Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather coming in Ballwin and St. Charles, you may be questioning when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you have to cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a sturdy piece of equipment. It’s designed to withstand bad weather, including extreme temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap condensation. Extra wetness inside your unit can cause internal parts to rust or get moldy.

While using an air conditioner cover is an individual 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 rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and obstruct your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more electricity to cool your house.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Air Alliance Team heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and take a close look at essential components. This often allows us to spot problems before they begin.

Schedule service now

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you decide 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 encompass the top of your system and a couple of inches on the side.

Total AC covers can trap water inside your equipment, potentially rusting metal parts. It could also make your air conditioner a cozy area 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 unit. The best type of fabric 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 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 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 stop leaves, nuts and other waste 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 collect inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a strong storm is coming in Ballwin and St. Charles. Hail can severely damage your system’s fins, 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, Air Alliance Team gives aid. Give us a call at 636-206-4250 or schedule an appointment online.