Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in Kearney, you may be wondering when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you should even cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a tough piece of equipment. It’s designed to resist inclement weather, including intense temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues, because they can trap condensation. Additional wetness inside your unit can cause internal components to rust or get moldy.

While using 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 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 longer and may use more electricity to cool your house.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and take a close look at critical components. This often allows us to identify problems 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 couple ideas on selecting the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Total AC covers can trap condensation inside your equipment, potentially corroding metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming home for rodents, 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 impede air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your system. 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 unrestricted 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 block leaves, nuts and other rubbish from dropping into your equipment.

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 coming. Snow and ice that build up inside your system can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and lowering efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a severe storm is imminent in Kearney. 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, Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning offers assistance. Give us a call at 308-624-3485 or schedule an appointment online.