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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon 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 strong 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 water. Too much wetness inside your equipment 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 waste during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and lower your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more energy to cool your residence.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from M & S Heating & Air LLC heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and take a close look at essential components. This often allows us to spot issues 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 several tips on picking the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap condensation inside your system, potentially eating away at metal parts. It could also make your AC a welcoming place for animals, which could eat through 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 condensation to build up inside your system. The best type of material 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 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, damaging condenser coils and lowering efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a severe storm is approaching 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 help. Give us a call at 301-363-4699 or schedule an appointment online.

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