An air conditioner sleeve is a cover made out of metal or vinyl that fits over the exposed portion of an air conditioning unit. The sleeve helps to prevent bugs, dirt and dust from being sucked into the unit and deposited inside a dwelling.
Many air conditioning sleeve covers need to be installed around the outside portion of the unit. The AC unit must extend at least the depth of the sleeve cover from the wall in order for the cover to be installed properly. The cover should never push the unit against the wall when it is installed.
Most of the metal air conditioning sleeve covers are secured around the protruding part of the AC unit using brackets and screws. The stability of metal sleeve covers also insures that the AC unit does not move around or fall after years of use. The cover blocks drafts from entering the space formed between the AC unit and the wall during colder seasons.
Other air conditioning sleeve covers, such as those manufactured by the company Breeze Blocker, are made of vinyl and are secured to the back of the AC unit using elastic. Whereas a metal sleeve may cost over $100, the vinyl sleeves are significantly cheaper. However, they do not have the same durability as the metal covers and become worn out much faster.