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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather coming in Columbia, 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 created to take on inclement weather, including intense temperatures and relentless precipitation.

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

While putting on an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two periods that are great for using a cover for a lengthy period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard debris during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can pile up and obstruct your system’s airflow. Diminished airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more energy to cool your home.

Looking for other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Watts Electrical & Air Conditioning heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and inspect important pieces. This often allows us to identify issues before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

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

Avoid Full Covers

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

Total AC covers can trap water inside your system, potentially corroding metal parts. It could also make your system a cozy 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 unit. 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 use 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 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 heavy snow is approaching. Snow and ice that build up inside your system can melt and refreeze, breaking condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to expect a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your system if a bad storm is imminent in Columbia. Hail can critically damage your system’s exterior, 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 Electrical & Air Conditioning offers assistance. Give us a call at 601-736-7362 or schedule an appointment online.

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