Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather coming in Lincoln, 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 sturdy piece of equipment. It’s designed to resist severe weather, including extreme temperatures and torrential precipitation.

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

While putting on an air conditioner cover is a personal 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 debris during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and lower your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more power to cool your house.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from AW Heating & Air Conditioning heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and inspect essential pieces. This often allows us to spot 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 several ideas on choosing the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Complete AC covers can trap condensation inside your unit, potentially rusting metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner an inviting home for vermin, 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 block air, which could cause moisture 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 decide 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 twigs 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 getting 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 heavy snow is approaching. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your AC can melt and refreeze, damaging condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a bad storm is coming in Lincoln. Hail can critically damage your system’s fins, altering 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, AW Heating & Air Conditioning offers help. Give us a call at 402-438-7992 or schedule an appointment online.