Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

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

Your AC unit is a strong piece of equipment. It’s designed to take on severe weather, including extreme temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap moisture. Additional wetness inside your equipment can cause internal pieces to rust or get moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two times of year that are good to use a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.  

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

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Airmen HVAC Service heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and take a close look at critical parts. This often allows us to pinpoint trouble before they begin.

Schedule service now

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

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

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air circulating, 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 condensation inside your system, potentially rusting metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner an inviting area 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 block air, which could cause water 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 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 twigs 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 debris 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 a snowstorm is on the way. Snow and ice that collect inside your system can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and lowering efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a bad storm is coming in Montoursville. Hail can seriously damage your system’s fins, 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, Airmen HVAC Service gives aid. Give us a call at 570-322-3131 or schedule an appointment online.