Air conditioners have a tough life. Outdoor units are constantly exposed to the elements, while window and wall units hang half in and half out. And they aren’t cheap. They can also become a target for pests, allow drafts to penetrate the home, and can even break or deteriorate at the hands of mother nature. They need protection, and luckily, there is one product category that can offer a bit of protection and prevention: air conditioner covers.
The best air conditioner covers fall into several categories, but they all protect the AC unit from damage, drafts, and pests, and they’re one of the best things you can do for your AC. This guide will highlight some of the best AC unit protection on the market as well as some things to know when shopping for these handy covers.
- BEST OVERALL: Joiish Air Conditioner Cover With Waterproof Top
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Brivic Indoor Air Conditioner Cover for Window Unit
- BEST INDOOR: Frost King Quilted Indoor Air Conditioner Cover
- BEST OUTDOOR: Luxiv Outdoor Window Air Conditioner Cover
- BEST FULL: KylinLucky Air Conditioner Cover for Outside Units
- BEST PARTIAL: Modern Wave Central Air Conditioner Covers
- ALSO CONSIDER: Cosfly Air Conditioner Cover for Outside Units
How We Chose the Best Air Conditioner Covers
We know it’s important that folks feel comfortable with their air conditioner covers. No one wants to be chasing a runaway cover in a windstorm or uncovering their model in the spring only to find damage, mold, or other problems. That’s why we took the task of putting together a list of the best air conditioner covers so seriously.
First, we considered the types of air conditioner covers that shoppers would find useful, including covers for central air units outside and window units. Then, we outlined a variety of key features that AC covers should offer (depending on the type of cover) such as proper coverage, insulation, waterproofing, and breathability. After that, we performed extensive product research to find products that could meet our standards. We then compared products based on these key features to determine which offered enough value and which didn’t. Below are the products that made the cut.
Our Top Picks
The following are some of the best air conditioner covers on the market. Be sure to check out each model and then keep reading to learn more about what to consider when shopping for these covers. (Note: None of the following are designed to work with ductless AC units. Most of these units have heat pumps and should not be covered up.)
Folks looking for a best-of-both-worlds air conditioner cover will want to check out this model from Joiish. This air conditioner cover consists of a full-size mesh cover for an outdoor air conditioner unit as well as a waterproof top that can be removed. This allows you to protect your outdoor AC units from debris at all times of the year, as well as snow during the colder months.
This air conditioner cover comes in two sizes: 32 inches high by 28 inches wide by 28 inches deep, as well as 36 inches high by 32 inches wide by 32 inches deep. It has a hook-and-loop opening in one corner to allow the wire and cooling lines to pass through, and it has bungee-style cords to tighten the cover down to the base. The removable top secures with hook-and-loop tabs, which may wear over time or lose strength in strong winds. However, most owners think that its overall construction is quite sturdy and they appreciate its breathability.
- Type: Outdoor, full
- Material: Mesh and 600D oxford fabric
- Sizes available: 32 inches high by 28 inches wide by 28 inches deep; 36 inches high by 32 inches wide by 32 inches deep
- Includes a full mesh cover and a removable top to keep debris and water out
- Available in 2 common sizes so it’s suitable for most folks with outdoor air conditioners
- Mesh and top should be durable enough to last for years
- The hook-and-loop tabs may lose strength over time or in wind storms
Get the Joiish air conditioner cover at Amazon or Sears.
It might be convenient to leave window units in over the winter, but they’re going to need a cover to cut down on the drafts and loss of heat. This model from Brivic offers protection against those comfort killers. It features quilted insulation to trap warm air in and cold air out as well as an elastic band to hold it snuggly against the air conditioner. You might have to throw this unit in the dryer between seasons to fluff up the cotton, however.
This window air conditioner cover has some other value-packed features as well. Along with the elastic band, it also has a drawstring to pull the cover tight against the air conditioner. It even has a cutout made for the plug, allowing users to keep their units plugged into hard-to-reach outlets. It comes in four sizes and two colors—white and black.
- Type: Inside, window
- Material: Cotton, polyester
- Sizes available: 13 inches high by 17 inches wide by 3 inches deep; 15 inches high by 21 wide long by 3.5 inches deep; 17 inches high by 25 inches wide by 3.5 inches deep; 20 inches high by 28 inches wide by 3.5 inches deep
- Features cotton-embedded insulation in a polyester shell for greater protection and durability
- Thick elastic band and drawstring help seal drafts out and keep air from escaping
- Comes in 4 sizes to fit a variety of window units
- Hole for electric cord only on right side, so it does not suit all layouts
Get the Brivic air conditioner cover at Amazon.
Keep those drafts at bay with the Frost King indoor air conditioner cover. This cover features a heavy-duty plastic liner that installs over the face of the air conditioner first. This layer prevents drafts from blowing into the house and hot air from escaping as readily. It also features a fabric cover that you can install to dress up the cover but also throw in the washer any time it gets dirty.
The Frost King window air conditioner cover comes in two sizes, and while they do have elastic bands to hold them in place, they do not have drawstrings for that added layer of security.
- Type: Inside, window
- Material: Plastic, fabric
- Sizes available: 18 inches high by 25 inches wide by 4 inches deep; 20 inches high by 28 inches wide by 4 inches deep
- Features 2 cover layers: a plastic layer to stop airflow and a fabric layer for decoration
- Available in 2 sizes to fit most window air conditioner units
- The fabric layer is machine washable so you can keep the cover clean and fresh
- Does not have drawstrings to secure them tightly, particularly for smaller units
Get the Frost King air conditioner cover at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.
For those who haven’t decided whether their air conditioner is staying in or heading to a garage shelf this year, the Luxiv window air conditioner cover is worth a look. This model works in two ways: as an exterior window cover that installs over the air conditioner as it sits in the window or as a storage cover that can protect the entire air conditioner (removed from the window) over the chilly months.
Luxiv makes this AC unit protector from 420D oxford cloth, making it durable and offering plenty of protection against water and debris. Plus, they’re available in four sizes. Note that they aren’t insulated, so an additional cover may be necessary on the inside.
- Type: Outside window, inside storage
- Material: 420D oxford cloth
- Sizes available: 15 inches high by 21 inches wide by 16 inches deep; 13 inches high by 17 inches wide by 12 inches deep; 18 inches high by 25.5 inches wide by 20.5 inches deep; 18.5 inches high by 27.5 inches wide by 22.5 inches deep
- Works as either an exterior air conditioner cover or a storage cover for the colder months
- Made from a durable 420D oxford cloth for longevity and plenty of protection against water and debris
- Comes in multiple sizes to ensure that it will fit almost any window air conditioner unit
- Not insulated, so another cover may be necessary on the unit inside
Get the Luxiv air conditioner cover at Amazon or Sears.
Covering up that air conditioner unit doesn’t have to be so difficult—or so ugly. This model from KylinLucky is available in multiple sizes for the best fit for just about any air conditioner. Plus, it’s easy to install. It simply slides over the top of the unit and cinches in place with the drawstring. Removing it only requires loosening the drawstring and lifting it off with the built-in handles.
This air conditioner exterior cover comes in a few color options, including gray with green trim and tan with brown trim. It also has built-in vents to promote airflow and allow moisture to escape, as well as a slit on the side for the cords and hoses. Like most full-coverage units that aren’t made from mesh, you’ll have to remove this cover during the air-conditioning season.
- Type: Outside, full
- Material: 600D oxford polyester
- Sizes available: 32 inches high by 26 inches wide by 26 inches deep; 32 inches high by 30 inches wide by 30 inches deep; 36 inches high by 32 inches wide by 32 inches deep; 38 inches high by 34 inches wide by 34 inches deep; 39 inches high by 36 inches wide by 36 inches deep; 42 inches high by 40 inches wide by 40 inches deep
- Constructed of durable 600D oxford polyester for greater longevity
- Easy to install and remove with the built-in handles and slit for the wires and piping
- Comes in 2 color options and multiple size options to cover most AC units
- Needs to be removed and stored during warm months
Get the KylinLucky air conditioner cover at Amazon.
Cover shoppers looking for a bit of flexibility from their air conditioner cover will want to give some consideration to the Modern Wave central air conditioner covers. This set comes with two partial covers; one is mesh to allow plenty of airflow while keeping debris out, and the other is waterproof and made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to provide maximum protection.
These two covers each come in three sizes, install easily, and include bungee cords to secure the cover to the unit. Although the waterproof cover needs to be removed during the AC season, the mesh cover can stay on all year.
- Type: Outside, partial
- Material: Mesh, PVC
- Sizes available: 28 inches long by 28 inches wide; 32 inches long by 32 inches wide; 36 inches long by 36 inches wide
- Includes 2 partial covers: mesh for hot weather and waterproof PVC for cold weather
- Comes in 3 sizes to accommodate a variety of units
- Includes sturdy bungee cords to secure the cover to the central air unit
- The waterproof cover needs to be removed during the AC season
Get the Modern Wave air conditioner covers at Amazon.
Folks looking for full-fledged protection for their outdoor air conditioning unit will want to take a look at the Cosfly air conditioner cover. This cover features a durable 600D polyester fabric that will resist tears and water penetration. It also has four vents to allow air to flow through the unit and prevent moisture buildup, as well as a click-close closure buckle that allows the wire and pipes to run through. It also has two adjustable drawstrings to cinch the unit in place.
This khaki and green cover looks attractive without attracting attention. It also comes in several of the most common air conditioner unit sizes as well. Plus, it has built-in handles, which is great as this model will have to be removed during air conditioning season like most full covers.
- Type: Outside, full
- Material: 600D polyester
- Sizes available: 30 inches high by 24 inches wide by 24 inches deep; 32 inches high by 26 inches wide by 26 inches deep; 36 inches high by 30 inches wide by 30 inches deep; 36 inches high by 32 inches wide by 32 inches deep; 38 inches high by 34 inches wide by 34 inches deep; 39 inches high by 36 inches wide by 36 inches deep; 40 inches high by 38 inches wide by 38 inches deep
- 600D polyester material allows airflow while resisting tears and water penetration
- Comes in many of the most common outdoor air conditioner unit sizes
- Attractive khaki and green colors that don’t stand out
- Needs to be removed during the air conditioning season, just like all full covers
Get the Cosfly air conditioner cover at Amazon.
What to Consider When Choosing an Air Conditioner Cover
Purchasing the wrong air conditioner cover can be the start of a frustrating experience. Avoid this by learning all of the different considerations to keep in mind when shopping for the best air conditioner cover. From the size to the type and even how they look, these are important factors.
Size and Coverage
Air conditioners come in different sizes, and as such, so do their covers. Most manufacturers will describe their covers’ sizes in terms of height, width, and depth. For window air conditioners, they might describe their covers in terms of energy usage, or BTU (British thermal unit) size, with general sizes that fit multiple AC units. These models typically have drawstrings that you can cinch to hold the cover in place.
Outdoor air conditioning units are slightly different. Outdoor air conditioner covers come in full or partial coverage. Full AC unit covers for winter will envelop the entire AC unit all the way down to its base. Partial covers generally cover just the top of the unit, and they’re often suitable for use while the air conditioner is running. These partial covers can be a big help for folks with lots of trees as they can keep leaves, twigs, seeds, and other debris from collecting inside the unit.
Material is an important factor as well. The air conditioner cover can be waterproof to prevent moisture from penetrating the air conditioner, though this isn’t always necessary. However, it does need to be breathable to prevent trapping moisture inside the unit and to promote airflow.
A breathable air conditioner cover will prevent mold, mildew, and gunk from growing inside the AC unit.
And, since exposure is always an issue, UV protection is also a plus. There are materials, such as nylon and polyester, which can provide this type of protection, and they sometimes even feature a PVC coating for waterproofing.
For window air conditioner covers, insulation is key. These models often have layers of foam insulation to keep cold air and drafts from pushing their way into the home. It is important to note, however, that no air conditioning cover will be as effective at keeping out drafts as a closed window.
Mesh material is often all that’s required for partial covers for AC units outside. These mesh air conditioner covers are designed just to keep leaves, twigs, seeds, and other items out of the air conditioner unit—not prevent water penetration.
Installation and Securing the System
AC covers have a reputation for being difficult to install, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Many of the best air conditioner covers simply slide over the top of the air conditioning unit and have hook-and-loop straps that you can adjust to make the fit better.
Securing an air conditioner cover is another story. Covers for window units typically have drawstrings and elastic bands. Outdoor units may require bungee cords (some kits come with them) to keep these covers in place. The cord stretches from a metal eyelet in the cover to a slot in the grill of the unit.
While protection is a cover’s first job, it doesn’t hurt if it looks nice as well. Some covers feature interesting patterns and color choices, and some even match patio furniture covers. These air conditioner covers can help an outdoor unit blend in rather than stand out like a sore thumb in the spring and fall.
But there isn’t always a handsome solution available. When this is the case, it may be best to go with a simple black full-cover air conditioner cover for outside units or a light-colored insulated interior cover. The basic black cover shouldn’t stand out much and the interior cover can be hidden by curtains.
The Advantages of Using an Air Conditioner Cover
There are debates as to whether air conditioner covers are necessary. However, there are some tried-and-true advantages to using them.
Air conditioner covers keep debris from trees and plants from collecting in the bottom of an air conditioner or in its coils. This ensures that any water that does collect in the bottom of the unit from condensation can evaporate or drain effectively and that the coils won’t clog, requiring less frequent coil cleaning.
Air conditioner covers can also keep pests out of the unit. These pests, if they’re able to infiltrate the unit, can chew wires, bend coils, and cause lots of expensive damage. A cover may keep them out.
Finally, in the case of window units, air conditioner covers keep drafts at bay. They can lower the home’s energy consumption by keeping warm air in and cold air out.
- Air conditioner covers can keep twigs, leaves, seeds, and other tree and leaf debris out of the unit
- Air conditioner covers can prevent pests from getting into the unit and causing damage
- Interior air conditioner covers can prevent drafts from penetrating the home and letting warm air escape
That’s a lot to know about the best air conditioner protection, but there might still be some questions with answers that need uncovering. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about air conditioner covers.
Q. What is the best cover for an air conditioner?
One of the best covers is the Joiish air conditioner cover. It’s mesh so it can be left on during the air conditioning season, but it will prevent leaves, twigs, and seeds from getting into the unit.
Q. What will happen if I don’t cover my AC?
The most likely scenario is that debris, leaves, and seeds will collect in the bottom of the air conditioner and in the coils. This can prevent effective evaporation and cooling, shortening the effective life of the AC unit and increasing the cost to operate it. You might also need more frequent repairs, and those AC repair bills add up.
Q. What size AC cover do I need?
Most air conditioner covers come in some basic sizes, but you should still measure your air conditioner. Measure the height, width, and depth to ensure you find the right cover size. In the case of window units, many covers are one-size-fits-all, but again, it’s helpful to measure and compare sizes.
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