Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in Elk River, you may be thinking when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you should even cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a tough piece of equipment. It’s created to resist inclement weather, including excessive temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap condensation. Too much wetness inside your equipment can cause internal parts to rust or turn moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two periods that are great for using a cover for a long period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and block your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more power to cool your home.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Home Comfort Heating & Air heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and take a close look at critical pieces. This often allows us to identify problems before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you come to the conclusion you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several tips on choosing the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air flowing, a protective air conditioner cover should only surround the top of your equipment and a few inches on the side.

Full AC covers can trap moisture inside your unit, potentially corroding metal pieces. It could also make your system an inviting home for rodents, which could chew wires.

Related: What New Homeowners Need to Know About Their Air Conditioner

Don’t Use Plastic or Vinyl Covers

Plastic or vinyl covers stop air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your system. The best type of cloth is one that lets in air, like canvas or mesh.

Related: How AC Repair & Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money

When to Use an Air Conditioner Cover

If you want to use an air conditioner cover, here are the best times to install it.

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Summer

A lightweight mesh cover during the summer allows your air conditioner to run smoothly while keeping grass clippings and sticks out.

Related: How Do I Know if My Air Conditioner is Running Properly?

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Fall

A breathable canvas cover will stop leaves, nuts and other rubbish from getting into your equipment.

Related: Tips for Cleaning Your System

Cover Your Air Conditioner Before Severe Weather

You can temporarily cover your air conditioner in the winter when you know a snowstorm is coming. Snow and ice that collect inside your AC can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a severe storm is coming in Elk River. Hail can severely damage your system’s coils, impacting efficiency.

Related: How Severe Weather Can Lead to AC Repair

We Can Help Your AC System Run Efficiently

Whether you have questions about heating and cooling or need air conditioning service, Home Comfort Heating & Air gives aid. Give us a call at 763-276-0617 or schedule an appointment online.