Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in Paso Robles, you may be questioning when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you should even cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a tough piece of equipment. It’s engineered to resist bad weather, including intense temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap condensation. Additional wetness inside your equipment can cause internal components to rust or turn moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two periods that are ideal for using a cover for a lengthy period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard waste during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and obstruct your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more energy to cool your residence.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Paso Robles Heating and Air heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, 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 picking the best 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 condensation inside your unit, potentially eating away at metal parts. It could also make your AC a cozy home for vermin, 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 stop air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your system. 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 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 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 halt leaves, nuts and other debris from dropping into your unit.

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 on the way. Snow and ice that collect inside your AC can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a bad storm is imminent in Paso Robles. Hail can seriously 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, Paso Robles Heating and Air provides aid. Give us a call at 805-203-8667 or schedule an appointment online.