Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

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

Your AC unit is a sturdy piece of equipment. It’s designed to withstand inclement weather, including excessive temperatures and torrential precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap water. Too much wetness inside your equipment can cause internal pieces to rust or turn moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two times of year 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 lower your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more energy to cool your home.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Farnell Mechanical, Inc. heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and examine important pieces. This often allows us to spot issues before they begin.

Schedule service now

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you come to the conclusion you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several ideas on picking the right 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.

Full AC covers can trap water inside your unit, potentially corroding metal parts. It could also make your system a welcoming place 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 moisture 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 choose 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 freely 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 debris from falling 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 heavy snow is coming. Snow and ice that build up inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, damaging 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 Opelika. Hail can critically 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, Farnell Mechanical, Inc. offers help. Give us a call at 334-245-4748 or schedule an appointment online.