Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

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

Your AC unit is a sturdy piece of equipment. It’s created to withstand severe weather, including excessive temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap moisture. Extra wetness inside your equipment can cause internal pieces to rust or get moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is your own choice, there are two times of year that are ideal for using 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 accumulate and block your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more energy to cool your home.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Farris Heating & Air heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and take a close look at critical components. This often allows us to identify trouble 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 a couple ideas on picking the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your equipment, potentially corroding metal parts. It could also make your system a cozy place for animals, which could eat through 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 moisture to build up inside your air conditioner. The best type of material 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 put it on.

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Summer

A lightweight mesh cover during the summer allows your air conditioner to run unrestricted 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 debris 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 heavy snow is on the way. Snow and ice that accumulate 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 AC if a strong storm is imminent in Bartlesville. 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, Farris Heating & Air gives help. Give us a call at 918-534-8194 or schedule an appointment online.