Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in Alice, 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 strong piece of equipment. It’s created to resist severe weather, including extreme temperatures and torrential precipitation.

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

While installing an air conditioner cover is your own 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 waste during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and lower 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 Rescue Heating & Air heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and inspect critical pieces. This often allows us to pinpoint issues 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 a couple ideas on choosing the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air moving, a protective air conditioner cover should only surround the top of your unit and several inches on the side.

Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially corroding metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming place for vermin, 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 impede air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your unit. The best type of fabric is one that’s breathable, 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 use 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 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 halt leaves, nuts and other waste from falling 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 a snowstorm is coming. Snow and ice that collect inside your AC 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 AC if a severe storm is approaching in Alice. Hail can severely damage your system’s coils, 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, Rescue Heating & Air offers assistance. Give us a call at 361-265-4371 or schedule an appointment online.