Should I Cover My A/C in Cold Weather?

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Subject: Air Conditioner Covers

I used to faithfully cover our air conditioner each winter until two years ago. When the unit wouldn't work, we called the repair man. He discovered that mice had chewed through the coil. Repairing it would have cost $1500. We opted to purchase a completely new unit for $2500 (bigger and more efficient).
Needless to say, we don't cover our unit anymore!


Subject: Covering the outer part of a.c.

From second floor a.c. the water drops in my a.c. in ground floor .it makes lots of noise.
Can I cover my outer part of a.c. N at same time run the a.c. will it spoil my a.c.
Or is there any option for neighbour a.c. to stop the noise ?


Subject: ac cover

I got a ac cover can I use it to cover my outdoor ac unit and still run the hearter


Subject: A/C Covers

This is bogus. I have used an A/C Cover for years. Granted I never bought one of those nice ones because they are not all made for each separate model for the wiring that comes off the backside of ours. I just use a tarp and wrap it several times with rope to keep it nice and tight around the unit. Granted I don't live in a very cold climate area where we get snow each year. But we do sometimes. And just from using my tarp, rather than those cheap ones that use elastic on their covers, the elastic doesn't hold up to the sun and weather very well outdoors for extended period of use. My tarp does a good job to keep the leaves out of it and protect it during the cold night for living in the desert it does get cold at nights. I just wish I had done it sooner to prolong the life of ours over the years, it wasn't until recently the last 10 years that Ive been covering it.

June Muraco

Subject: Tarps for AC;s

Just what are those tarps made of? Can't be cloth, I know that but I want to get one, "the right one", and not the cheap plastic you mentioned. Drop me a line. Thanks June Muraco


Subject: Thank you!

I was ordering some parts for my lawn mower today when I came across an add for air conditioner covers. In being a new home owner and never living in a house with central air, it's been on my mind lately to study up on how to maintain my air-conditioner. Your article was the first to come up and YES, I LIVE IN WISCONSIN!
So it spoke directly to me, a Wisconsin-ite! :)

This was very helpful in determining whether I should make the expense.
I do not have any issue with ice dams forming due to the great job I did in insulating my attic 2 years ago. Spray Foam works wonders in sealing "hot spots"!
In considering that, I won't be buying one. Thanks for saving me $40.00!
I consider your article to be wise counsel. Thank you for this!

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what should you pay.  You pay what you can afford.  1100sqft unit requires a min. of a two ton unit.  prices range from 2100-2900 depending upon the seers of the system.  13 seer is the min. the law requires  and for your situation with 1100 sqft.  do not worry about the seers as long as it is to code.  the bigger the house the more seers for economy.  1100 sqft is at the border line for a two ton system.  It is more important to have your new system balance, there is where you get the economy on your electric bill and gas.  Bryant, lenox, ruud and carrier are the brands you should stay with.All have the same basic factory warrantee and will last you longer than you expect as long as you maintain it with regular check ups twice a year once in the spring and then in the fall.

raymond gonzalez
koolray heating and air
? offers a nice sizing chart for HVAC capacitors and furnace capacitors. Most of the capacitors I've looked at are $5 to $15 dollars, so a little less than Home Depot and Lowes.


Replacement is really easy, but be sure to watch a youtube video on how to replace it like this one:


Stay safe and hire a professional if you feel unsure about doing it yourself!

The only thing of importance, is the hvac professional you choose to use. Alot of manufacturer's pieces are built relatively the same, and will last about the same amount of time. The thing that matters most is what you can not compare between companies, and that is the installation. Purchasing a system is not like purchasing a car, where no matter where you buy it, they are all the same. Each installation is different, and usually what you are paying for is the level of expertise, and quality of the installation, the company who will actual give you the warranty, and the comfort that you will receive. Manufacturers warranties disappear every day. They always have a loophole where they can get out of paying, but your local dealer wants to keep you happy for future work, and to protect his reputation in the communiy. Look up 4 year old Nordyne and Goodman warranty problems. Choose the HVAC professional first. It will cost you the least in the long run. I have had to totally redo plenty of installations that were just performed because of an uncomfortable customer, and a system that keeps breaking down. The equipment is only as good as it's installation, and over 70% are not installed correctly.
I think maybe you are confusing SEER, which is an efficiency-related rating (higher SEER means more effective use of the electric power used to compress the gas), and TONS rating, which is a measure of the total cooling power of the system. (Tons used to mean how many tons per hour of ice was used in evaporative cooling building systems - a Refrigeration or Cooling Ton equals 12,000 Btu/Hour of energy exchange. A BTU, which is another antique measure but still used, is the energy needed to change the temperature of a pound of water one degree fahrenheit. Unfortunately, because of varying humidity and evaporation, this is not readily related to house air heating or cooling without a lot of assumptions and some computations. Relating this to today's world - the Manuals BayAreaAc referred to account for all these energy conversions and determine an estimated cooling (or heating) requirement for your specific house. The type of construction, solar exposure, general climatic conditions such as average temperatures, humidity, and hottest and coldest normal ambient temperatures and desired inside temperture are all taken into account in the more sophisticated versions of the analysis, so there is no "standard", though a rough old rule of thumb was about 1 ton of cooling per 500SF of house. Obviously, this was a WAG only because it did not account for insulation, type of roofing, whether you live in Alaska or Miami, etc. The ACCA manuals do a very simplified form of evaluation to arrive at a "design", which generally will be adequate. OF course, highly precise calculations are not really needed because A/C units generally come in even ton ratings - so if you are at say 2.6 ton requirement you will be getting a 3-ton unit anyway. SEER ratings are not a direct measure of efficiency, but the relative difference between ratings gives you good idea of the unit's relative efficency in using electricity - so a 16 SEER should be about 19% more efficient (so roughly comparable lower electricity bill) than a comparably sized 13 SEER unit. 13 SEER is the lowest efficiency currently allowed to be built for general use, 19 SEER is about the highest efficiency made by pretty much all manufacturers, and about 25 SEER is the highest rated though very pricey shelf-item units, though special construction custom units can reach about 30 SEER. Note however, like any government sponsored rating, much of it is hooey when you get down to it - for instance, SEER ratings are figured based on 80 degree inside air temp and 82 degrees outside, when that is far from the normal case of mid to low seventies inside and high eighties or above outdoors. This makes the absolute SEER rating meaningless, but relative numbers still have meaning in comparing units. Note these efficiency ratings are for conventional air conditoners and heat pumps working in ambient air conditions. Ground sourced Geothermal or lake/river exchange cooling units, though initially more expensive in most cases, can greatly exceed the air-exchange unit efficiencies because they are exchanging heat with cold natural water rather than with a high-temperature outside air, and instead of continually compressing a gas are just circulating cold water. I worked on one geothermal cooling project which had almost infinite efficiency, which of course makes no sense - but the only power was for sensors and a control valve as the water flow was single-pass under gravity flow, so no power was used to circulate the water.