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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in Pocatello, 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 sturdy piece of equipment. It’s created to resist bad weather, including excessive temperatures and relentless precipitation.

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

While putting on 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 accumulate and obstruct your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more power to cool your home.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Vogts Heating & Air heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect important pieces. 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 several tips on selecting the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Total AC covers can trap water inside your unit, potentially eating away at metal pieces. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming area for rodents, 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 air conditioner. 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 put it on.

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 stop leaves, nuts and other rubbish from dropping into your unit.

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, 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 coming 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 offers assistance. Give us a call at 208-621-0129 or schedule an appointment online.

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