Do Mini Splits Need to be Covered in Winter?

When the last wisps of autumn vanish and winter makes its debut, you largely hide away inside.  You don’t have to worry about maintaining the lawn this time of year or raking up leaves. What about your ductless mini split? Do you need to cover that, or is it okay to leave it exposed for the winter?

While you don’t have to cover your mini split, per se, it’s for the unit’s longevity that you do.

A mini split cover for the exterior compressor will protect it from the elements. Even though you should have gotten the compressor installed with some degree of overhead cover, that doesn’t mean snow can’t fall atop it or blow in from the sides.

Snow can potentially seep into the compressor depending on the unit’s design. That can affect how the coolant in the compressor functions, which means you might experience fluctuations in your mini split’s performance.

Even with a cover, snow can still accumulate atop the compressor, but there’s less risk of the snow getting inside. Your mini split can keep your home toasty all winter long.

Another benefit of a cover for the compressor is keeping out debris. The harsh winter winds can kick up rocks and sticks that can sometimes lodge themselves just right inside the compressor. The debris can affect internal components and again dampen the performance of your mini split.

Further, a compressor cover will keep the compressor cleaner. Since it’s not directly exposed to the elements, dirt can’t get onto or into the machine. This will save your mini split technician time when they maintain the unit next.

If you're interested in buying a mini split cover, you can always see if your manufacturer produces any for your model of mini split. Alternatively, you can buy a third-party cover.

Mini split covers typically come in two materials, fabric or plastic. A fabric cover is usually made of canvas or Oxford fabric for durability. The material should be waterproof and have vent holes to allow air in and prevent humidity build-up.

Plastic or hard polyester mini split covers will feature louvers or vented openings to also prevent humidity.

If buying a third-party mini split cover, measure the dimensions of the compressor, then buy a cover that will fit the unit. Soft mini split covers will include a drawstring to secure the cover over the mini split. However, if the cover is too big, a drawstring won't make much of a difference.

Hard mini split covers give no leeway, so you must confirm the fit of the cover before putting it on the compressor.

When your mini split technician comes to maintain the unit, and when winter finally ends, it's very easy to remove your mini split cover until next winter. A soft mini split cover rolls up and stores conveniently in a garage or shed. You can store a hard cover in the same places, but it will take up more room.