Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in Scottsboro, 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 sturdy piece of equipment. It’s designed to take on bad weather, including extreme temperatures and relentless precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap water. Additional wetness inside your unit can cause internal pieces to rust or get moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two seasons that are good to use 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 pile up and lower your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more energy to cool your house.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your unit, and inspect essential components. This often allows us to identify trouble before they begin.

Schedule service now

How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you determine you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple ideas on choosing the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Total AC covers can trap moisture inside your unit, potentially corroding metal components. It could also make your system a welcoming 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 water to build up inside your air conditioner. 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 choose 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 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 debris from getting 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 a snowstorm is coming. Snow and ice that collect inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a bad storm is approaching in Scottsboro. Hail can critically 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, Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. gives help. Give us a call at 256-574-1300 or schedule an appointment online.