since there will be no reason to leave the power source on. This way you’ll save money and increase the life of the system.

4. Cover the outdoor unit.

You don’t necessarily need to cover your outdoor unit, but if a cold front or storm is bringing strong winds, your AC could use the added protection of a cover. A tarp can get the job done too, but make sure the system can breathe or moisture will build up and cause an issue.

Protecting your air conditioning system when it’s cold out can be an easy task. If you have any questions about protecting your AC, contact the professionals at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Largo. Our team of trained technicians can provide you with pertinent information to help protect and extend the life of your air conditioner. For more information on One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Largo, click here.