Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in Ellsworth, you may be questioning when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you have to cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a tough piece of equipment. It’s designed to resist bad weather, including intense temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues, because they can trap water. Too much wetness inside your equipment can cause internal components to rust or get moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two seasons that are ideal 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 lower your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more power to cool your house.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and take a close look at essential pieces. This often allows us to pinpoint issues before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple ideas on picking the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air circulating, a protective air conditioner cover should only surround the top of your system and a couple of inches on the side.

Full AC covers can trap water inside your equipment, potentially rusting metal pieces. It could also make your system an inviting home for rodents, which could sever 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 condensation to build up inside your system. The best type of material is one that allows airflow, 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 put it on.

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Summer

A lightweight mesh cover during the summer allows your air conditioner to run unrestricted 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 waste from getting into your unit.

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 approaching. Snow and ice that collect inside your system can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a bad storm is imminent in Ellsworth. Hail can severely damage your system’s coils, affecting 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, Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC provides aid. Give us a call at 715-318-6728 or schedule an appointment online.