Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather coming in McMurray, 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 strong piece of equipment. It’s engineered to withstand bad weather, including intense temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues, because they can trap moisture. Extra wetness inside your unit can cause internal components to rust or turn moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two seasons that are good to use a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and obstruct your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more electricity to cool your residence.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and examine important parts. This often allows us to identify problems before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you decide you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several ideas on choosing the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your equipment, potentially rusting metal components. It could also make your AC a cozy place for animals, 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 impede air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your system. The best type of material 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 choose to use an air conditioner cover, here are the best times to use it.

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Summer

A lightweight mesh cover during the summer allows your air conditioner to run freely 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 halt leaves, nuts and other rubbish from getting into your system.

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 heavy snow is coming. Snow and ice that build up inside your AC can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and lowering efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a bad storm is coming in McMurray. Hail can critically damage your system’s fins, altering 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, Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing offers aid. Give us a call at 724-370-0141 or schedule an appointment online.