Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather coming in Mechanicsville, 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 engineered to take on bad weather, including excessive temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues, because they can trap condensation. Too much wetness inside your unit can cause internal pieces to rust or become moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is a personal 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 debris during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and lower your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more electricity to cool your residence.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from M & S Heating & Air LLC heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and take a close look at essential components. This often allows us to spot trouble before they begin.

Schedule service now

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you come to the conclusion you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple tips on picking the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air circulating, a protective air conditioner cover should only surround the top of your unit and a couple of inches on the side.

Full AC covers can trap condensation inside your equipment, potentially eating away at metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner a cozy place for animals, 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 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 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 block 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 heavy snow is coming. Snow and ice that collect inside your system can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a severe storm is coming in Mechanicsville. 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, M & S Heating & Air LLC provides aid. Give us a call at 301-363-4699 or schedule an appointment online.