Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather on the horizon in Keokuk, you may be wondering when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you have to cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a tough piece of equipment. It’s designed to take on severe weather, including excessive temperatures and relentless precipitation.

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

While putting on an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two seasons that are ideal for using a cover for a long period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can accumulate and lower your system’s airflow. Reduced airflow means your air conditioning unit works harder and may use more power to cool your residence.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from WM J Kraus & Son heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and take a close look at essential pieces. This often allows us to pinpoint problems 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 several tips on picking the best cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

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

Total AC covers can trap condensation inside your equipment, potentially corroding metal components. 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 air conditioner. 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 block 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 heavy snow is approaching. Snow and ice that build up inside your AC can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and decreasing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a severe storm is approaching in Keokuk. Hail can seriously damage your system’s exterior, 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, WM J Kraus & Son offers assistance. Give us a call at 319-229-2318 or schedule an appointment online.