My house has a air conditioner,I am not sure I should call it furnace or air conditioner. it works as a air conditioner in summer but work as a heater in winter.

Today I found the condensing unit (the part outside the house) actually doesn't spin during heating process, so I am thinking about if we need to add some plastic to protect snow/rain into it.

But I am not sure weather the heating process need the condensing unit air or not.Should I just cover a plastic bag onto condensing unit in winter?

  • 1
    It is called a heat pump. It does use the condenser unit during the heating phase (it gets the heat from outside via the condenser), I haven't had contact with one that didn't spin the fan, but limiting its access to outside air would seem to decrease its efficiency.
    – RomaH
    Dec 15, 2016 at 19:59
  • Well, that's if it is a heat pump and not just a standard condenser that's part of a split system. As the OP has to deal with snow, I wouldn't think it is, but I've never even seen one. You have, but not one that didn't spin the fan, so there's that too. Regardless, don't cover it...
    – Mazura
    Dec 15, 2016 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


Personally, I've never known of anyone to cover their outdoor a/c equipment. A quick Google found most saying no and a few saying yes...conditionally. This page summarizes their opinion as:

Should you cover your air conditioner in the winter? Probably not, but it’s worth a thought during hails and heavy winter storms. Your air conditioner is one of your most expensive investments, so take care of it and service it properly. I will say, one last time, that covering your air conditioner in the winter is not a necessary precaution in most cases.

It's worth pointing out, however, that they seem to be a heating and air company in California.

This page, which is a company in Wisconsin notes:

In my opinion, it's best to leave the A/C unit uncovered. In the spring, our company handles more repairs for units that were covered during the winter.

..that's a compelling thought.

But you do have a valid concern with respect to seasonal maintenance. It would be wise to do some research on seasonal maintenance for outside compressors going into the Spring, prior to their return to use after a winter hiatus. I imagine checking for and cleaning away any debris at the least.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.