Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather coming in Shelby, you may be questioning when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you should even cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a sturdy piece of equipment. It’s designed to resist bad weather, including excessive temperatures and torrential precipitation.

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

While installing an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two seasons that are great for using 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 pile up and obstruct your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more electricity to cool your home.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Hopper Heating and Air heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and examine important components. This often allows us to identify 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 few tips on choosing the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially rusting metal parts. It could also make your AC a welcoming home for vermin, 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 impede air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your unit. 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 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 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 block leaves, nuts and other waste from dropping 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 a blizzard is coming. Snow and ice that build up inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a severe storm is coming in Shelby. Hail can critically damage your system’s exterior, 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, Hopper Heating and Air gives assistance. Give us a call at 704-233-7363 or schedule an appointment online.