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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

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

Your AC unit is a tough piece of equipment. It’s created to withstand bad weather, including intense temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, 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 seasons 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 accumulate and lower your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more energy to cool your house.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and take a close look at important pieces. This often allows us to pinpoint 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 several tips on selecting the ideal cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially eating away at metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner a cozy 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 block air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your unit. The best type of fabric 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 want 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 getting 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 heavy snow is coming. Snow and ice that collect inside your AC can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a strong storm is imminent in Kearney. Hail can severely damage your system’s coils, 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 provides assistance. Give us a call at 308-624-3485 or schedule an appointment online.

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