Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather on the horizon in Anaheim, 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 tough piece of equipment. It’s created to resist inclement weather, including extreme temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap condensation. Additional wetness inside your unit can cause internal parts to rust or become 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 a lengthy period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can pile up and lower your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more electricity to cool your home.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Eco Fresh HVAC Inc. heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and take a close look at important parts. This often allows us to spot trouble 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 several tips on selecting the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Full AC covers can trap condensation inside your equipment, potentially corroding metal parts. It could also make your system an inviting 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 stop air, which could cause water to build up inside your system. The best type of cloth is one that allows airflow, 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 install it.

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 branches 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 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 heavy snow is approaching. Snow and ice that collect inside your system can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a strong storm is coming in Anaheim. Hail can critically damage your system’s fins, 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, Eco Fresh HVAC Inc. gives help. Give us a call at 714-855-1717 or schedule an appointment online.