Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather approaching in Dayton, you may be thinking when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you need to cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a tough piece of equipment. It’s created to resist severe weather, including excessive temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers cause more problems, because they can trap water. Too much wetness inside your system can cause internal parts to rust or get moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two periods that are great 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 pile up and lower your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more electricity to cool your house.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Routine AC maintenance from Jent Mechanical LLC heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and examine critical components. This often allows us to identify issues before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you come to the conclusion you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple tips on selecting the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Full AC covers can trap moisture inside your system, potentially eating away at metal components. It could also make your system 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 stop air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your system. The best type of material is one that lets in air, 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 put it on.

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 block leaves, nuts and other debris from falling 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 air conditioner can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to predict a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your air conditioner if a strong storm is approaching in Dayton. Hail can severely damage your system’s exterior, 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, Jent Mechanical LLC provides aid. Give us a call at 937-845-1111 or schedule an appointment online.