Best Central Air Conditioner Covers for Winter 2022

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Much of what we keep outdoors in our yards or elsewhere around our property has some sort of cover, and the air conditioner is no exception. Central air conditioner units are kept outdoors and connect to the inside of the home through ducts. This means they are exposed to the conditions outdoors.

Just like you might cover a BBQ while it is not being used, air conditioners should be covered up in the same way to offer protection.

Why Using an Air Conditioner Cover?

Your air conditioner will live outdoors, and there aren’t many places in the world where it will be hot and rain-free all year round. This means that during the winter when your air conditioner doesn’t get as much use, it might be sensible to cover it.

There is some debate about whether or not you need to cover the unit for certain conditions. For instance, a bit of rain is normal and doesn’t instantly make it essential to cover up the air conditioner. Manufacturers should have built their products to last outdoors so you don’t have to worry too much, but there are certain conditions that nothing will help besides an air conditioner cover.

What rain can do is cause oxidization, which, when it happens to metal, creates rust. Rust can eventually degrade your air conditioner, and stop them lasting as long. Keeping water away is a good way to prevent this from happening.

If hailstorms are forecast, or you have a suspicion that hail is on the way, it makes sense to cover your AC unit. Soft material covers may not stop denting from big hail stones, but it can prevent stones entering and getting into the mechanics of the unit.

Icy conditions should also be a reason for covering your air conditioner. The temperature dropping and increasing constantly can cause issues with the coils. Freezing water building up inside the unit can create a sort of ‘glacier’ which is what will cause the damage. Think about how likely freezing conditions are where you live.

Can I Cover My Air Conditioner For The Whole of Winter?

Many people opt to cover their AC unit as soon as warmer weather has subsided and they know that it is not going to be used anymore. Of course, if there is any chance of the conditioner having to be used then you shouldn’t try to do so when it is covered! This will cause damage. However, if you know that winter has set in, you can cover it for this period.

There are some precautions to take. Remember to regularly check inside the cover in case any creatures have taken the chance to try and nest there. Also, mold and mildew can build up, so taking the chance to clean it periodically is worthwhile.

Features and Considerations of The Best Air Conditioner Covers for Winter

Materials – Think of the cover as like a coat for your air conditioner. You wouldn’t buy a coat which isn’t made out of waterproof and high-quality materials. There are a variety of different materials used to make these products. Polyester is common, and available in a variety of different deniers, measured by a “D” rating listed in the product description. Mesh materials are also available. Whichever material opted for usually has some form of laminate or PVC coating, this helps it to be more waterproof. You should be on the lookout for durable and hard-wearing covers which can protect from the elements.

Water Resistance – Most of the problems that can stem from not having a cover can involve water. Whether this means the unit filling up with water, or the water freezing and creating coil damage, it is worth finding a product you can be confident is going to repel the water.

Insulation – To avoid any water that does get in freezing, a little insulation can often be helpful to keep the temperature inside a little higher.

Size – Some air conditioner covers come in a variety of different sizes, others will have one specific size, others are adjustable. The important thing is that you match up to the size of your air conditioner. A cover which doesn’t fit is totally useless.

Installation – This shouldn’t be a difficult process! The best central air conditioner covers will be easy to install. The top designs are straightforward so there shouldn’t be any need to read a lot of instructions. They will either slip straight on, or strap around the air conditioner. Some have drawstrings to pull them tight and adjust the size.

Looks – We’ve put looks at the bottom of our list as it is not the most important thing. Looks are purely superficial. However, if your AC unit is in a backyard that you’ve spent a lot of time decorating, an air conditioner cover which looks good, or at least isn’t an eye-sore, is a real plus point.

Best Central Air Conditioner Covers for Winter Reviews

The following models of air conditioner cover are those we’ve picked out as being the very best on the market based on reviews and features. Remember to check that the cover is compatible with your unit. If you need to, you can measure the unit to check or find the measurements on the manufacturer’s website.

Our reviews are based on information provided by the manufacturers as well as a variety of consumer reviews and first-hand experience.

​#1 Sturdy Covers AC Defender

Best Mesh Air Conditioner Cover for Winter

This unit is designed to cover the top of an air conditioner unit. The mesh design stops debris such as rocks and twigs entering, and it is attached to all four sides with bungees. This means that it can fit a lot of different air conditioners. It is also available in three different sizes so that you can get the one closest to your AC size.

The mesh material is covered in PVC. It helps to reduce any level of moisture but isn’t totally waterproof. As it is fitted with bungees and has a mesh cover, it also doesn’t offer any level of insulation. That said, it protects the interior of your AC unit to a good level. On top of this, it is also one of the easiest covers to install. The bungees can hook onto the unit with ease.

The price is reasonable, the build quality is great and the Sturdy Covers AC Defender even comes with a three-year warranty.

Things We Like

  • Bungees make it easy to install on a most air conditioners
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • Three-year warranty

Things We Don’t Like

  • Does not insulate or cover the sides of your unit

​#2 AmazonBasics Square

Best Large Air Conditioner Cover for Winter

AmazonBasics manufacture a lot of home and garden products which are available on a budget. This is a quality cover and has been well made, as the manufacturers have thought about how they can add an extra level of protection.

The dimensions are 34 x 34 inches and smaller air conditioner units can obviously fit inside. There are straps which can help to keep it securely in place, and this is a positive for days when it is windy, also.

Cleaning is easy and it just needs to be wiped down as and when you find it is needed.

The polyester fabric is woven and made to be durable and stand up to conditions such as dirt and rain. The seams have been reinforced for extra strength as this is an area where some air conditioners can rip and this allows moisture in.

This product gives a good mix of durability and coverage as it covers all of the sides of the unit. It is also good value-for-money.

Things We Like

  • One of the largest covers available
  • Straps keep it in place
  • Easy to clean

Things We Don’t Like

  • Not many sizes available

#3 Classic Accessories Ravenna Square

Best Vented Air Conditioner Cover for Winter

This is a brilliant air conditioner cover with some advanced features. It is a very sturdy product and water resistant, so while not totally waterproof it will wick away most of the moisture your AC unit would otherwise need to deal with.

The adjustability is the best out of any of the models we’ve listed. It is another 32 x 32-inch product but the drawstrings around it allow it to be pulled in tight, creating a better seal around the air conditioner and reducing the chances of anything penetrating the cover. Handles on either side make it easy to lift off and put back in place.

Another clever feature is the vents. These allow the inside of the cover to still breathe and means it doesn’t create conditions for mildew and mold to build up inside.

This product has a level of flexibility which some of the other models on the list do not. This makes it a good choice if your air conditioner is a little bit of an awkward shape, you can tighten it to ensure it fits.

Things We Like

  • Handles make it easy to remove
  • Cords to tighten

Things We Don’t Like

  • Limited sizes available

​#4 ​​Covermates AC Cover

Best Air Conditioner Cover with Multiple Sizes

The model of air conditioner cover is one with more size options than any of the others we’ve mentioned. It has 14 different sizes in total with different widths, spanning from 24-40 inches wide. You can ensure you match up the cover to the size of your unit.

This is also a very thick cover which is 300D polyester, which provides a little more insulation and puncture resistance. It is still relatively lightweight in spite of the thicker material.

Like many of the other covers on the list, this has meshed vents which mean air can get in and out, this doesn’t mean the air conditioner can be used while the cover is on, but it does mean that mold or mildew is minimal.

Installation involves straps and an adjustable elastic hem which can fit snugly around your AC unit, especially if you get the right size initially. The material is water resistant and the Covermates Air Conditioner Cover comes with a 3-year warranty so you can rest assured it should last you many years.

Things We Like

  • Three-year warranty
  • Adjustable hem
  • Available in 14 sizes
  • Three Colors

Things We Don’t Like

  • More expensive than other model

​#5 ​​​Cosfly AC Cover

Best Affordable Air Conditioner Cover for Winter

The CosFly is an even thicker denier cover. 600D polyester offers protection from a wide range of different conditions and items that can get into your central air conditioning unit and cause havoc. The inner layer of this cover is totally waterproof and this protects the AC unit, with the manufacturers claiming that this rust protection can extend the life of your air conditioner by 20%. This can make it an excellent investment.

Vents help with the airflow and stop bacteria building up inside, and like many of the covers, the CosFly also has drawstrings to help you buckle the cover to a tight fit around your air conditioner. It is available in four different sizes to best suit your AC unit.

This is one of the cheaper air conditioners on the market, making it a good investment. It is durable and well-built enough in spite of being on the affordable end of the market.

Things We Like

  • Quality 600 D polyester fabric
  • Available in large sizes
  • Affordable

Things We Don’t Like

  • Not suitable for shorter models of AC unit


Air conditioner covers can’t work miracles, but they can provide a layer of protection which prevents dirt and grime entering your unit. It can also prevent rust by lowering the level of moisture, as well as stop some of the freezing effects that can be caused in the winter months, damaging the coil of the air conditioner.

Before making a purchase, be sure to check the reviews and the size to ensure it will fit your specific central air conditioner.

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree from Lone Star College and EPA & R-410A Certifications.
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