With cold weather approaching in Columbia, you may be wondering 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 designed to withstand severe weather, including excessive temperatures and relentless precipitation.
Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap moisture. Additional wetness inside your system can cause internal components to rust or get moldy.
While putting on an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two periods that are good to use 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 pile up and lower your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more power to cool your home.
Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Watts Electric & A/C Inc heating and cooling experts can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and take a close look at critical components. This often allows us to identify trouble before they begin.
How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover
If you come to the conclusion you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a few ideas on choosing the ideal cover.
Avoid Full Covers
To keep air flowing, a protective air conditioner cover should only enclose the top of your equipment and a couple of inches on the side.
Complete AC covers can trap moisture inside your equipment, potentially corroding metal parts. It could also make your AC an inviting place 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 impede air, which could cause condensation to build up inside your air conditioner. 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 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 rubbish from falling 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 snowstorm is on the way. Snow and ice that collect inside your air conditioner 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 imminent in Columbia. 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, Watts Electric & A/C Inc offers aid. Give us a call at 601-736-7362 or schedule an appointment online.