How to Cover an Air Conditioner With a Tarp

Prolong the life of your air conditioner with a tarp covering.
Prolong the life of your air conditioner with a tarp covering. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Cover your air conditioner with a tarp during the off-season months of the year to protect it from dust, insects and moisture. Dust buildup on an uncovered air conditioner can hold moisture and provide organic material for mold and mildew growth. Insects can climb inside the air conditioner, die and get stuck in the smaller mechanisms of the unit. A waterproof tarp isn't a 100-percent protection guarantee for your air conditioner, but it can increase the likelihood that your air conditioner will be uncovered cleaner than if you hadn't covered it at all.

Things You'll Need

  • Waterproof tarp
  • Bungee cords

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Lay the tarp down over the top of the air conditioner so that the center of the tarp is directly over the center of the air conditioner.

Allow the sides of the tarp to drape down around the sides of the air conditioner.

Stand at one side of the air conditioner. Stretch out a bungee cord holding a hook in each hand.

Lean over the top of the air conditioner and slide the bungee cord 4 inches down the opposite side. Squat down and pull the bungee hooks around the air conditioner until the hooks can be connected on your side of the air conditioner.

Hook the bungee hooks together. Slide the wrapped bungee cord down to the base of the air conditioner to hold the tarp tight. Slide a second and third bungee cord over the top and down the sides until you have a total of three bungee cords wrapped around the tarp and air conditioner.

Tips & Warnings

  • The bottom bungee cord will pull the corners of the tarp in around the base. Don't worry about making the corners look pretty.
  • Don't forget to remove the tarp before using the air conditioner or the unit may overheat and fail.
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