Whether or Not to Cover Your HVAC System This Winter

It’s that time of year again. You’re cleaning out the gutters for the last time this year, winterizing outdoor spigots, and getting your property ready for the oncoming winter weather. But what about covering your HVAC system during the winter? Should you be doing it? The following are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t be covering your HVAC system during winter.

Snow Doesn’t Hurt Your HVAC System

One of the first things you should know is that snow will not hurt your system. It won’t freeze the motor, cause it to short out, or even cause it to rust. You should also know that every HVAC system has a strong metal covering to protect the components from outside elements such as snow and rain. Therefore, there is no reason to cover it.

Covers Retain Moisture and Cause Mold

It’s easy to think that a cover will help keep your system running better and even extend its life, but that is not the case. With natural elements such as humidity and condensation, it’s almost impossible to prevent moisture from entering your HVAC system. A cover will only trap that moisture, which will then create a breeding ground for mold and mildew. What’s even worse is that the trapped moisture can result in rusting of internal components. If not cleaned regularly, that rust can go on to cause system failure, which will necessitate replacement.


It’s easy to assume that covers will prevent any critters from taking residence inside your HVAC unit. But covers attract all sorts of animals, like mice, as they will be looking for shelter from the harsh winter temperatures. Some animals may even try to chew on the machine’s parts once they get inside, which can cause the unit to malfunction.

Add Another Step

When your HVAC system is covered, it becomes very difficult to inspect it on a regular basis because you may need to remove the cover each time you want to inspect it. If you don’t remove the cover, you will never know if a potential problem is developing.

However, there is a reason that HVAC covers exist, and there are some times when covering your system is a good idea. You will need to cover your HVAC system if you live in an area with extreme and unpredictable weather conditions.

The following are things you should protect your HVAC system from during winter.

Hail, Freezing Rains, and Sleet

It’s highly suggested that you cover your outdoor HVAC unit if there is a chance of hail hitting your neighborhood as it can cause serious damage to your system and its components.

Freezing rains are also a big concern. This type of rain is common in areas close to large bodies of water. Freezing rain is frozen as soon as it hits the ground or any solid object and can also cause damage to your HVAC equipment if it’s not protected.

Sleet is also a major concern. While sleet is not as destructive as freezing rain, it will still damage your HVAC system if you don’t cover it. The best thing to do is cover up your unit before these conditions arrive.

Freezing Temperatures

Winter environments present many dangerous situations, including freezing temperatures. If you are expecting extremely cold temperatures in your neighborhood, it’s best to cover your HVAC unit so that it doesn’t become a victim of things like frost or ice. However, you should remove the cover once the temperature rises above freezing. Otherwise, you risk trapping moisture.

Miscellaneous Objects

There is also a chance of your HVAC unit becoming victim to other things like mud, rocks, icicles, or other objects that may fall off the roofs in your area. If you are not careful, these objects can cause damage to your system, so it’s best to keep it covered if your home is subject to these conditions.

The following covers some of your options for covering your HVAC system.

Plastic Sheets

This is the least expensive way to cover your system. While this tends to be a popular choice among homeowners, it is also not the best option. Plastic covers trap moisture inside, which may result in mildew. However, they can help protect your unit from hail and rain. If you want to use plastic sheets, be sure to remove them as soon as the hail or rain stops.

Carport Covers

Carport covers are also a good choice for people who want to protect their HVAC systems during the winter months. The best thing about carport covers is that they won’t restrict airflow into and out of your unit. They also don’t trap moisture.

What to Know Before Purchasing a Cover for Your HVAC Unit

There are many different types of covers available for purchase, such as protective shields and canvas covers. It’s important to choose a cover based on its specifications, including material and design.

Be sure to get a top cover instead of a full unit cover. You should also make sure that there is enough room for moisture to escape. The cover should also be a snug fit over the unit and should not have any tears, holes, or rips.

It’s a good idea to consult a professional for more insight. A professional should be able to help you decide on a cover that will fully protect your system and keep it free of moisture, debris, and other unwanted elements.

The following are some helpful tips that will help you to take care of your HVAC system during winter.

Use a Dehumidifier to Remove Moisture

You should use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from your HVAC system and its surroundings. This process will help prevent corrosion. You should also use a backflow preventer to make sure that the water drainage system remains clear. Otherwise, you will have to deal with water buildup in your unit.

Keep Your Unit’s Components Clean

During winter months, you should make sure to keep your HVAC unit’s components clean. Otherwise, they may corrode. You should use a cleaner that is formulated for your type of unit.

Inspect It Regularly

Whether you choose to cover your unit or not, it will still require regular inspections and maintenance. You should check on your unit at least once per week during winter to prevent it from experiencing problems.

Contact Us

If you are looking for an HVAC repair or installation service in Dallas, TX, look no further. At On Time Experts, we are dedicated to keeping your system in good condition year-round. Our customers come first. That’s why we will take the time to understand your needs and provide quality workmanship.

In addition to HVAC system repairs and consultations, we provide other services such as installation and repair of heating and plumbing systems to the residents of Dallas, TX, and surrounding areas. Some of our plumbing services include drain cleaning, faucet repair, garbage disposal installation, replacing and repairing water heaters, and sink repairs.

We also provide air quality services such as air purification and duct cleaning as well as special services such as financing. Call us today for more information about our HVAC and plumbing services or to request a free quote.

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