Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather on the horizon in Marshalltown, 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 sturdy piece of equipment. It’s designed to resist inclement weather, including extreme temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap condensation. Extra wetness inside your system can cause internal pieces to rust or become moldy.

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

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

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from B & G HVAC heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect essential pieces. This often allows us to spot issues 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 a couple ideas on picking 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 system, potentially rusting metal components. It could also make your system an inviting home 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 block air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your system. The best type of fabric 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 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 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 waste from dropping 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 a snowstorm is coming. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your system 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 imminent in Marshalltown. Hail can critically damage your system’s exterior, 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, B & G HVAC provides aid. Give us a call at 641-323-1210 or schedule an appointment online.