Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather on the horizon in Marshalltown, 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 engineered to take on bad weather, including intense temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap condensation. Extra wetness inside your unit can cause internal parts to rust or turn moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two seasons that are good to use a cover for a long period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and block your system’s airflow. Diminished 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? Regular AC maintenance from Kapaun & Brown Inc. heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and take a close look at essential components. This often allows us to identify problems 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 selecting the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Full AC covers can trap moisture inside your unit, potentially eating away at metal parts. It could also make your system a cozy home for rodents, which could chew wires.

Related: What New Homeowners Need to Know About Their Air Conditioner

Don’t Use Plastic or Vinyl Covers

Plastic or vinyl covers stop air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your system. 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 decide 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 block leaves, nuts and other debris from getting into your system.

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 on the way. Snow and ice that collect 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 air conditioner if a bad storm is imminent in Marshalltown. Hail can severely damage your system’s fins, affecting 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, Kapaun & Brown Inc. provides aid. Give us a call at 641-812-2028 or schedule an appointment online.