Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather on the horizon in Stuart, 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 torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap water. Additional wetness inside your unit can cause internal pieces to rust or become moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two times of year 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 build up and block your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more energy to cool your home.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Breathe Healthier Air heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and inspect critical parts. This often allows us to identify 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 few suggestions on picking the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Full AC covers can trap condensation inside your unit, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your AC a cozy home for rodents, 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 air conditioner. 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 decide 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 smoothly while keeping grass clippings and branches 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 rubbish 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 blizzard is on the way. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your air conditioner 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 AC if a bad storm is imminent in Stuart. Hail can critically 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, Breathe Healthier Air provides help. Give us a call at 772-600-7151 or schedule an appointment online.