Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather coming in Pocatello, you may be thinking when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you have to cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a strong piece of equipment. It’s created to resist severe weather, including excessive temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers create more issues, because they can trap water. Extra wetness inside your equipment can cause internal pieces to rust or get moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is your own 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 build up and obstruct your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more power to cool your home.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Vogts Heating & Air heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and examine important components. This often allows us to identify trouble before they begin.

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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 enclose the top of your unit and several inches on the side.

Total AC covers can trap moisture inside your unit, potentially eating away at metal components. It could also make your AC a welcoming area 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 air conditioner. 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 want to use an air conditioner cover, here are the best times to put it on.

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 sticks out.

Related: How Do I Know if My Air Conditioner is Running Properly?

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Fall

A breathable canvas cover will stop 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 snowstorm is coming. Snow and ice that build up inside your system can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and lowering efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a severe storm is approaching in Pocatello. Hail can severely damage your system’s fins, altering 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, Vogts Heating & Air gives assistance. Give us a call at 208-621-0129 or schedule an appointment online.