Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

October 18, 2019

With cold weather on the horizon in Mobile, 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 engineered to withstand severe 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 turn moldy.

While putting on an air conditioner cover is an individual choice, there are two seasons 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 block your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works longer and may use more energy to cool your residence.

Seeking other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Annual AC maintenance from Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc heating and cooling technicians can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your system, and take a close look at essential pieces. This often allows us to identify issues before they begin.

Schedule service now

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 encompass the top of your system and several inches on the side.

Complete AC covers can trap water inside your unit, potentially rusting metal pieces. It could also make your AC a welcoming place for rodents, 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 block air, which could cause moisture to build up inside your unit. The best type of material 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 unrestricted 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 dropping 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 blizzard is approaching. Snow and ice that accumulate 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 air conditioner if a strong storm is coming in Mobile. 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, Farnell Heating & Air Conditioning Inc provides aid. Give us a call at 251-471-2674 or schedule an appointment online.