Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather coming in Rocky Mount, you may be thinking 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 engineered to withstand bad weather, including extreme temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap condensation. Extra 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 periods that are good to use a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard waste 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? Routine AC maintenance from Davis Heating & Air Conditioning heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and take a close look at important parts. This often allows us to spot trouble 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 ideas on selecting the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air moving, a protective air conditioner cover should only encompass the top of your equipment and several inches on the side.

Complete AC covers can trap condensation inside your equipment, potentially eating away at metal pieces. It could also make your system an inviting place for vermin, 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 stop air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your unit. The best type of fabric is one that’s breathable, 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 use it.

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 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 blizzard is on the way. Snow and ice that collect inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a strong storm is approaching in Rocky Mount. 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, Davis Heating & Air Conditioning gives aid. Give us a call at 540-369-3790 or schedule an appointment online.