Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather on the horizon in Jefferson City, you may be wondering when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you should even cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a strong piece of equipment. It’s created to resist inclement weather, including intense temperatures and torrential precipitation.

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

While putting on 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 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 harder and may use more power to cool your residence.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Stieferman Heating Company Inc heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and take a close look at essential pieces. This often allows us to spot trouble before they begin.

Schedule service now

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are several ideas on choosing the ideal 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 equipment, potentially rusting metal components. It could also make your air conditioner a welcoming place for animals, 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 water 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 block leaves, nuts and other debris from getting 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 blizzard is approaching. Snow and ice that build up inside your system can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a bad storm is imminent in Jefferson City. 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, Stieferman Heating Company Inc gives aid. Give us a call at 573-203-3908 or schedule an appointment online.